DES MOINES, Iowa — A local golf club that began in the 1940s to help Black people learn to play the game is now making an effort to send more minority students to college.
"It was tough for us to golf in many places, so there [were] only one or two golf courses that would allow us to play at certain times," said Brian Griffin, the tournament director of the Des Moines Valley Golf Club.
Dr. Carline Phillips, the president of the organization, said the club revamped how it operated seven years ago. In addition to introducing more minorities to the sport, the club began helping students with college expenses.
Now, the club is starting an endowment fund for scholarships to help more minorities afford a college education.
"We are very very committed to helping out minority students in this area," Phillips said. "We think education is really important and there are a lot of students who are first-generation who otherwise wouldn't get to college."
The organization has a goal of one day having one million dollars in the endowment. Current partners of the fund include Bankers Trust and Prairie Meadows.
Phillips said she doesn't only want to send more kids to college, she wants to make sure they receive financial help so they can stay in school.
"If you want to go to college we want to find a way … we're trying to level the playing field give them an opportunity to do just that," Phillips added.
The DMVGC created a tab on their website where the public can donate to the endowment.
The golf club will host a ceremony Thursday, June 2 where they will be handing out some scholarships. They hope to hand out more next year with the help of the endowment fund.
The ceremony will take place from 5:30-7:00 p.m. at 2500 University Ave in Des Moines.
Interested individuals are also invited to watch the ceremony on Zoom:
- Meeting ID: 873 9560 8123 Passcode: 670262