The Turquoise Tiger became the center of a joke Monday, as Notah Begay III and Ray Halbritter, held a press conference announcing the seventh annual Notah Begay III Foundation Challenge.
Begay referenced one of the newest attractions at Turning Stone Resort Casino while informing Halbritter, Oneida Nation representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises, parent company of Indian Country Today Media Network, that convincing one of the biggest names in golf went into the eleventh hour. Begay, with a smile on his face, said it wasn’t an easy negotiation but when Begay said the lounge was named after him, Tiger Woods couldn’t resist the opportunity to return to Central New York and the Challenge.
Woods and Begay, two of the eight PGA Tour players, will make up half the United States team for this year’s challenge to be held on Wednesday, August 27 at Turning Stone’s Atunyote Golf Club in Verona, New York. Jimmy Walker and Jason Dufner will complete the four-man U.S. team.
The U.S. team will compete against an international team that will consist of Jonas Blixt, Angel Cabrera, and Louis Oosthuizen. The fourth team member will be named at a later date.
The format of the Challenge will be best-ball as each team will comprise of two pairs playing best ball; with the team’s final score being determined by combining the score of those two pairs.
“We couldn’t do this without the strong support of my friends on the PGA TOUR,” said Begay. “The draw of these amazing golfers is essential in raising the resources to fund change. Thanks also to Oneida Indian Nation and all the passionate fans. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to return to Central New York and continue strengthening our partnership.”
The NBIII Foundation, has raised more than $5 million over the past seven years to help reduce obesity and type 2 diabetes and supporting leadership development among Native American youth. The NB3F Challenge began in 2008 and has donated all proceeds to Native communities.
“It’s an honor to welcome Notah to once again use Oneida Nation homelands as a stage to shine a bright light on some of the major challenges facing Native children,” Halbritter said. “The work the Foundation is doing to underscore the importance of health and to provide brighter futures for our youth is something we respect and are proud to support. As leaders in Indian country, we are reminded that our decisions and actions will impact future generations, which is why supporting Notah’s Foundation Challenge is so critically important as we work to confront the serious health challenges facing Native American youth.”
NB3F, since 2005, has piloted and evaluated comprehensive physical fitness and health programs, serving nearly 20,000 Native youth and families. This success rate has led the foundation to design models that are easy to replicate and scale up or down – to expand its services on a greater stage.
“We are excited to announce an important shift in the focus of the Foundation from running programs to empowering Native communities by directing more strategic grant making, providing access to research and delivering advocacy on behalf of Indian Country,” Begay said. “Our success over the past six years is due in large part to the success of this event and that gives us great optimism for what we will accomplish in the future.”