Twins Casey and Caroline Hart, of La Grange, will attend college for free as Chick Evans Scholars. Seniors at Lyons Township High School, they both are caddies at the La Grange Country Club. (Photo by Steve Metsch) 

Twins Casey and Caroline Hart, of La Grange, will attend college for free as Chick Evans Scholars. Seniors at Lyons Township High School, they both are caddies at the La Grange Country Club. (Photo by Steve Metsch) 

La Grange twins are Chick Evans scholars

Spread the love

By Steve Metsch

Long hours spent in the La Grange Country Club’s caddie shack – killing time by reading books or playing cards as they wait to be called to duty – have paid off for a brother and sister.

Through the past four years, Caroline and Casey Hart honed their skills, learned how to read greens and helped members win tournaments not to mention a wager now and then.

Add time they’ve spent hitting the books and getting good grades, and you have a winning combination, the kind that parents and high school kids dream about.

Winning a Chick Evans Scholarship is kind of like making a hole-in-one: The satisfaction is immense and it’s rarely done.

Recipients get the four years of college tuition and housing paid for by the program that’s supported by the Western Golf Association.

Now, imagine getting two holes-in-one.

That sort of what happened in late November when a large envelope was delivered to the Hart home in La Grange.

The twins who turn 18 on Feb. 12 received the good news that they are both Chick Evans Scholars.

Yep, two college tuitions and housing paid for in their entirety.

Each will live in a Chick Evans house at a participating university. Most of the Big Ten schools participate.

The twins have not determined yet where they will enroll. For the time being, they are content to bask in this tremendous turn of events.

According to the organization, there are 1,070 Evans Scholars attending 21 universities. And, there are 11,556 alumni.

In 2021, Evans Scholars had a 95 percent graduation rate and a cumulate GPA of 3.4. That’s just below the 4.0 and 3.87 non-weighted GPA of Caroline and Casey, respectively.

Casey knew about the Chick Evans program from older brother Carson, who also worked as a caddie at the country club. Asked if it was a goal, Casey said, “definitely.”

This summer will be the twins’ fifth as caddies.

Waiting for a “loop,” alias 18 holes on a golf bag for a club member, can be tedious. Caroline usually spends free time reading. Casey? “Poker and blackjack.”

They think Brian Kopecky, the club’s caddie master who is called “Coach” by everyone, may have helped.

“He knows a lot of people there. He definitely helped us out, put in a good word for us,” Casey said of Kopecky, the varsity golf coach at Lyons Township High School, where they are seniors.

Casey recalled the day the envelope arrived while he was at a friend’s house.

“My mom texted me, ‘Come home immediately.’ I asked her what’s going on. She wouldn’t answer me. I thought I was in big trouble,” he said.

When he got home, the entire family was in the living room. Carson walked into the room holding a large envelope that, it turned out, held very good news.

Each had to be interviewed via Zoom. One question was “who’s the better caddie, who’s the better student.”

They both replied that Casey was the better caddie. “I said she’s the better student, slightly better,” he said with a smile.

Casey plans to major in mechanical engineering. Caroline wants to double-major in English and marketing with a goal of working in publishing.

Their parents, Chris and Paul Hart, are thrilled knowing four years of college tuition and housing for two children are covered.

“It’s a dream come true,” said Paul, who works for FedEx.

“Unbelievable,” Chris, a librarian at a school in Chicago, added.

One reason they are relieved is because Carson and Katie – the couple’s first twins – are college sophomores and have two more years of schooling.

Casey and Caroline, who will be lugging golf bags again this year, admit their first year was a bit overwhelming.

“First walking in, it was pretty terrifying,” Casey said. “All these older boys sitting around gambling. … Kids are high school, college age, it’s intimidating.”

Caroline said it was “pretty scary” at the start, but she soon adapted as one of the 10 or so female caddies at the club.

“I’ve made some really great friends,” she said.

Neither of them golf, but she won clubs in the year-end banquet. Each has learned the nuances of the golf course and now help golfers improve their scores.

“You learn to read the greens,” Casey said. “That’s a big part of it.”

He’s come a long way from his first tournament when a member was none too happy being assigned a raw rookie caddie who didn’t even own a rangefinder.

“By the end of the tournament, I won him over,” Casey said. “He liked me. I got the yardage for him, and we ended up placing second.”

And now he and his twin sister have placed first.

Other area students named this year as Chick Evans scholars are: Saul Galvan, of Berwyn, a student at Nazareth Academy; Bridget Danaher, of Burbank, a student at Marist High School; Anna Fagan, of Chicago, a student at Mother McAuley High School; Brian Soto, of Chicago, a student at Marist; Connor Reblin, of LaGrange Park, a student at Lyons Township; Hugo Nunez, of Lyons, a student at Fenwick High School; Jose Elizondo, of North Riverside, a students at Riverside-Brookfield High School; Grace Burke, of Oak Lawn, a student at Oak Lawn Community High School.

Local News

The Obbie’s Pizza sign will remain a familiar sight on Archer Avenue. Taking time out for a photo are new owner John Caputi; his son, Giovanni; and Obbie’s longtime managers, Jim Triak and Jeff Twaragowski. (Photo by Cosmo Hadac)

Comings & Goings: Obbie’s Pizza to stay ‘unique and delicious’

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Tim Hadac Archer Avenue’s long-time king of pizzerias will continue to rule. Same recipes at Obbie’s Pizza, 6654 W. Archer. Same pizza and ingredients. Same pasta, broasted chicken, shrimp, perch, Italian beef/sausage/meatball sandwiches, sides and pop. Same seasoned, Middleby Marshall pizza oven built in 1947—the type of pizza oven every restaurant owner…

stickney health district logo

Stickney Public Health confirms measles case in Bedford Park

Spread the love

Spread the loveFrom staff reports The Stickney Public Health District has confirmed that a person with measles related to the ongoing situation in the City of Chicago was at the Walmart Supercenter at 7050 S. Cicero Ave. in Bedford Park on Friday, March 22, roughly between the hours of 2 and 4 p.m. Anybody who…

Endless Summerfest in La Grange’s Gordon Park will not be held this year, sponsors have announced. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

La Grange cancels Endless Summerfest over higher costs

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch It turns out the summer is not endless, at least not in La Grange. Endless Summerfest, a three-day event held the first weekend in August at Gordon Park for many years, will not be held this year. The cancelation was announced Tuesday in a joint new release from the La…

big PoliceLights1

Blotter: Evergreen Park police issue scam alert

Spread the love

Spread the loveThe Evergreen Park Police Department is warning the public of an ongoing scam where a caller claims to be an Evergreen Park Police Officer, and instructs the individual to send money in order to avoid criminal charges. In some versions of this scam, the offenders tell individuals they missed a court date related…

Members of the Moraine Valley Community College Speech and Debate Team are competing at nationals. (Supplied photo)

Moraine Valley Speech and Debate Team headed to nationals to defend title

Spread the love

Spread the loveWhen the Moraine Valley Community College Speech and Debate Team heads to the Phi Rho Pi National Tournament in Reno, Nevada, for nine days this month, they’ll have a target on their back as incoming consecutive champions. But they’re ready. “Last year’s team was amazing. Everyone was on their A game. This year…

Part of the roof collapsed after an attic fire Saturday afternoon at 7613 W. 60th St. in Summit. (Supplied photos)

Summit attic fire displaces 4 families

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Bob Bong A fire Saturday afternoon in Summit left four families without a home. One firefighter was injured fighting the attic fire at 7613 W. 60th St. He was treated for a shoulder injury at Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn and released. No other injuries were reported. “We had a…

Teacher aides Julyssa Gaytan (left) and Rebeka Tovar were thrilled to witness the eclipse at Argo High’s football stadium. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

‘Impressive and beautiful’ eclipse wows Argo students

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch Argo High School freshman Nicholas Kokarczyk was feeling pretty good after his solar eclipse debut. “I’ve never seen one personally. It looks like a big frowny face now,” Kokarczyk said around 2:15 p.m. Monday. “It’s better than I expected.” Kokarczyk, 14, of Justice, was joined by roughly 1,900 of his…

Bridgeview Village Trustee Kalid Baste said the pro-peace resolution passed by the board sends a message. (Photo by Steve Metsch)

Bridgeview condemns wars around globe in new resolution

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch As village officials noted, warring factions in the Middle East and elsewhere probably don’t care much about what happens at the Bridgeview Village Hall. But the village board still took a strong stance against war at its latest meeting. At their April 3 meeting, trustees unanimously approved a resolution that…

Cardinal Blase Cupich presented a nine-minute homily during Mass on Sunday at St. Cletus Church in La Grange. (Photos by Steve Metsch)

Cardinal Cupich celebrates Mass on ‘a special day’ at St. Cletus

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Steve Metsch After waiting patiently in line, Indian Head Park resident Tim Kyzivat enjoyed a rare chance to visit with Cardinal Blase J. Cupich. Kyzivat, 77, was among several hundred people who attended the 11 a.m. Mass said by the Archbishop of Chicago at St. Cletus Roman Catholic Church in La Grange…

Sandburg senior starting pitcher Ethan Highfill delivers a pitch during a 5-3 loss to Lincoln-Way West on April 3. Photo by Xavier Sanchez

Baseball | LW West stays unbeaten, snaps Sandburg’s seven-game win streak

Spread the love

Spread the loveBy Xavier Sanchez Correspondent Sandburg’s sizzling start to the season was cooled off, at least for a day, by a visit from even hotter SouthWest Suburban Conference foe Lincoln-Way West, which topped the Eagles 5-3 on Monday in Orland Park. The loss snapped Sandburg’s seven-game winning streak and ran the Warriors’ record to…

Neighbors

Capitol Briefs: Bill creating new early childhood agency among 244 to advance

Capitol Briefs: Bill creating new early childhood agency among 244 to advance

By ALEX ABBEDUTO HANNAH MEISEL & COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker’s plan to create a new state agency to oversee Illinois’ various early childhood programs moved forward on Friday after the state Senate’s unanimous approval. It was one of 244 bills that cleared the Senate this week. Early childhood…

Lawmakers, cannabis industry calls for ban on ‘delta-8’ and other psychoactive hemp products

Lawmakers, cannabis industry calls for ban on ‘delta-8’ and other psychoactive hemp products

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Illinois’ largest cannabis business association is pushing to ban the sale of delta-8 THC, an increasingly popular psychoactive substance that’s popped up in corner stores across the country in recent years. New legislation filed in Springfield this week revives an ongoing debate over delta-8 and other…

As state continues to inventory lead pipes, full replacement deadlines are decades away

As state continues to inventory lead pipes, full replacement deadlines are decades away

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois Clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com Lead pipes in public water systems and drinking fixtures have been banned in new construction since 1986, when Congress amended the Safe Drinking Water Act, but they are still in use across the U.S. and in Illinois.  The presence of lead pipes has persisted due in part to…

Illinois Senate advances changes to state’s biometric privacy law after business groups split

Illinois Senate advances changes to state’s biometric privacy law after business groups split

By HANNAH MEISEL Capitol News Illinois hmeisel@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – It’s been more than a year since the Illinois Supreme Court “respectfully suggest(ed)” state lawmakers clarify a law that’s led to several multi-million-dollar settlements with tech companies over the collection of Illinoisans’ biometric data. On Thursday, a bipartisan majority in the Illinois Senate did just that,…

Giannoulias calls for disclosure of lobbyist contracts

Giannoulias calls for disclosure of lobbyist contracts

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – For decades, lobbyists in the Illinois Statehouse have been required to report how much they spend wining, dining and entertaining lawmakers. Currently, though, there is no law requiring lobbyists to disclose how much they are paid by corporations, industry groups or other special interest organizations.. That…

Komatsu mining truck named 2024 ‘coolest thing made in Illinois’

Komatsu mining truck named 2024 ‘coolest thing made in Illinois’

By COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois Clongcor@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – A mining truck manufactured by Komatsu was crowned the winner of the 2024 “Makers Madness” contest, earning the title of “the coolest thing made in Illinois” at the Governor’s Mansion Wednesday.  The truck was one of more than 200 entries in the 5th annual contest hosted…

Regulators weigh future of gas industry in Illinois, while clamping down on Chicago utility

Regulators weigh future of gas industry in Illinois, while clamping down on Chicago utility

By ANDREW ADAMS Capitol News Illinois aadams@capitolnewsillinois.com CHICAGO – Natural gas is fueling a fight between consumer advocates, a powerful utility company and the state. Amid competing advertising campaigns, accusations of mismanagement and state decarbonization efforts, the Illinois Commerce Commission is starting a process that will shape how the state regulates the increasingly controversial industry. …

Capitol Briefs: State allocates additional $14M for grocery startups

Capitol Briefs: State allocates additional $14M for grocery startups

By ALEX ABBEDUTO & COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillnois.com Grocery startups can now apply for funding allocated in last year’s $20 million Illinois Grocery Initiative aimed at preventing and eliminating food deserts in Illinois. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which is administering the grants, is currently accepting applications in the second round…

Pritzker names Sen. Ann Gillespie new head of state insurance oversight agency

Pritzker names Sen. Ann Gillespie new head of state insurance oversight agency

By PETER HANCOCK Capitol News Illinois phancock@capitolnewsillinois.com SPRINGFIELD – Gov. JB Pritzker on Monday announced a change in leadership at the agency in charge of regulating the state’s insurance industry. State Sen. Ann Gillespie, D-Arlington Heights, will take over as acting director of the Illinois Department of Insurance starting April 15, replacing Dana Popish Severinghaus,…

Capitol Briefs: State allocates additional $14M for grocery startups; announces first awardees

Capitol Briefs: State allocates additional $14M for grocery startups; announces first awardees

By ALEX ABBEDUTO & COLE LONGCOR Capitol News Illinois news@capitolnewsillnois.com Grocery startups can now apply for funding allocated in last year’s $20 million Illinois Grocery Initiative aimed at preventing and eliminating food deserts in Illinois. The Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, which is administering the grants, is currently accepting applications in the second round…