One of two Native American children born after 2000 will develop type 2 diabetes. So in 2005, professional golfer Notah Begay started a foundation to help give back to Native American youth.
Tournament host Begay says, "It' always kind of been a dream of mine ever since I graduated from Stanford with a degree in economics. My hopes were to continue to purse my golf career, of course, but also to push forward different imitative within the Indian Country that could hopefully make a difference."
And five years ago Begay partnered with the Oneida Indian Nation to help promote a healthy lifestyle and reduce obesity and diabetes.
Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter says, "One of the significant elements of this initiative is that it is treatable, it is preventable, it is curable, and it can be dealt with."
The Notah Begay Foundation Challenge raises money for a great cause but it also attracts the best of the best within the golfing community. Tiger Woods referred to his Stanford teammate, Notah Begay, as a big brother and is honored to help out with the cause.
Woods says, "This is a fantastic event, you know Ray has done an amazing job hosting us but I think that getting awareness and education about what Notah's trying to do for the Native American community I think that's just phenomenal."
Cristie Kerr has been one of the top professionals on the LPGA tour, currently ranked 8th and the cause this event benefits is close to her heart.
Kerr says, "You know without these programs these kids don't have anything. So this is why this event is so important. It hits close to home for me, you know both of my parents are type two diabetics. So there's a lot of reasons for me to be here and playing in this event."
Today the Notah Begay Foundation Challenge raised $500,000 for Native Youth.