Erica Kosemund (senior director of gaming brand and partnerships), Heidi Grant (executive officer of gaming & hospitality), Janie Dillard (senior executive officer) and Seth Fairchild (executive director of the Chahta Foundation) present Kristen Wright with a $10,000 scholarship. 

10 students awarded $10,000 each 

McKinney, Texas - The inaugural Choctaw Nation Gaming & Hospitality Golf Tournament raised $229,000 for the Chahta Foundation, which assists Choctaw tribal members in their pursuit of higher education.  

The tournament was held at TPC Craig Ranch in McKinney, Texas, with Choctaw Casinos & Resorts gaming and hospitably partners playing for a cause. After a full day of golf and camaraderie, a reception was held to recognize scholarship recipients and highlight the importance of the Chahta Foundation and providing a path for future leaders in the gaming and hospitality industry.  

The Chahta Foundation awarded ten $10,000 hospitality and gaming scholarships to Choctaw students pursuing a degree in hospitality management, hotel management, business, economics and marketing at a vocational, two-year or four-year institution.  

“This type of scholarship is a life changer for students. The Chahta Foundation is a 501 (C)(3), and because of our relationship with the Choctaw Nation, we are able to dedicate every dollar toward scholarships,” said Seth Fairchild, executive director of the Chahta Foundation. “Usually, when you donate to a nonprofit about 70 cents of every dollar goes toward overhead costs. The Choctaw Nation covers all of our overhead costs, so every dollar raised goes directly toward programming and is matched one-to-one by Choctaw Nation.”  

Recipients Raleigh Callandret, Bryleigh Pilgreen, Alexander Robinson and Kristen Wright were in attendance and received not only checks, but also praise for their ambition and dedication. The full list of students who received this year’s scholarship can be seen below.  

  • Solomon Lopez from Springdale, Arkansas 
  • Stella Henderson from Somerville, Massachusetts 
  • Alexander Robinson from Bokchito, Oklahoma 
  • Bryleigh Pilgreen from Durant, Oklahoma 
  • Haili Harris from Newcastle, Oklahoma 
  • Jose Gonzalez from Durant, Oklahoma 
  • Kristen Wright from Tulsa, Oklahoma 
  • Raleigh Callandret from Durant, Oklahoma 
  • Allen Brott from Mitchell, South Dakota 
  • Gabriel Pavlovsky from Georgetown, Texas 

The event concluded with awards for the longest drive and closest to the pin, as well as a raffle that featured big ticket items from the Texas Rangers, Dallas Mavericks, Byron Nelson and Coca-Cola. 

"I can’t say enough about how proud we are to bring this tournament to life and to see how quickly this all came together to raise money for students. We know this investment in our students will come back full-circle and benefit the Choctaw Nation and the Choctaw people,” Erica Kosemund, senior director of gaming brand and partnership, said. “We’re excited to grow and make this bigger and better next year.”