LAWRENCE — Seven teams and 28 golfers participated in the inaugural Eli Hilderbrand Memorial Golf Tournament on Aug. 15 in Lawrence, where $6,185 was raised for the Eli Hilderbrand Memorial Scholarship at Cowley College.

Cowley College logoGavin Kreidler, a close friend of the late Hilderbrand who established the scholarship, also organized the tournament, which featured 17 sponsors.

“I was happy with how the first tournament went, but also have done some thinking on what we could do better for next year,” Kreidler said.

“I think over the course of two or three years, this will turn into something really special and hopefully raise a substantial amount of money for the scholarship fund.”

After graduating from Purcell (Okla.) High School in May 2007, Hilderbrand enrolled at Cowley College in Arkansas City, where he was studying to become a massage therapist. He immersed himself into the college, where he was co-founder of the Multicultural Student Union and played intramural sports. He also was employed at the Ben Cleveland Wellness Center.

Hilderbrand lost his life in an apartment fire on Oct. 2, 2007.

Kori Gregg, Cowley College vice president of institutional advancement, said the Cowley College Foundation truly is grateful to all of the participants and sponsors who made the first-ever Eli Hilderbrand Memorial Golf Tournament a shining success.

“With (more than) $6,000 raised this first year, we have been able to award four additional scholarships this fall,” Gregg said.

“We are excited that others see the value of a college education and understand that for many students, that goal is simply not a financial possibility. This scholarship will continue to lift up our students and change their lives, which embodies the impact Eli had during his time here at Cowley.”

This information was provided by Cowley College Director of Institutional Communications and Public Relations Rama Peroo.