We hear a lot about childhood obesity these days, but in the Native American community the statistics are incredibly alarming. Studies show that at current rates, one-in-two Native American children will develop type 2 diabetes. Without any help, half the population of Native American children will be diabetic. As if that were not enough, it is estimated that this could be the first generation of Native Americans who will not outlive their parents.
Notah Begay III, four-time PGA TOUR winner and NBC/Golf Channel on-air analyst is trying hard to turn those numbers around. A full-blooded Native American, he founded The Notah Begay III Foundation, also known as NB3F, out of concern for the health of Native American communities.
NB3F is the only dedicated philanthropic organization in the country specifically working to address this cause. With Begay’s background and success on the golf course, he hosts an annual charity golf tournament, which will tee up this year on August 28th at the amazing Turning Stone Resort Casino’s world-class Atunyote® Golf Club, located about 30 miles east of Syracuse at NYS Thruway exit 33. Turning Stone Resort Casino is an economic enterprise of the Oneida Indian Nation.
This year’s NB3 Challenge will feature an expanded field of golfers. The golfers in this year’s tournament will represent three teams – Team USA, Team Asia, and Team International. The field includes Tiger Woods, and includes Lee Westwood, Rickie Fowler, Charl Schwartzel, K.J. Choi, Henrik Stenson, Bo Van Pelt, Nicolas Colsaerts, Charlie Wi, James Hahn, and 2012 PGA TOUR Rookie of the Year John Huh.
Teaming up with the Oneida Indian Nation, all proceeds from the event support the mission of reducing incidences of obesity and type 2 diabetes, while empowering Native American children through sports, health and wellness programming. To date, more than 15,000 Native youth have benefitted from NB3F programs. In 2012 findings, John Hopkins reported programming at San Felipe Pueblo contributed to statistically significant declines in average BMI among the children served, and that these children showed positive changes in self-esteem, peer leadership and knowledge about nutrition.
Begay has said that he is, “… so humbled by all the golfers who will be here in August to lend their support to our cause, as well as the Oneida Indian Nation and all those who donate to NB3F to make possible our work of empowering Native children to lead active, healthy and productive lives.”
Tickets for the 2013 NB3 Challenge are on sale now, and may be purchased by contacting the Turning Stone Box Office at 315-361-7469 or visiting the Box Office which is open daily from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tickets are $50 for adults. Admission for kids ages 16 and under is free with purchase of an adult ticket (must be requested at time of original purchase). Active Military receive a 50% discount upon presentation of a valid military I.D.
If you cannot make the tournament but would like to learn more about NB3F or make a donation, go to: www.nb3foundation.org.
Photos courtesy of nb3foundation.org.