Notah Named 2009 Golf Magazine Innovator
of the Year
Magazine has honored men and
women who leave their mark on the
sport of golf. This year's honors
included 4-time Tour winner Notah Begay,
37. His Notah Begay III Foundation
battles obesity and diabetes among
Native American youths.
"Type-2 Diabetes is an
enormous problem in this country, but in
Native American communities, it's an
epidemic," Begay says. "My uncle just died of heart
failure at 60. My mom has diabetes, my
grandmother died of diabetes, and my
first cousin lost his foot to diabetes.
There's not one family in what we call
'Indian Country' that's not personally
dealing with this illness.
"Type-2 diabetes is preventable — the
way to curb this problem is to address
the health and wellness of the Native
American youth. The Notah Begay III
Foundation uses golf and soccer to
provide health education to communities
that have historically seen youth
programs come and go with grant cycles.
Luckily, I didn't sleep through all my
classes at Stanford [Begay has an
economics degree], and I make sure that
our donors' gifts are invested
productively and responsibly to create a
sustainable program that will serve the
community for decades.
"We've raised a lot of money through two
Notah Begay Challenge skins games, with
help from some of my friends like Mike
Weir, Camilo Villegas and my 'brother,"
Tiger Woods. Hopefully, we can move the
needle on diabetes in these communities
for a whole generation."
Notah Begay Foundation:
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