Cathedral student earns full ride to Purdue through caddying

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind - Cathedral senior Elle Darnell first found out about the program that would change her life, on one of the toughest days of her life.

"It was about 3 years ago at my dad's memorial service. A family friend of ours who's also a former Evans Scholar himself, came up to our family and said there's a scholarship program called the Evans Scholarship starting up at Hillcrest Country Club and I think it would be great for your family to check out," Darnell said.

Elle's father passed away from cancer when she was just 14 years old, but upon his passing came a network of support through the Hillcrest caddying program.

The members of the country club became like father figures to Elle.

"They definitely have helped the pain and helped take his place in their own way," Elle told us before a banquet honoring her for receiving the scholarship last week. "They have been there for me though everything."

"As corny as it sounds, she's got like 200 dads out here," Western Golf Association Director Vince Saul said. "I feel like a proud papa watching her go through this."

Through the support at Hillcrest and Elle's hard work caddying, she earned a full ride, a life changing honor for her and her family.

"It'll be huge because my mom won't have to worry about it either, it'll be a huge financial burden off her back ," Elle said. "After everything shes sacrificed for my family it's just a small way I can pay her back."

"We're trying to steer a lot of kids that way," Vince said. "But not every kid takes advantage of it and Elle worked hard for what she got."

And Elle and her family know that her father, is incredibly proud of her accomplishment.

"I know he's up there just beaming down at me I know he's probably talking to everybody like 'Look at my daughter!' I know he's so proud," Elle said. "There are times I wish he was here, but I know he's definitely watching me right now."

And Elle will continue to make her father proud by taking that scholarship and hard work ethic she learned through caddying at Hillcrest, to Purdue next year.

Elle says that at Purdue, she's keeping her options open in terms of what she'll study, but she's leaning towards agricultural studies and addressing feeding not only our population properly, but also third world countries.

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