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Money for the scholarships comes from fundraising efforts by the former Governors, primarily through the Governors´ Cup Golf Tournament held every September in the Seattle area.
In addition to honoring the students, former-Governor Gary Locke, who created the charitable activity eight years ago, and continues to spearhead the annual event, recognized the efforts of investment firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Company (KKR) for their “outstanding leadership in supporting this innovative program for foster youth the past eight years.”
“KKR and in particular its founding partner, George Roberts, have been unbelievably extraordinary partners in helping us make this a stronger event capable of raising more money each year,” Locke said. “They have never asked for attention or greater recognition. Their interest has been focused on making this event better, to bring scholarships to more young men and women. KKR has just been absolutely phenomenal.”
New York-based KKR partner Mark Lipschultz and Ken Mehlman, KKR´s Managing Director and Chief of Global Public Affairs, attended the Seattle ceremony.
“It is truly inspiring to hear the stories of achievement by many of these young men and women who came through the foster care system and used this program to go on and attend college and create opportunity for themselves,” Lipschultz said. “KKR has proudly supported this program because we recognize just how life-changing education can be.”
Mehlman added that the KKR culture has always been to remain very low profile with the company´s charitable activities. He said the firm first got involved in the program as a way of giving something back to the State of Washington, which has been one of KKR´s longest and largest investors.
“If awareness of our involvement can bring more attention to this exceptional and very needed program, then we are pleased to take part,” Mehlman said. “It is a tribute to the public service ethic of these former Governors that they continue to want to contribute even after they leave office to make this a better state.”
In addition to Locke, the former Governors participating in the scholarship event include Albert Rosellini, Dan Evans, Booth Gardner and Mike Lowry.
The eighth annual Governors´ Cup Golf Tournament will be held September 15 at the TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. Locke said he expects this year´s even to raise more than the $500,000 it generated last year.