Debbie Waitkus is a Buffalo native and an Arizona transplant. She works tirelessly and faithfully to promote golf for girls and women of all ages. She is an integral part of the Marilynn Smith scholarship fund, and it is our pleasure to provide this press release about this year’s MSSF event, on April 28th, in Arizona

Press Release

The Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund has provided financial assistance to young female golfers
over the course of the past twenty-five years. Started in 1999 by LPGA Co-Founder Marilynn Smith, the scholarship program has had a major impact on hundreds of young women across the globe.
This year celebrates 25 years of dedication to young women by awarding $5,000 scholarships to
25 more young talented high school seniors. The celebration will also include the annual Marilynn Smith Sunday Tea, Marilynn Smith Scholarship Pro-Am, and Arizona Senior Women’s Open.
This will bring the total number of women impacted by Smith’s Scholarship Program to 264, and
the total financial impact to $1,370,000.

All events are being held under the auspices of Golf It Forward (GIF), an organization dedicated
to promoting and preserving the legacy of the 13 Founders of the Ladies Professional Golf
Association (LPGA). The Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund is made possible through the
commitment of Golf It Forward and the LPGA Foundation.

The Marilynn Smith Sunday Tea kicks off the festivities on Sunday, April 28, from 1-3:30pm at
Gainey Ranch Golf Club in Scottsdale, AZ. The event is open to the public and requires a prepurchased ticket. Guests will have an opportunity to meet and hear from event honorees,
LPGA legends and Hall of Famers, Sandra Post and Renee Powell. Other guests include LPGA
notables, such as Pat Bradley, Joanne Carner and Sandra Palmer. Tickets are $25, and free to
kids 17 years of age and under.

Gainey Ranch Golf Club will also host the Marilynn Smith Scholarship Pro-Am on April
29, with proceeds benefiting Smith’s Scholarship Fund. Bradley, Carner and Palmer will be
participating, along with 27 other well-known LPGA professionals such as the Ammaccapane
sisters, Brandie Burton, and Pat Hurst. Each team consists of an LPGA pro and four amateur

The third annual Marilynn Smith Arizona Senior Women’s Open will be played on
Tuesday, April 30 and Wednesday, May 1 at Gainey Ranch, this time with a record breaking
$100,000 purse.

Marilynn Smith Scholarship Fund
Celebrates 25 Years of Golfing It Forward
Phoenix, AZ, April 3, 2024
Joining Pat Bradley, Joanne Carner and Sandra Palmer in the 88 player field are well-known LPGA players, such as Liselotte Neumann, Nicole Jeray, Cindy Figg-Currier, and Barb Moxness. Participants
will play as two-person teams.

Marilynn Smith hosted the very first senior event for LPGA Tour players in 1988. To host this
championship in the state she called home for 15 years is a tribute to Smith and her golf legacy.
For more information on obtaining tickets for the Sunday Tea, attending the Pro-Am, or
attending the Senior event, visit

Debbie Waitkus
13Founders @