the Payton Family Foundation
In 1997, after attending and participating in countless celebrity golf tournaments all over the world that benefit various charities, Eddie and
Walter Payton decided to use the best from each tournament to start an annual celebrity golf tournament. The tournament was to be held in
Mississippi, and the funds garnered would provide scholarships to economically disadvantaged students to pursue their goals of a college
education. Unfortunately, Walter lost his battle with a rare liver disease in 1999. With Eddie at the helm, the Payton family decided to pick up
the torch. With the help of hundreds of celebrities and corporate sponsors, the dream became a reality. To most people Walter will be
remembered as one of the greatest football players that ever lived; however, Walter had an immense respect for educators, truly recognized the
importance of a quality education, and committed himself to making a difference in the lives of young people.
Through the Walter Payton Celebrity Scholarship Classic held each August in Tunica, Mississippi, the Payton Family
Foundation has been able to award scholarships to deserving students. Most who without this help may not have had
the opportunity to pursue their education. Over the past 10 years, the Payton Family Foundation has raised close to
$1million and granted 23 students scholarships to attend a college/university of their choice. Each scholarship
ranges from $6,500-$7,500 annually which is a total of $26,000-$30,000 over four years. While we are
glad to assist students who have attended Depaul University, University of Chicago, University of
Denver, Temple University, and Carnegie Mellon University we are extremely proud to report that over
70% of our recipients are attending or have attended Jackson State University, University of Mississippi,
Alcorn State University, University of Southern Mississippi and Mississippi State University.
It is the sincere hope of the Payton Family Foundation to not only continue to provide educational opportunities through
scholarships to deserving students but to also keep Walter Payton’s dream alive.