Muirfield Village Golf Club | Columbus Biz Insider | February, 2012
"The Memorial Tournament earns honor for Best Special Event"
The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance was honored by the PGA TOUR at the TOUR’s year-end Tournament Meetings in La Quinta, Calif. The tournament, which is both founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, won the award for “Best Special Event” for the second annual Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide Insurance. Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, along with the CEOs and spouses of both Nationwide Insurance and Nationwide Children’s Hospital, are the luncheon’s Executive Chairs.
The Memorial Tournament created the Legends Luncheon in 2011 to increase awareness of and further advance the incredible care given in the most needed areas of Nationwide Children’s Hospital. The unique fundraiser leverages a committee of approximately 40 Columbus figureheads that drive participation in the luncheon, bringing to life the alliance between the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. All proceeds of the Legends Luncheon directly benefit the young patients treated and cared for each day at Nationwide Children’s.
“When Jack and I were young parents, we quickly discovered the importance of accessible quality pediatric healthcare,” said Barbara Nicklaus, chairman of the board of the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. “We always said that if we were ever in a position to help someone, our focus would be children. And if we could help the children and families in the communities where we live, that would become our priority. The Legends Luncheon is among those impactful events that help us take another important step in answering the wants and needs of our native central Ohio to provide enhanced pediatric care services. We want to be where the children are.”
In the first two years, $550,000 has been donated to Nationwide Children’s, including $285,000 in 2012, with more than 500 guests in attendance each year. Speakers at the 2012 luncheon included Memorial Tournament founder and host Jack Nicklaus, 2011 Memorial winner Steve Stricker, and two-time U.S. Open champion and ESPN commentator Andy North ,who served as moderator.
“On behalf of the PGA TOUR, I am pleased to acknowledge and congratulate the outstanding job and special recognition the Memorial Tournament has received for its efforts,” said Andy Pazder, PGA TOUR executive vice president and chief of operations. “The Tournament committee should be extremely proud for being recognized as the best among their peers on the TOUR.”
Also important was event exposure through not only Tournament web site imagery and active social media amplification, but also through traditional regional and local media coverage.
“The Legends Luncheon grew out of our desire to continue to help the community through our support of Nationwide Children’s Hospital through the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Nationwide Children’s Hospital alliance,” said Memorial Tournament Executive Director Dan Sullivan. “We have had two very successful years, and are looking at additional ways to grow the event in the future. Our thanks to Jack and Barbara Nicklaus for their participation, to Nationwide Insurance, as well as everyone that has supported the Legends Luncheon over the last two years.”
The 38th playing of the Memorial Tournament will be held May 27-June 2 at Muirfield Village Golf Club, a Jack Nicklaus-designed course that opened for play in 1974 and has become a mainstay on top-100 lists ever since. The defending champion is five-time Memorial winner Tiger Woods.