Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Jack Nicklaus's charity work earns

him US golf writers' award

Jack Nicklaus, whose commitment to charitable giving has spanned four decades and is embodied in The Memorial Tournament and the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation, has been honoured with the Golf Writers Association of America's Charlie Bartlett Award.
The award, named for the first secretary of the GWAA, is given to a professional golfer for his/her unselfish contributions to the betterment of society. Nicklaus will be honoured at the GWAA Annual Awards Dinner on April 8 in Augusta, Georgia.
The 69-year-old Hall of Famer, father of five and grandfather of 21, has focused his charitable concerns on children in need. His passion, along with that of wife Barbara, led to the creation of the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation, which provides pediatric health care services for children in a five-county area of South Florida.
The primary beneficiary of the Honda Classic, the Foundation supports activities that advance and enhance the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of childhood diseases and disorders and supports not-for-profit programmes and projects aimed at children's health, safety, and well-being.
It provides programmess and services to more than 4,000 hospitalised children and their families, free of charge, through the creation of the Child Life Institute in 2007.
The Memorial Tournament, which Nicklaus founded in 1976, supports the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, as well as many other leading charitable organizations within Central Ohio.
Nicklaus, whose charitable commitments began shortly after launching his professional career in 1962, supports such diverse causes as The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, The Barbara and Jack Nicklaus Junior Golf Endowment Fund, The Everglades Foundation, the American Cancer Society, the American Heart Association and the Robert T. Jones, Jr., Memorial Scholarship Fund.
As a national chair of The First Tee, Nicklaus has twice spoken before Congress on the character-building virtues of golf, and, in conjunction with the PGA of America, he created a programme which has provided close to $2 million in grants to support instruction at over 160 First Tee facilities.
Nicklaus was awarded the 2005 Presidential Medal of Freedom, which is the highest honour bestowed on any American civilian. In addition to the Bartlett Award, the GWAA has honoured him with the William D. Richardson Award (1978) and the ASAPSPORTS/Jim Murray Award (2006).
The GWAA will also honour Players of Year Padraig Harrington, Lorena Ochoa and Jay Haas, Ben Hogan Award winner Erik Compton, Jim Murray/ASAP Award winner Juli Inkster and Furman Bisher, winner of the William D. Richardson Award, at the dinner.
The 980-member professional organization takes an active role in protecting the interests of all golf journalists, works closely with all of golf's major governing bodies and the World Golf Hall of Fame and facilitates a scholarship/internship program which is currently helping students at 17 major U.S. universities.



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