Nationwide, Nicklaus combine to set Legends Luncheon fundraising record

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DUBLIN, OH -- The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide hosted the eighth annual Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide today, a unique, award-winning fundraiser that brings 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 and families that Nationwide Children’s compassionately serves each day.

The goal of the Luncheon is to support advances in pediatric care and research throughout the areas of most need at Nationwide Children’s. To that end, this year’s Luncheon raised a record $1,250,000 for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Nationwide Children’s alliance. The 2018 amount equals the largest single-year donation in the event’s history and brings the Luncheon’s eight-year total to $6,450,000.

Hosts of Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide were Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, together with Nationwide CEO Steve Rasmussen and his wife Cindy and Nationwide Children’s CEO, Dr. Steve Allen and his wife Dr. Jamie Allen. Luncheon guests experienced a charity event that is unique to Columbus, Ohio. Held at the Ohio Union on the campus of The Ohio State University, guests enjoyed a special conversation with Memorial Tournament Host and Founder Jack Nicklaus and 2018 Memorial Tournament Honoree and World Golf Hall of Fame member Hale Irwin.

The final highlight of the Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide was the presentation of the Nicklaus Youth Spirit Award, which is given annually to a patient or family who in some way has demonstrated a strong, driving spirit in overcoming obstacles, an unwavering optimistic outlook, and a strong conviction for their connection to Nationwide Children’s.

The Nicklaus Youth Spirit Award honors the courage within that inspires volunteerism and community outreach, which has a positive influence on others. This year Jack and Barbara Nicklaus presented the Nicklaus Youth Spirit Award to Nationwide Children’s patient Maddison (Maddi) Webb, 18, from Glenford, Ohio.

Maddi was living the normal life of a high-school teenager, when just days after her seventeenth birthday her chronic headaches worsened and became debilitating, resulting in vision loss. Her mom then took her to Nationwide Children’s where her symptoms were first diagnosed as another chronic migraine headache. But after further testing, scans revealed devastating news – Maddi had a mass in her brain between her pituitary gland and brain stem.

To aggressively fight the tumor, Maddi underwent an 11-hour brain surgery, as well as two additional surgeries to fix complications. Maddi experienced memory loss, along with many other symptoms.

For some, an incredibly difficult experience like this would cause discouragement or bitterness – but not for Maddi. Maddi’s experiences have fueled her desire to make a difference in the lives of others. Today, she is closely involved with local nonprofit organizations and actively raises money for Nationwide Children’s.

This past December, Maddi created “The Snowflake Movement” to spread holiday cheer to inpatients at Nationwide Children’s during the winter months and holidays. Maddi coordinated with schools from all over Central Ohio to make paper snowflakes for the windows of patient rooms at the hospital. Thanks to Maddi’s efforts a total of 4,500 snowflakes were donated.

“I like to give back to others. That’s my passion. I’m always thinking of ways to put smiles on others’ faces,” says Maddi.

True to the hearts of Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide includes as one of its primary objectives a genuine, philanthropic vision. It is through the Tournament’s partnership with Nationwide Children’s that this vision comes to life in the form of pediatric care for children, not only in central Ohio, but from all 50 states and more than 50 countries each year.

Eight-year Tournament sponsor Nationwide shares a similar tradition of support for Nationwide Children’s. Nationwide is committed to broadening the impact of its presenting sponsorship of the Memorial Tournament to bring greater awareness and increased funding to Nationwide Children’s and to those who benefit the most – families and children in need of care.

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