Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide Insurance continues to highlight Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Nationwide Children’s Hospital alliance

Event raised $800,000 for alliance bringing four-year total to $1.9 million

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2014 Memorial Tournament Honoree Annika Sörenstam, Nationwide Insurance CEO Steve Rasmussen, Jack Nicklaus, NCH President and CEO Dr. Steve Allen (left to right)

Dublin, Ohio – The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance hosted the fourth annual Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide Insurance 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 Hospital compassionately serves each day.

The goal of the Luncheon is to support advancement of research medical equipment and care in the areas of most need at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. To that end, this year’s Luncheon raised a record $800,000 for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Nationwide Children’s Hospital alliance. The 2014 amount equals the largest single-year donation in the event’s history and brings the Luncheon’s four-year total to $1.9 million.

True to the heart of Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance includes as one of its primary objectives a genuine, philanthropic vision. Embodied in the Memorial’s longstanding partnership with Nationwide Children’s Hospital, pediatric care is at the center of each campaign and event these entities jointly execute.

Fourth-year Tournament sponsor Nationwide Insurance 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.

Hosts of Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide Insurance were Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, together with Nationwide CEO Steve Rasmussen and his wife, Cindy, and Nationwide Children’s Hospital 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 2014 Memorial Tournament honoree and World Golf Hall of Fame member Annika Sörenstam. NBC Sports and Golf Channel reporter Steve Sands moderated this special discussion.

As a culmination of the Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide Insurance, an annual recognition award was presented in the name of Jack and Barbara Nicklaus. The “Nicklaus Youth Spirit Award” 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 Hospital.

Whether it is by leadership in their community or simply personification of a strong spirit, a patient of Nationwide Children’s Hospital can inspire not only their family and loved ones, but also the community that surrounds them. The Nicklaus Youth Spirit Award will honor the courage within that inspires volunteerism and community outreach and has a positive influence on others.

In the concluding segment of the Legends Luncheon was the moving presentation by Jack and Barbara Nicklaus of the Nicklaus Youth Spirit Award to the family of Nationwide Children’s Hospital patient Griffin Hayden, 14, from Newark, Ohio.

On February 28, 2013, Griffin was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Griffin’s treatment included four intense rounds of chemotherapy that required him to be in the hospital for approximately four weeks at a time. Besides losing his hair, Griffin tolerated his chemo treatments with minimal side effects. While in treatment, Griffin spent three days in the ICU due to a blood infection. Even then, Griffin never complained. He rang the “last chemo” bell and was discharged from the hospital July 7, 2013.

During Griffin’s stay at Nationwide Children’s, everyone who entered his room knew he loved the game of golf. To pass time while he was in the hospital he would practice putting or bounce a golf ball on his wedge. He was very disappointed that he was in the hospital during the Memorial Tournament last year, but he was able to watch it on television and was wonderfully surprised when he got a visit from amateur sensation Guan Tianlang, the youngest player ever to make the cut in the Masters.

Griffin is a good student and besides golf loves hockey and lacrosse. After recent scans indicated that his leukemia had returned, he is now preparing to battle cancer again. With the loving support of his family and the expert care of the dedicated staff at Nationwide Children’s, Griffin remains positive, just as he did through his first treatment.

Griffin has endured more than any parents ever want to see their child go through. But through it all he has never complained, asked “why me?” or became discouraged. Instead, he continues to focus on the successful completion of his treatment and a time when he can get back to being the active teenager he was before his diagnosis.

About the Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance
The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance is held annually at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus. The Tournament, founded and hosted by Jack Nicklaus, is conducted each year with three goals in mind: to honor the memory of individuals living and deceased who have distinguished themselves in the game of golf; to showcase the world’s best golfers competing on one of the most challenging venues in the world for the enjoyment of spectators; and to benefit many Greater Columbus Charities in alliance with the Nicklaus Children’s Healthcare Foundation, Nationwide Children’s and numerous other local organizations. For more information, visit www.thememorialtournament.com or call 614-889-6700.

About Nationwide
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the U.S. and is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. The company provides a full range of insurance and financial services, including auto insurance, homeowners, pet, motorcycle, boat, farm, commercial insurance, life insurance, annuities, mutual funds, public and private sector retirement plans, banking, mortgages, and specialty health services. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com.