The Jake, the primary annual fundraiser for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, was hugely successful again this year, raising $2 million to help children and families in South Florida and across the United States. It was the third year in a row The Jake has reached the $2 million mark in funds raised to help the Foundation support the Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
A “who’s who” of PGA Tour stars met for a day of golf and fundraising at The Bear’s Club in Jupiter—the Nicklaus family’s Florida home club with the centerpiece being a golf course designed by the Golden Bear that is regularly included in lists of the best modern, residential, and private courses in the United States.
Joining Nicklaus, the 18-time major champion and co-founder with wife Barbara of the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, were 23 present and past Tour pros grouped with amateurs. The touring professionals included: Robert Allenby, Andy Bean, Chip Beck, Daniel Berger, Keegan Bradley, Alex Cjeka, Jon Curran, Luke Donald, Jason Dufner, Ken Duke, Ernie Els, Rickie Fowler, Tom Gillis, Lucas Glover, Morgan Hoffman, Colt Knost, Jamie Lovemark, Andy North, Patrick Rodgers, Brendan Steele, Justin Thomas, Cameron Tringale, and Camilo Villegas.
All 20 current PGA Tour pros who took time out of their busy schedules will be in the field this week at The Honda Classic. The Honda is being played minutes down the road in Palm Beach Gardens on the Jack Nicklaus-redesigned Champion course at PGA National Resort & Spa, with the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation being the primary beneficiary. The 2010 Honda Classic winner, Camilo Villegas, led his Monday playing partners Harry You, Heesun You, Robert You, and Eoghan O’Donnell to victory in The Jake. Villegas and his team bested the prestigious course with a 16-under-par 56, winning in a playoff with Lovemark’s team of Keith Beaty, Bobby Green, Bill Lawrence, and Billy Rosenthal. Cjeka’s team of Jack Lucks, Marvin Shanken, Rob Suedhoff, and Bill Terlato finished third with a 57.
On the eve of the golf tournament, a private dinner was held at The Bear’s Club, during which a Rolex was won by Charles Nettleton. On a night emceed by NBC/Golf Channel personality Steve Sands, participants enjoyed live and silent auctions, and speeches by Jack and Barbara Nicklaus.
“Jack and I are amazed each year by the wonderfully giving nature of our golfing friends, including the PGA Tour pros who take time out of their busy playing schedules to support our event,” said Barbara Nicklaus, the Chair of the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. “We are in the midst of an incredibly active and exciting time for the Foundation. There was the rebranding last year of the Miami Children’s Hospital, as well as nine of its outpatient centers, to Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, and just a few weeks ago we celebrated the opening of the De George Pediatric Unit of Nicklaus Children’s Hospital at Jupiter Medical Center. With 12 inpatient rooms, two state-of-the-art pediatric surgery suites, therapeutic services, and committed doctors and nurses, this pediatric unit represents where some of these impactful dollars raised are being directed. It also stands as representation of those who support The Jake and the passion they have to make a difference in the lives of children and families in our community.”
Major Gift sponsors were Jimmy and Becky Mayer, and Thomas and Jeannie Tisbo. Premier sponsors were the William & Mary Ryan Charitable Foundation and Todd Wagner. Platinum sponsors were Fred and Kit Bigony, Nationwide, and Hand of Hope. Silver sponsors were The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, Inc., George and Maureen Collins, the Susan & Leonard Feinstein Foundation, Edward and Arlene Fox, and Frank and Heidi Fuhrer. Bronze sponsors were William W. Staudt, Barry Friedberg, Michael and Colleen Bracci, and Dr. Richard Douglas and Patricia Kearney. A special thanks to Nicklaus Companies Co-Chairman Howard Milstein for the significant gift he made to the Foundation during The Jake.
The Jake is named in honor of Jake Walter Nicklaus, the son of Steve and Krista Nicklaus and grandson of Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, who passed away in 2005 at the age of 17 months old. Funds from The Jake will be directed to further the mission of the Foundation, which is to provide access to world-class health care for children and support cutting edge programs focused on the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of childhood diseases and disorders.
Since 2005, The Jake has contributed more than $15 million toward the ongoing fundraising efforts of the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation. The Foundation was formed for a simple reason: to help kids in the community where Jack and Barbara Nicklaus and their children and grandchildren had already lived and worked for decades. For more information on how you can support Jack and Barbara in their efforts to help children, visit nchcf.org.