New charity event brings to life Nicklaus Childrens Health Care Foundation and Nationwide Childrens Hospital alliance

April 18, 2011

The Memorial Tournament presented by Nationwide Insurance introduced today the inaugural Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide Insurance, a new tradition that brings to life the recently established 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 Hospital.

The goal of the Luncheon is to increase awareness of and further advance the incredible care given in the most needed areas of Nationwide Children’s. To that end, the sold-out Luncheon raised $250,000 in its inaugural year for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Nationwide Children’s Hospital alliance.

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 and enhanced by the recent alliance with Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, pediatric care is at the center of each campaign and event these entities jointly execute.

First-year Tournament sponsor, Nationwide Insurance, shares a similar tradition of support for Nationwide Children’s Hospital. 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 Hospital and to those who benefit the most – families and children in need of care. 

Hosts of The 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, Steve Allen and his wife, Jamie. Luncheon guests experienced a charity event that is unique to Columbus, Ohio. Held at the beautiful and historic Ohio Statehouse, guests enjoyed a rare opportunity to witness a special conversation with Memorial Tournament Host and Founder Jack Nicklaus and LPGA Hall of Fame member and 2011 Memorial Tournament Honoree Nancy Lopez. CBS Sports golf broadcaster and best-selling author David Feherty moderated this unique discussion.

In addition, as a part of the inaugural Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide Insurance, an annual recognition award was announced in the name of Jack and Barbara Nicklaus. The “Nicklaus Youth Spirit Award” is to be given annually to a young citizen 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.

The culmination of the Legends Luncheon was the moving presentation by Jack and Barbara Nicklaus of the first Nicklaus Youth Spirit Award to former Nationwide Children’s Hospital patient Caitie Bogenrief, 19, of Dublin, Ohio.

Caitie was born eight weeks premature and rushed from the birth hospital to Nationwide Children’s.  She underwent lifesaving surgery just days after she was born and spent two months in the Memorial Tournament Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, gaining strength and growing until her parents could take their first child home. Caitie began giving back at an early age and has since volunteered for more than a half-dozen meaningful causes. Those who know her well recognize her for her gentle manner, kind spirit, huge heart and great sense of compassion for those in need, especially children. 

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 charitable organizations in central Ohio. For more information, call 614-889-6700 or visit

About Nationwide
Nationwide, 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 A.M. Best. The company provides a full range of personalized insurance and financial services, including car insurance, motorcycle, boat, homeowners insurance, life insurance, farm, commercial insurance, administrative services, annuities, mortgages, mutual funds, pensions, long-term savings plans and health and productivity services. For more information, visit        

Media Contacts:
Tom Sprouse
The Memorial Tournament
PH: (614) 889-6791

Mike Switzer
Nationwide Insurance
PH: (614) 451-0696

Erin Pope
Nationwide Children’s Hospital
PH: (614) 355-0495

About Nationwide Children's Hospital

Named to the Top 10 Honor Roll on U.S. News & World Report’s 2019-20 list of “Best Children’s Hospitals,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of America’s largest not-for-profit freestanding pediatric health care systems providing wellness, preventive, diagnostic, treatment and rehabilitative care for infants, children and adolescents, as well as adult patients with congenital disease. Nationwide Children’s has a staff of more than 13,000 providing state-of-the-art pediatric care during more than 1.5 million patient visits annually. As home to the Department of Pediatrics of The Ohio State University College of Medicine, Nationwide Children’s physicians train the next generation of pediatricians and pediatric specialists. The Abigail Wexner Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital is one of the Top 10 National Institutes of Health-funded freestanding pediatric research facilities. More information is available at