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September 29, 2021

Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide shines a bright light on Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Nationwide Children’s Hospital alliance

2021 Virtual event raises $1.46 million for alliance, bringing 11-year total to more than $10.4 million


11th annual Nicklaus Youth Spirit Award Recipient honored

Dublin, Ohio – The Memorial Tournament presented by Workday hosted the 11th 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 2021 Legends Luncheon was originally scheduled to take place in April, prior to the 46th edition of the Memorial Tournament, but was moved to September due to COVID-19 precautions. This year’s event was ultimately hosted virtually due to protocols surrounding the pandemic.

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 $1,460,000 for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Nationwide Children’s Hospital alliance. The 2021 amount equals the largest single-year donation in the event’s history and brings the Luncheon’s 11-year total to more than $10.4 million.

Executive Chairs of the Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide were Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, together with Nationwide CEO Kirt Walker and his wife, Cindy, and Nationwide Children’s CEO, Tim Robinson and his wife Jane. Luncheon supporters experienced a charity event that is unique to Columbus, Ohio. Virtual guests enjoyed a special conversation with Memorial Tournament Founder and Host Jack Nicklaus, and NASCAR Hall of Famer Dale Earnhardt Jr.

A 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 facing 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 Savannah Parsons, 12, from Columbus, OH.

Savannah was just ten years old when she began taking college classes through Columbus State Community College. Little did she know, her desire to learn and challenge herself would lead to discovering a diagnosis she did not see coming.

Savannah had always been very active with dance and basketball, including dancing for one of the top performing arts academies in Ohio. Her academic ambitions took center stage two years ago when she stopped dancing and playing basketball to focus on her studies. This lifestyle change could naturally lend itself to some level of weight gain for Savannah, but nothing like what she experienced.

Savannah and her family knew something wasn’t right. They were referred to the Endocrinology team at Nationwide Children’s Hospital where the doctors took time to hear her concerns and ran the proper tests to diagnose her condition. Savannah had Cushing’s Disease, a serious condition of an excess of the steroid hormone cortisol in the blood level caused by a pituitary tumor secreting adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). ACTH is a hormone produced by the normal pituitary gland. Savannah’s physicians quickly created a surgery plan and successfully removed a tumor from her pituitary gland in May 2019.  Savannah has been growing and losing weight ever since.

Recently, Savannah’s family was informed that the tumor is reoccurring. Her team of doctors from Nationwide Children’s Hospital have been following her closely and the Parsons family is confident they are receiving the best possible care to medically continue her fight.

“Nationwide Children’s is our second home,” said Savannah’s mother, Sam. “Having Dr. Mamilly take time to listen to our concerns and observations really made us feel heard for the first time. Dr. Drapeau and Dr. Walz walked us carefully through each step of the process from the surgical plan to follow up care. Savannah adores her team of doctors so very much.”

Savannah has a passion for dogs and aspires to become an entrepreneur focused on canine care.

True to the hearts of Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday 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 nearly all 50 states and more than 40 countries each year.

Longtime Tournament sponsor Nationwide shares a similar tradition of support for Nationwide Children’s. Nationwide is committed to broadening the impact of its Memorial Tournament sponsorship 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.



About the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday

The Memorial Tournament presented by Workday 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 Health Care Foundation, Nationwide Children's Hospital, Eat.Learn.Play. and numerous other local organizations. For more information, visit or call 614-889-6700.


About Workday

Workday is a leading provider of enterprise cloud applications for finance and human resources. Founded in 2005, Workday delivers financial management, human capital management, planning, and analytics applications designed for the world’s largest companies, educational institutions, and government agencies. Organizations ranging from medium-sized businesses to Fortune 50 enterprises have selected Workday.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities and mutual funds; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Nationwide, Nationwide is on your side and the Nationwide N and Eagle are service marks of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company. © 2021

Media Contact:

Thomas P. Sprouse                                                                                                            

Director of Communications,                                                                                                            

the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday


Office: 614-889-6791                                                                                                            

Mobile: 614-519-1873


Additional Media Contacts

Karen Davis | Nationwide | PH: (614) 332-5924 |

Danielle Warner | Nationwide Children’s Hospital | PH: (614) 209-5994 |





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