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Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide Highlights  Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation  and Nationwide Children’s Hospital alliance

May 01, 2024

Legends Luncheon presented by Nationwide Highlights Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Nationwide Children’s Hospital alliance

DUBLIN, Ohio – The Memorial Tournament presented by Workday hosted the 14th 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 national initiatives and advances in pediatric care and research throughout Nationwide Children’s. To date, the event has supported more than 30 hospital departments, initiatives, projects, and programs. To that end, this year’s Luncheon raised $1.43 million for the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation and Nationwide Children’s alliance. The 2024 amount brings the Luncheon’s 14-year total to nearly $15 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 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 2024 Memorial Tournament Honoree and World Golf Hall of Fame member Juli Inkster. The golf greats were joined by NASCAR legend and two-time DAYTONA 500 winner Dale Earnhardt Jr. who moderated the discussion. Earnhardt is a longtime Nationwide partner and, with his wife, Amy, a long-time supporter of Nationwide Children’s Hospital where the Dale and Amy Earnhardt Fund was established to benefit the hospital’s patients and families.

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 champion Sydney Al-Lateef, 12, from Columbus, Ohio.   

Born 4lbs 10oz., Sydney was diagnosed with hyperbilirubinemia¾a condition in which there is a buildup of bilirubin in the blood, causing yellow discoloration of the eyes and skin, called jaundice. Although she was born at 32 weeks, her lungs were fully developed, and she was as strong as a full-term baby. However, during the first year of her life, Sydney struggled with growth delays which led to a diagnosis of short stature with no etiology. Sydney was closely monitored before she was released to go home.

In 2016, at four years of age, Sydney developed cold-like symptoms that she could not shake. Over time, Sydney’s appearance began to change, and she developed a rash on her chest and back. Her tongue became red and swollen and her hands and feet were peeling, which was understandably a very scary time for her family. As her symptoms increased, her mood and behavior shifted as well. When Sydney’s fever would not subside, her parents took her to a Nationwide Children’s Hospital Urgent Care to get answers. Within 20 minutes of performing a blood panel, Sydney’s parents were informed that she needed to be immediately transported to Nationwide Children’s main hospital. Things went from bad to worse quickly. After being admitted to Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Sydney was diagnosed with a rare condition called Kawasaki disease. Kawasaki disease is an illness that causes inflammation (swelling and redness) in blood vessels throughout the body. Her parents allowed their prayers and faith in God to lead the way.

Sydney was taken to the infectious disease floor at Nationwide Children’s where visitors were limited. With an additional new baby, it was a very challenging time for the Al-Lateef’s growing family. Sydney had every symptom related to this rare disease. She was given the only treatment available at the time, an intravenous immunoglobulin. Sydney’s blood pressure and heart were closely monitored because the disease had attached to her blood vessels. With her eyes and lips swollen and her skin peeling, her parents felt helpless. “I remember the IV treatment being given. The doctor who was on shift at the time, stayed as long as she could to personally monitor Sydney and plan for alternatives to help her,” said Sydney’s mom. Slowly her temperature and blood pressure came down.

Sydney’s personality began to shine through again. “We were given the best care, level of treatment, and guidance that would guarantee her a long and healthy life and we are thankful for that and Dr. Amponsah,” Sydney’s mom said.  Two years later, after a cardiology follow up, Sydney and her parents were given the incredible news that further appointments would not be necessary because there was no evidence of damage to her heart.

Sydney’s fighting spirit along with the love and care of others contributed to her healing and overcoming her condition. Sydney is now 12-years-old and has a gift of memorizing and reciting poetry at length along with performing arts. She has appeared in First Tee girls’ golf, television (Little Big Shots), and a local radio station as a guest for Columbus talent.

The 2024 Memorial Tournament presented by Workday is scheduled for June 3-9 at Muirfield Village Golf Club.

Tickets for this year’s Memorial Tournament are available for purchase by contacting the Tournament Ticket Office 9 a.m.-5 p.m. EDT weekdays at 877-MT BADGE (877-682-2343) or by visiting Children 15 and under can attend the Tournament for free with a ticketed adult. Daily practice round tickets for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday are also available. The cost is $60, and they are valid for all three practice-round days.

For more information about the Memorial Tournament presented by Workday, please visit For the latest news and updates on social media, follow the Tournament on X and Instagram at @MemorialGolf and on Facebook at

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. Foundation and numerous other local organizations. For more information, visit or call 614-889-6700.

About Workday

Workday is a leading enterprise platform that helps organizations manage their most important assets – their people and money. The Workday platform is built with AI at the core to help customers elevate people, supercharge work, and move their business forever forward. Workday is used by more than 10,000 organizations around the world and across industries – from medium-sized businesses to more than 50% of the Fortune 500. For more information about Workday, visit

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 |

Audrey Hasson | Nationwide Children’s Hospital | PH: 614-581-5407 |

Presenting Sponsor

Workday logo

Official Tournament Partners

City of Dublin
Jobs Ohio
Scotts Miracle-Gro
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