COVID-19 response to address children’s hunger and education across the country
ORLANDO, Fla. (May 5, 2020) - The Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation today announced a campaign of charitable efforts to support people impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Called “#LikeArnie,” the campaign operates from the premise that “hungry kids can’t learn” and aims to support youth and educators across the country, including those in a number of PGA TOUR event communities. #LikeArnie builds on the Palmer Foundation’s immediate response to the pandemic, in which masks and face shields were provided to more than 20,000 workers at Orlando Health, of which the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies are part.
Through the Feeding America® member food banks, #LikeArnie will support the provision of nutritious food to children in Orlando, Fla. (the Foundation’s home city and site of the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard), in Arnold Palmer’s hometown of Latrobe, Pa., and in nearby Pittsburgh. In addition, Feeding America food banks, Food Banks Canada, and FareShare in the U.K. have received gifts in support of 10 communities that were impacted by the cancelation of PGA TOUR events. Focusing on children’s educational challenges, the Palmer Foundation is providing a major gift for the new DonorsChoose Keep Kids Learning initiative, which will support students and teachers across the nation. Also, in partnership with other organizations, the Foundation will address educational needs for children in Orlando.
These charitable efforts, along with a complementary social media campaign, aim to celebrate the spirit and character of Arnold and Winnie Palmer by supporting children, families and communities — just #LikeArnie would.
“As part of our ongoing commitment to children's health and in response to the COVID crisis, we feel fortunate to be able to support important medical and nutrition needs and to help address the educational challenges articulated by caring teachers on behalf of their students,” said Amy Palmer Saunders, Chair of the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation.
Details on each component of the campaign are below and a corresponding blogsite found at http://impact.palmerfoundation.org.
#LikeArnie CAMPAIGN COMPONENTS
A Snapshot of Support for Orlando and Arnold Palmer’s Pennsylvania Roots
Based in Orlando, Fla., the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation:
● Has provided personal protection equipment for employees at the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, as well as addressed this vital need of other Orlando Health hospitals. A portion of the equipment included engaging an Orlando maker team – VuDoo Wood – in the creation of medical-grade shields.
● Continued its active participation in community revitalization efforts in the West Lakes community by providing a focused gift to fund a new meal delivery service through the Second Harvest Food Bank of Central Florida, member of Feeding America®.
● Is working in partnership with the Florida Citrus Sports Foundation and others to address additional, crisis-related educational gaps for students in West Lake area schools.
In tribute to Arnold Palmer’s Latrobe, Pa. roots, the Palmer Foundation has also provided generous gifts to both Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and the Westmoreland County Food Bank; both organizations are part of the Feeding America® network.
Solidarity with “Sister Events” on the PGA TOUR and Honoring Champions
Announcing support for Feeding America® member food banks in the U.S. as well as Food Banks Canada and FareShare in the U.K., Amy Palmer Saunders comments: “We held the 2020 Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard early in the season, before COVID’s impact was completely understood and before important social distancing protocols were put into place in the United States. Many of our ‘sister’ tournaments on the PGA TOUR were not so fortunate, and their cancellations greatly impacted their communities. Like our Invitational, these events make a real difference in their communities and we wanted to do what we could. By supporting pantries in communities affected by tournament cancellations, we honor our ‘sister events’ and do our part as a member of the TOUR family.”
The benefiting Feeding America® member food banks pantries include:
1. Feeding America Northeast Florida (THE PLAYERS Championship)
2. Feeding Tampa Bay (Valspar Championship)
3. Central Texas Food Bank (Dell Technologies Match Play)
4. San Antonio Food Bank (Valero Texas Open)
5. Second Harvest Food Bank of Greater New Orleans and Acadiana (Zurich Classic of New Orleans)
6. Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina (Wells Fargo Championship)
7. North Texas Food Bank (AT&T Byron Nelson)
8. God's Pantry Food Bank, Inc. (Barbasol Championship)
International pantries are North York Harvest Food Bank (part of Food Banks Canada, supporting RBC Canadian Open) and FareShare Kent (part of FareShare UK, supporting The Open Championship).
Saunders also acknowledged the 2019 champions of these events: “There was something particularly special about the competition and camaraderie my dad felt in defending a tournament success. We appreciate the fortitude it takes for champions from recently canceled or moved events to await their opportunity to defend their titles, and we want them to know that we look forward to their future competition. In their honor, we are supporting students and teachers as they persist with much greater challenges during the COVID crisis. Funding a new initiative called Keep Kids Learning, part of DonorsChoose, we want to help ensure that devoted teachers and students from underserved communities succeed in their efforts.”
Thousands of students will benefit from the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation’s support for Keep Kids Learning in honor of these 2019 event champions:
● 2019 THE PLAYERS Championship Champion: Rory McIlroy
● 2019 Valspar Championship: Champion: Paul Casey
● 2019 Dell Technologies Match Play: Champion: Kevin Kisner
● 2019 Valero Texas Open: Champion: Corey Conners
● 2019 Zurich Classic of New Orleans: Champions: Ryan Palmer and Jon Rahm
● 2019 Wells Fargo Championship: Champion: Max Homa
● 2019 AT&T Byron Nelson: Champion: Sung Kang
● 2019 RBC Canadian Open: Champion: Rory McIlroy
● 2019 Barbasol Championship: Champion: Jim Herman
● 2019 The Open Championship: Shane Lowry
#LikeArnie Donations and Stories to Inspire
A favorite event of Arnold Palmer, the annual Arnold Palmer Cup scheduled for July 2020 in Lahinch, Ireland has also been impacted by the COVID crisis; it has been rescheduled for Dec. 20-23 at Arnold Palmer’s Bay Hill Club & Lodge in Orlando, Fla. A co-ed Ryder Cup-style event featuring men and women as teammates playing side-by-side, the Cup assembles the top college golfers from around the world in the spirit of character and competition.
Recognizing that many young people have seen golf and other character-building opportunities fade during COVID, the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation seeks to remind youth that Mr. Palmer viewed difficult times as opportunities to improve, on and off the course. To encourage youth to find everyday heroes, as well as “find their Arnie” within, the Foundation is launching the #LikeArnie challenge. Via social media, all are invited to share how the people around them are doing things #LikeArnie might have—with courage, selflessness, and a generous heart.
As people post to social media with the tag #LikeArnie, the Palmer Foundation will announce some surprise #LikeArnie grants to charitable organizations focused on children’s health and character development across the nation. Arnold Palmer Cup golfers will be among the first to be asked to share examples of others acting #LikeArnie.
About the Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation The Arnold & Winnie Palmer Foundation champions the Palmers' legacy through grantmaking and initiatives. We honor and celebrate their devotion to youth – encouraging strong character and supporting children facing health challenges – and honor their commitment to nature and its ability to enrich and heal us. Learn more at: www.PalmerFoundation.org
About DonorsChoose DonorsChoose is the leading way to give to public school teachers. Since 2000, more than 4 million people and partners have contributed $950 million to support 1.6 million teacher requests for classroom resources and experiences. As the most trusted crowdfunding platform for teachers, donors, and district administrators alike, DonorsChoose vets each request, ships the funded resources directly to teachers, and provides thank yous and reporting to donors and school leaders. Learn more at: www.DonorsChoose.org.
About Feeding America® Feeding America® is the largest domestic hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; we educate the public about the problem of hunger; and we advocate for legislation that protects people from going hungry. Individuals, charities, businesses and government all have a role in ending hunger. Donate. Volunteer. Advocate. Educate. Together we can solve hunger. Visit www.feedingamerica.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
Brener Zwikel and Associates