SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (October 19, 2023) – Jack and Barbara Nicklaus, together with the PGA TOUR and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, are proud to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Play Yellow, a program dedicated to supporting pediatric patients treated at member hospitals.
Play Yellow, a heartfelt initiative close to the Nicklaus’s hearts, traces its origins back to a young man and friend of the Nicklaus family, Craig Smith, who was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer, Ewing Sarcoma, in 1968. This program is a tribute to Craig, who had a penchant for wearing a lucky yellow shirt to cheer on Jack when he was competing, and his remarkable friendship with golf’s greatest champion.
The 5th-anniversary celebration of Play Yellow took place earlier this week at the annual Play Yellow Invitational in West Palm Beach, FL, from October 15 to 17, 2023. The event was a testament to the enduring legacy of Jack and Barbara Nicklaus’s commitment to children’s hospitals, with the aim of helping the 12 million children treated at local member hospitals each year.
At the 2023 event, celebrating the spirit of giving back and championing the cause of children’s hospitals, professional golfer Brandon Matthews was honored with the prestigious Play Yellow Ambassador of the Year award.
Matthews has a strong affinity for children’s hospitals and the impact they have on local communities. His annual Play Yellow golf tournament, the NEPA Invitational, supports the Geisinger Janet Weis Children’s Hospital, a member hospital of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. Since 2021, the event has distributed over $350,000 to benefit the hospital and provide care for kids across Northeast Pennsylvania, where Matthews was born and raised.
“I’m truly honored to be an ambassador for Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals’ Play Yellow campaign. I’ve seen firsthand the impact of our fundraising efforts on kids and their communities,” Matthews said. “I am just so thankful to have the opportunity to be involved with Mr. and Mrs. Nicklaus, and playing a small part in a very important endeavor.”
In addition, the 2023 Corporate Partner of the Year award was given to the PGA TOUR Superstore, and the 2023 Best Play Yellow Event was given to the Drew Neville Charity Classic.
The Nicklaus’ have devoted their lives to supporting philanthropy, including children’s hospitals. The Play Yellow program is already leaving an indelible mark on member hospitals in the U.S., including:
- Shodair Children’s Hospital: In 2021, Shodair Children’s Hospital set out to create a Play Yellow event as their one and only golf fundraiser in Montana. Initially, they didn’t think they could surpass $50,000 in fundraising, but with the support of Play Yellow, their event eclipsed $300,000 in donations last year. This significant support enables Shodair to provide acute and residential psychiatric services for the youth of Montana.
- Carilion Children’s Hospital: Inspired by their daughter Charlotte’s battle with rare pediatric liver cancer, Kelly Woolwine and his wife Jess organized the Charlotte’s Play Yellow and Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Celebrity Invitational. The Play Yellow team provided unique support by enrolling celebrity friends to participate, and the event aims to raise a substantial portion of the $20 million goal for a new pediatric cancer center in Roanoke, VA.
- Children’s Health Foundation of Oklahoma: The Children’s Health Foundation of Oklahoma set out to create a signature golf event in 2023. Play Yellow and Jack and Barbara’s legacy helped create an elite-level event that generated over $700,000 in its first year for their Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Center.
“Play Yellow was born out of our love for children and our passion for making a difference,” said Jack and Barbara Nicklaus. “We’re deeply grateful for the support this program has received, and we look forward to making a continued positive impact in children’s healthcare for many years to come.”
Play Yellow allows the golf community to give back to the areas in which they play and support. Funds raised benefit local member hospitals and are used where they are needed most, making a significant and encouraging effect on patients and their families.
To further their vision, the Nicklaus’s are calling on the entire golf community to step up and join them in raising funds to support member children’s hospitals across the U.S. and Canada.
Join Play Yellow to change kids’ health to change the future. Visit Play Yellow to learn more and make a difference today.
About Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals:
Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals was founded more than 40 years ago with the vision to Change Kids’ Health, Change the Future. We’ve raised over $8.5 billion for 170 children’s hospitals by empowering and engaging with local communities and businesses – and we’re not done yet. All donations benefit local member hospitals to fund what’s needed most, like critical life-saving treatments and healthcare services, innovative research, vital pediatric medical equipment, child life services that put kids’ and families’ minds at ease during difficult hospital stays, and financial assistance for families who could not otherwise afford these health services.
Together, we can change kids’ health. Together, we can change the future. To learn about Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals and your local member children’s hospital, visit cmnhospitals.org.