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Jack and Barbara Nicklaus explain why Honda Classic is more than a golf tournament

'This is a fundraiser for us, for the community, to be able to help children,' golf legend says
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Posted at 5:43 PM, Mar 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-19 17:44:43-04

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Jack and Barbara Nicklaus' philanthropic endeavors at children's hospitals are well known. This year, the tournament's philanthropic arm, Honda Cares, is focused on Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation.

Jack and Barbara are known for saying, "The Honda Classic isn't just a tournament."

"Well, from our standpoint, you know, the tournament is a golf tournament, but this is a fundraiser for us, for the community, to be able to help children," golf legend Jack said. "And the hundreds of other charities that the Honda Classic supports, so it's a big fundraiser."

A portion of the proceeds benefits the Nicklaus Children's Health Care Foundation in support of Nicklaus Children's Hospitals and pediatric programs at Jupiter Medical Center.

Jack said that wasn't always the case for PGA tournaments.

"You know, we might raise $10-20 thousand, now we raise millions of dollars every week," he said. "Without the golf tournament, you wouldn't be raising that money. So it's great for the community."

They are projects for children all over South Florida that make the couple proud to be a part of creating.

"We've built an acute-care pavilion for 189 patients. And we've just seen so many miracles and so many success stories," Barbara said. "And if you just see one child who's recovering and going to live a normal healthy life, it's all worthwhile."

Since 2004, the couple's foundation is proud of the Nicklaus Children's outpatient centers they've helped fund that ease the burden for moms and dads.

"Parents used to have to drive miles to take their child to see a specialized doctor or physician, and now they have the care right here in their own community," Barbara said. "And I think we are very proud of that. Parents can keep their children at home."

People like the Caffelle family of Palm Beach Gardens, for example.

In the summer of 2018, Kristen Caffelle was 25 weeks pregnant with her daughter Gabriela.

"Driving to Miami was not the first thing I wanted to do," she said.

A doctor then revealed to the family that Gabriela had a large mass compromising 90% of her left lung. The doctors were able to meet her in Palm Beach Gardens.

The Nicklaus' said even just buying a ticket to the Honda Classic makes huge impacts.

"It may be your own children you're helping, and it may be your neighbors' children you are helping," Jack said.

"We live in a special community," Barbara added. "I think the people in our community really care."