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A Life Well Played: Celebrating Arnold Palmer

A champion on the golf course, a generous philanthropist, and proud member of Loyalhanna Masonic Lodge No. 275 in Latrobe, Pennsylvania – Arnold Palmer was born on September 10, 1029.

Today, you might want to raise a glass to Arnie and may we suggest your glass be a delicious “Arnold Palmer” made from iced tea and lemonade!

Undoubtedly, one of the greatest golfers of all time, Palmer won numerous PGA tournaments and fame on the PGA Tour of Champions over a career which lasted decades.

Becoming a fan favorite as coverage of golf became popular on television, he promoted the sport’s popularity for new audiences. In contrast to the perception that golf was a game only for the “rich and famous”, Palmer was born into a working class family where his father was the greenskeeper at a local country club where young Arnold quickly learned to love the game.

Palmer was a scholarship student at Wake Forest before enlisting in the US Coast Guard. Following his service, Palmer won the 1954 Amateur Tournament which marked the beginning of his incredible rise as a sports superstar.

With decades of impressive wins under his belt, Palmer was presented with both the PGA Tour Lifetime Achievement Award and inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame. He also was presented with the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal.

Arnold and his wife Winnie enjoyed a wonderful marriage which lasted for 45 years. They were both committed to giving back to improve the lives of others through a variety of charitable causes.

They were avid naturalists and advanced the causes of environmental awareness and conservation. In addition, the Palmer’s were passionate about improving the lives of children and families. They developed a program, “Life Well Played”, to help young people acquire leadership skills and academic excellence.

On September 10, 1989 (Arnie’s 60th birthday) the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children & Women was opened in Orlando, Florida. At the time, it was one of only six hospitals dedicated to exclusively serving the health needs of women and children. In 2006, the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies opened, doubling the capacity of the two medical centers to serve children and women and to provided much-needed emergency pediatric medical services.

In addition, the Arnold Palmer and Winnie Palmer hospitals supports other national health organizations dedicated to improving the lives of children suffering from a variety of significant health challenges including childhood cancer and autism.

Arnold Palmer passed away shortly after his 87th birthday having lived a full and rewarding life. He was a man who fulfilled his dream of becoming a championship golfer – and a man who believed in lifting up others to enjoy a better chance of achieving a happy and healthy life.

As Arnold Palmer one said, “I can only tell you one thing that I do know for sure, I am a dreamer. There are not many people that will recognize or want to recognize the fact that they are dreamers in their own life ... I continue to get up in the morning, enthusiastically, and go pick up a golf club with a thought that I can somewhere find that secret to making the cut. That's just an example, but it applies to other things in life, too, and that's the way I live and the way I think and the way I feel."

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