MEMPHIS, Tenn., April 8, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- PGA of America Hall of Famer Lee Trevino received the first-ever St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Lee Trevino Award, named in recognition of the golfer. The award was presented to Trevino during the annual FedEx St. Jude Classic Champion's Day luncheon Thursday, April 7, at the Great Hall & Conference Center in Memphis, Tennessee. The award was created to honor humanitarians, like Trevino, who demonstrate an unwavering commitment to support St. Jude Children's Research Hospital®, which is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases.
"I'm honored to have an award named after me and grateful to be the first recipient recognized by St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, a place near to my heart," said Trevino. Danny Thomas and I became friends at the 1970 Bob Hope Classic. I promised Danny a $5,000 donation if I ever won his tournament. I was able to fulfill that promise in 1971, and have continued my charitable love affair with St. Jude for the past 45 years."
Regarded as one of the greatest players in professional golf history, and the greatest Hispanic golfer of all time, Trevino also is known for his unique golf swing, enormous personality and winning attitude. At the age of 27, Trevino captured the first of his two U.S. Open Championships in 1968 at Oak Hill Country Club in Rochester, New York the first of four times when legendary Jack Nicklaus finished second to him in a major. Trevino went on to win 29 times, including six majors – the 1968 and 1971 U.S. Open; the 1974 and '84 PGA Championship; and the 1971 and '72 Open Championship. He competed on six U.S. Ryder Cup Teams in three separate decades (1969, '71, '73, '75, '79, '81), posting a 17-7-6 record, and went on to serve as U.S. Captain in 1985. He was the 1971 PGA of America Player of the Year and won five Vardon Trophies for season scoring excellence (1970, '71, '72,'74, and '80). During an unprecedented four-week period in 1971, Trevino won in succession – the U.S. Open, Canadian Open and the British Open Championship.
On June 27, 1975 and during the height of Trevino's career, he was one of three players struck by lightning, at the Western Open. He underwent several surgeries and battled back to win 29 more titles on the Champions Tour, a run that included the 1992 and 1994 Senior PGA Championships.
For more than four decades, Trevino has been virtually on call for countless charities, agreeing to be "auctioned" to a donor, then playing golf with groups throughout the country. He is also an avid supporter of the military and has appeared in recruiting announcements for the U.S. Marines Corp.
"Lee has been a steadfast supporter of St. Jude Children's Research Hospital ever since he won the 1971 Danny Thomas Memphis Classic and donated $5,000 of his $35,000 check to the hospital," said PGA TOUR Commissioner Tim Finchem. "This honor from St. Jude is well deserved for a man who has embodied the charitable mission of the PGA TOUR throughout his career. Lee is a self-made success story who came from humble beginnings and never took his accomplishments for granted. He has always made giving back to others a priority in his life."
Trevino became passionate about St. Jude after winning three former Danny Thomas Memphis Classic (now FedEx St. Jude Classic) titles. His reputation for charitable work is what placed a special spotlight on him. On July 30, 2001, Trevino recorded a hole-in-one in the Par-3 Shootout in Gaylord, Michigan, and donated $500,000 to the hospital.
"Mr. Trevino has been a devoted, passionate supporter of St. Jude for more than 40 years," said Richard Shadyac Jr., President and CEO of ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. "When we created an award to honor those genuinely committed to our mission, we felt it would be a perfect match to name it for Mr. Trevino in honor of his dedicated commitment. Mr. Trevino exemplifies a true humanitarian spirit, and I am honored to present him with the first annual St. Jude Children's Research Hospital Lee Trevino Award."
About St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital is leading the way the world understands, treats and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It is the only National Cancer Institute-designated Comprehensive Cancer Center devoted solely to children. Treatments invented at St. Jude have helped push the overall childhood cancer survival rate from 20 percent to 80 percent since the hospital opened more than 50 years ago. St. Jude is working to drive the overall survival rate for childhood cancer to 90 percent, and we won't stop until no child dies from cancer. St. Jude freely shares the discoveries it makes, and every child saved at St. Jude means doctors and scientists worldwide can use that knowledge to save thousands more children. Families never receive a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing or food – because all a family should worry about is helping their child live. Join the St. Jude mission by visiting stjude.org, liking St. Jude on Facebook (facebook.com/stjude) and following us on Twitter (@stjude).
About FedEx St. Jude Classic
The FedEx St. Jude Classic is produced annually by Youth Programs, Inc., a 501c (3) organization established in 1960 to host Memphis' official PGA TOUR event. More than 1,850 volunteers contribute approximately 25,000 hours each year. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital has received more than $33 million as a direct result of its association with professional golf.
For more information about the FedEx St. Jude Classic, please visit www.stjudeclassic.com
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SOURCE ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital