Professional golfer Arnold Palmer may have passed away, but his charitable legacy will live on thanks to Arnie's Army Charitable Foundation, the arm of the Arnold Palmer Foundation created in 2015.
Kevin Bingham, formerly of the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, was announced as the CEO, on Sept. 12, two weeks before Palmer passed away.
Palmer issued a press statement at the time about the appointment. "My fans and supporters, known as Arnie's Army, have had such special meaning to me throughout my career. That is why we have established Arnie's Army Charitable Foundation. And the Army has found its newest leader in Kevin. His experience and vision will help the foundation expand its reach and grow the number of families we will be able to serve."
Originally named for the literal military servicemen who used to show up to golf events to support him while in uniform, Arnie's Army has long since evolved into umbrella identity for the golfer's fans worldwide. The Arnie's Army Charitable Foundation was created to continue the work that was important to the Palmer family. The foundation, whose mission is to provide financial support to institutions and organizations that help children, youth, families, the environment and communities, has been soliciting Palmer supporters in the days since his death.
"Although all good stories must come to an end, Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation is writing the next chapter about Arnold’s legacy of giving and caring," says a description on a recently released video about Arnie's Army. "With your support, Arnie’s Army will continue to march and give back to those that have been so meaningful to Arnold’s life on and off the golf course. You were there in the beginning, follow Arnie again and help make a positive impact on children, families, and our communities by joining Arnie’s Army."
A tireless advocate for children's health, the not-for-profit Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies in Orlando, Florida were named after the golfer and his late wife, respectively. Opened in 1989, the Arnold Palmer hospital is considered the top pediatric care facility in central Florida.
After being diagnosed with prostate cancer in 1997 Palmer also devoted time and money to efforts to fight that disease, working with the Prostate Cancer Foundation. He also lent his name to the Arnold Palmer Prostate Center at Eisenhower Medical Center in Rancho Mirage, California.
Other areas where Palmer and his wife were active included supporting the March of Dimes, the organization dedicated to improving the health of babies by preventing birth defects, premature birth and infant mortality, and Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve Trust's, a nature preserve in Lawson Heights, Pennsylvania that's used for nature education.
Palmer, one of professional golf's all-time biggest winners, died on Sept. 25 in a Pittsburgh area hospital due to complications from multiple heart problems. He was 87.
Palmer's playing legacy was tremendous. Between 1955 to 1973 he won 62 separate PGA events, including seven major championships. He also won 10 Senior PGA events, as well as 18 other special events like the Canada Cup (5x) and the Piccadilly World Match Play Championship (2x). He also has a drink named after him — the Arnold Palmer (iced tea combined with lemonade).
Watch the Arnie's Army videoNike