Jack Nicklaus to speak at West Michigan Sports Commission fundraiser (update)

Jack Nicklaus will be the featured speaker at the West Michigan Sports Commission’s annual event. Courtesy WMSC

UPDATE (11:51 a.m. May 21, 2020): Due to COVID-19, the annual event for the West Michigan Sports Commission announced it will be moving to Thursday, October 1, 2020, at DeVos Place’s Steelcase Ballroom, 303 Monroe Ave. NW. 

A national golf champion will be coming to Grand Rapids.

Jack Nicklaus, who has won a record 18 professional major championship titles, will be the featured speaker at a West Michigan Sports Commission event, “An Evening with Jack Nicklaus,” scheduled for 5 p.m. June 23 at DeVos Place’s Steelcase Ballroom, 303 Monroe Ave. NW.

“Jack Nicklaus is a sports icon and legend who we are thrilled to welcome back to the Grand Rapids area. His many achievements now extend into philanthropy,” said Mike Guswiler, president of the West Michigan Sports Commission. “We hope that the larger event venue allows space not just for WMSC friends and golf enthusiasts, but for those who support his important causes that help everyone from sick children to U.S. veterans.”

The annual event will be a dinner program for the first time, beginning with a cocktail reception and a VIP meet-and-greet with Nicklaus for ticketed-only sponsors. The program will serve as a fundraiser and a progress report on WMSC in attracting and hosting youth and amateur sporting events and its impact on the West Michigan economy.

There also will be a live auction with golf-themed items, including a golf foursome at one of Nicklaus’ Florida courses. All proceeds will be divided evenly between the WMSC and two of Nicklaus’ charities — the Nicklaus Children’s Health Care Foundation, which supports pediatric hospitals across the country, including Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital, and Folds of Honor through Nicklaus’ newest local golf course design project, American Dunes Golf Club.

Individual seats for the event are $250. Tickets can be purchased at westmisports.com/annual-gala-event.

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