The Grand Tour Foundation recognizes Arnold Palmer as a 2016 Dick Pope Legend Honoree. Arnold Palmer is one of four inductees to be recognized on Friday, November 4th at the Wyndham Resort on International Drive for tourism leadership. Palmer has been known as one of the best sportsmen and businessmen in the world for nearly half a century. As a professional golfer, he has won 92 national and international championships, 62 of them on the PGA Tour, and seven majors led by four green jackets from The Masters. Palmer has had a lasting impact on the Central Florida community by lending his name to leading fundraising efforts that led to the creation of the Arnold Palmer Medical Center, which is comprised of Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies. Chairman of the Arnold Palmer Group, Arnie has been equally successful and a champion in the corporate world.
The Dick Pope Awards acknowledge leadership that has significantly impacted the state as a premium destination for growth and development. Since Palmer’s move to Central Florida in the late 1960’s he successfully developed several business enterprises that helped sustain tourism and economic impact through sports initiatives. In 1969 he purchased Bay Hill Club & Lodge, the host course of Orlando’s premier annual PGA Tour event, The Arnold Palmer Invitational Presented by MasterCard. Based in Orlando as well, Arnold Palmer Enterprises is the umbrella corporation that oversees all of Arnie’s commercial ventures, including his worldwide licensing and endorsements. His connections to Orlando were further enhanced when he co-founded The Golf Channel in1995. His most meaningful contribution has been the local impact he has made at the Arnold Palmer Medical Center through the philanthropy of the Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation.
Palmer joins inductees, John Hitt, University of Central Florida President, Chef Steve Jayson of Universal Orlando, and the late Gary Sain President of Visit Orlando. Their bronze likenesses will be immortalized on the new Dick Pope Hall of Fame wall being located within the newly renovated west wing of the Orange County Convention Center.
A representative of Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation is scheduled to speak on behalf of Mr. Palmer on November 4th. “It gives us great pleasure to have Mr. Palmer recognized for his significant impact on Florida’s golf industry and our community. Dick Pope is well-known for his commitment to community works and philanthropy and it is an honor for Mr. Palmer to be acknowledged and celebrated with an award that bears Mr. Pope’s name.”
The mission of the Grand Tour Gala Foundation is to raise and distribute funds to student scholarship foundations and to non-profit organizations purposed to provide educational programs and directly to students pursuing hospitality and tourism careers.
The Dick Pope Legacy Luncheon and Foodstock Orlando, a multi-day destination festival are special events currently in production under the direction of Dr. Mary Jo Ross, CSEP, CPCE. The hospitality industry driven events will increase the financial support necessary for the high demand of scholarships and grants within Florida’s hospitality education mecca. Attendees and corporate sponsors of the Dick Pope Legacy luncheon can register atwww.GrandTourFoundation.com.