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Allenby honored by GWAA for his commitment to fighting cancer

Robert Allenby
(photo: Tom Pennington/Getty)

January 29, 2014

HOUSTON– When it comes to the insidious world of cancer, Australian Robert Allenby doesn’t deny that he takes things personally. For nearly 30 years he has carried the pain of losing a childhood friend to leukemia.

“He was just 13, same as me,” said Allenby. “It was just an awful feeling.”

Seven years later, Allenby joined the professional golf ranks and was introduced to an initiative to raise money to help children with cancer. “That first year we had 150 people in a tent and we raised fifty or sixty thousand dollars.”

Now 42 and a member of the PGA Tour since 1999, Allenby has maintained his charitable endeavor in Australia. The Robert Allenby Golf Day and Gala Dinner is 23 years old and from those humble early years it now draws close to a thousand guests and supporters. The money raised is up over $26 million.

In honor of Allenby’s charitable commitment, the Aussie is the recipient of the Golf Writers Association of America’s 2014 Charlie Bartlett Award presented by Aberdeen Asset Management.

The award is given to a playing professional for unselfish contributions to the betterment of society and is given in memory of the GWAA’s first secretary. The award has been presented since 1971 when the inaugural winner was Billy Casper.

Allenby joins a list of winners that includes Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Tiger Woods, K.J. Choi, Lorena Ochoa, Ernie Els, Tom Watson and Payne Stewart.

Martin Gilbert, Chief Executive of Aberdeen Asset Management said “As a long standing global golf sponsor, our association with the Charlie Bartlett Award is something we’re particularly proud of. Robert Allenby is a truly worthy winner and we’re honored to present him with this well-earned award.”

“I’m very humbled, very honored,” said Allenby. “But nothing has changed with the cause. We’re still trying to help children with cancer.”

In fact, his efforts have expanded to his adopted home of Jupiter, Fla., because for the last few years Allenby has organized and hosted a three-day BlueWater Golf Invitational that raises money for children with special needs and cancer in Palm Beach County. That event includes fishing, golf, and a gala dinner.

Allenby will receive his award April 9 in Augusta, Ga., during the GWAA’s 42nd Annual Awards Dinner the night before the Masters begins.

The GWAA will also honor Players of Year  Adam Scott, Kenny Perry and Inbee Park, William D. Richardson Award winner Rhonda Glenn, Ben Hogan Award presented by ISPS Handa winner Ken Duke and ASAP Sports/Jim Murray Award winner Graeme McDowell at the dinner.

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