Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation (AACF), the organization created to support golf legend Arnold Palmer’s lifetime mission of philanthropy, today announced that Chris Kolodinsky has been named Chief Development Officer. In his new position, Kolodinsky will help lead the AACF’s Legacy Program, which was developed to align the Foundation with partners that share Mr. Palmer’s core values. Among the AACF’s current Legacy Program partners includes longtime Arnold Palmer allies Hertz, MasterCard and Golf Channel/NBC Sports.
Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation was established in 2015 to help fulfill Mr. Palmer’s lifelong passion of investing in the well-being and development of children and youth, supporting health and wellness initiatives and strengthening both communities and the environment. Today, the AACF has been entrusted to carry on the legacy of Mr. Palmer in marching toward a better tomorrow, while enhancing his commitment of giving back by expanding into new communities across the nation.
“We are thrilled to have Chris join the Arnie’s Army Team and help drive our strategy that centers on celebrating a Life Well Played by pushing forward on Mr. Palmer’s unmatched commitment to philanthropy, and a lifetime dedicated to making lives better around the world,” said Kevin Bingham, CEO, Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation. “Chris brings extensive experience in partnership development to our foundation and he will be instrumental in our overall business growth initiatives.”
Kolodinsky comes to the AACF after a 6-year tenure with the Orlando Magic of the National Basketball Association, where he held several leadership positions, most recently serving as Director of Corporate Partnership Sales. A resident of Maitland, Fla., where he resides with his wife Allison, and two daughters, Kolodinsky is an honors graduate with a BS in Sports Management from Florida State University, and also holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Rollins College.
In his new role, Kolodinsky will develop and cultivate new partnerships, programs and special events that encompass the AACF, and which are supported by the Legacy Program. The founding legacy partners in the program are shining examples of companies that truly reflect the ideals and vision of Mr. Palmer, highlighted by a longstanding partnership with MasterCard, a 35+year partnership with Hertz and Golf Channel/NBC sports, which Mr. Palmer helped establish in 1995.
Bingham adds, “By leveraging new marketing assets, financial resources and creative programming, in collaboration with the power of our partners’ brands, the AACF will be positioned to expand our reach nationally and continue to exceed our charitable goals well into the future. Backed by our three founding partners, we are seeking to align with additional companies and brands that support the philanthropic initiatives that are synonymous with Arnold Palmer’s lifetime of giving back.”
For decades, Arnold and Winnie Palmer dedicated unwavering time and resources through their philanthropic endeavors, especially in Orlando, Florida through the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children and the Winnie Palmer Hospital for Women & Babies, as well as in Arnold’s hometown of Latrobe, Pennsylvania through the Winnie Palmer Nature Reserve. In creating the AACF, Mr. Palmer’s mission is never ending, and today the Foundation remains laser focused on sustaining the great work that has been established, while expanding the footprint to new communities across the nation.
The AACF, which operates as a united front in support of Mr. Palmer’s vision, represents the charitable components of several high profile events and programs, highlighted by the Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard, the PGA TOUR event that takes place in Orlando every March and the Arnold Palmer Cup, the annual Ryder Cup-style tournament matching top collegiate golfers from the United States against Europe.
The Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by MasterCard is the signature event for AACF, encompassing a breadth of special events throughout tournament week. Most notably, it is home to the original Arnie’s March Against Children’s Cancer, which is now being expanded to new TOUR markets nationwide.
Moreover, the 2018 edition of the Arnold Palmer Cup, July 6-8, 2018 at Evian Resort Golf Club in France will be the first co-ed format event. The reality of having men’s and women’s USA collegiate golfers competing side-by-side against their counterparts from around the world will showcase all that is great about the game of golf, and speak directly to Mr. Palmer’s inclusive vision for cultivating the next generation of competitive golfers.
In fact, the event has produced over 100 players who have gone on to earn PGA or European Tour cards, and can proudly claim 178 professional victories, multiple major champions and nearly two dozen Ryder Cup and Presidents Cup members. Noted alumni include Rickie Fowler, Graeme McDowell, Brandt Snedeker, Justin Thomas, Bill Haas, Matt Kuchar and Thomas Pieters, among others.
Legacy Program partners have the opportunity to receive brand integration at these events and others in collaboration with AACF. For companies seeking to join the legacy program, please contact Chris Kolodinsky at (386) 679-6503, or [email protected] For more information on Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation, or to make a donation, visit www.arniesarmy.org.
About Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation
Arnold Palmer’s go-for-broke style of golf bolstered a legion of fans, coined by the press as Arnie’s Army. Palmer’s charisma and unfailing sense of kindness endeared him to millions around the world. Over the past four decades, the Palmer family contributed time and resources to helping others, making a profound impact on many lives. Founded in 2015, Arnie’s Army Charitable Foundation has been entrusted to continue Arnold’s legacy of philanthropy by investing in the health, well-being and development of children & youth.