Michelle Wie was honored today at the March of Dimes New York Division's 31st annual sports luncheon as the Sportswoman of the Year.
The New York chapter's sports luncheon is a tradition in the New York/New Jersey sports scene, with lots of big names attached every year. And it's a great fundraiser for the venerable March of Dimes charity, raising more than $10 million over its three-decades-and-counting run.
The organization summarizes Michelle's exploits this way:
Since an early age, Michelle Wie has commanded international attention for her prodigious golfing ability and her charisma, making her one of the most influential athletes in women's sports. Michelle graduated from Stanford University in March 2012 with a degree in Communications. She has won four events on the LPGA tour, including her first major championship at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open, as well as having shot the lowest round ever recorded by a woman golfer in a men's PGA tour event. In 2000, at the age of 10, Michelle became the youngest qualifier ever at the USGA Women's Amateur Public Links Championship. Over the next three years she electrified Hawaiian golf with victories and shattered records for youngest ever in virtually every category. While continuing her education at Stanford in 2009, Michelle entered 19 LPGA tournaments making 17 cuts, eight top-ten's, two third's, two second's and her first career LPGA victory at the Lorena Ochoa Invitational by Banamex and Corona Light, finishing the year with $918,659 in prize money. Michelle also played on the 2009 Solheim Cup USA Team, which defeated the European Team 16 to 12 with Michelle, and her playing partners earning 3.5 of 4 possible points. Michelle’s 2014 campaign has been a “career year.” Just one week after nearly winning the LPGA’s first major of the season at the Kraft Nabisco Championship (she finished second), Michelle returned to her native Hawaii and won the LPGA Lotte Championship for her third-career LPGA win. Two months later, she earned her first major championship victory at the 2014 U.S. Women’s Open at Pinehurst No. 2.
A Q&A with the chairman of the luncheon's steering committee, CBS Sports president Sean McManus, appeared on the website newjerseynewsroom.com. This exchange is worth repeating:
What is the one thing you hope people who leave the lunch every year remember?
That they are making an immediate different in the lives of young people. Every year people come for the first time and are really blown away by the stories they hear and the kids and families they meet, and we want that to continue. We are very grateful that the sports media industry turns out every year and takes time from such busy schedules to not just support, but attend the lunch, and we think that combined with the stories of the recipients, it makes for a memorable few hours every year.
No question that Michelle Wie, who has a strong record of philanthropy, will come away from the luncheon with those things in mind. And if you're somehow unfamiliar with the March of Dimes, the organization's mission statement is this: "We help moms have full-term pregnancies and research the problems that threaten the health of babies."
About the photo at the top, Michelle tweeted: