October 27, 2016

A celebration 20 years in the making

Twenty years in the making, our “Celebration of Unexpected Champions” was a fitting tribute to the transformative power of education and the work of the Tiger Woods Foundation. On Oct. 20, 400 guests arrived on a dramatic scene at one of New York’s iconic institutions, The New York Public Library. After mingling with cocktails in the copper-lit halls and bidding on unique sports memorabilia in the silent auction, guests were escorted to the grand ballroom for an unforgettable dinner program. 

While guests enjoyed a bold menu befitting the fall season, President & CEO Rick Singer reflected on the foundation’s 20-year history and spoke to the important work ahead of us as unwavering advocates for education. 

Guests then had the pleasure of hearing directly from three alumni of the Earl Woods Scholar Program, our “Unexpected Champions,” who shared their incredible stories of struggle and triumph. Each of them credited TWF with the unrelenting support and investment that helped them overcome their obstacles and succeed not only in college, but beyond. 

The evening’s main event — a sincere conversation between Tiger Woods and Nike, Inc. co-founder and visionary Phil Knight — did not disappoint. Moderated by respected journalist Charlie Rose, the two icons shared their personal reflections on golf and philanthropy, the long history with Nike, some needling and lots of laughs. Tiger also shared his perspective on the evolution of the foundation and his ambitious expansion plan for the future.

The evening capped off with a lively musical performance by Tony Award winner Laura Benanti who delighted guests with renditions of her favorite songs and Broadway hits.

With Tiger underwriting the event, all proceeds from the 20th anniversary celebration go straight toward our initiatives to double the number of students attending college through our scholarship program, reach thousands of teachers through a collaborative teacher training space and launch a virtual academy in partnership with Discovery Education that will reach millions. 

For 20 years, we’ve been equipping students with the ability to exceed any and all expectations. And in the words of Tiger Woods, “We are just getting started.”

Here are some more red carpet highlights from this inspirational evening.

Champions of the unexpected for 20 years.