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Byron Nelson Congressional Gold Medal Nomination Moves to United States Senate; Golf Fans, Communities Show Outpouring of Support


10 Apr 2006, WASHINGTON, DC – Legendary golfer and philanthropist Byron Nelson’s nomination for the Congressional Gold Medal moves to the U.S. Senate this week. Last week, the legislation received 292 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives, securing the two-thirds sponsorship required for Congressional Gold Medal nominations. The bill now moves to the Senate where it must also receive two-thirds sponsorship.

U.S. Representative Michael C. Burgess of Texas, author of the legislation, seeks to nominate Nelson for his charitable contributions to the nation. The path to the Congressional Gold Medal is an arduous process. Only six athletes have received it since its inception in 1776, when the first medal was bestowed on George Washington. Nelson would be the 131st recipient of the highest honor the United States Government can bestow upon a civilian.

Burgess said the challenge is worth it: “Byron is an extraordinary humanitarian who happens to be a legendary golfer.” Nelson is a constituent of Representative Burgess’ North Texas congressional district. “There are many talented and dedicated athletes in the world,” continued Burgess, “but few embody the true spirit of generosity and complete humbleness of Byron Nelson.”

Nelson is synonymous with greatness on and off the golf course. A two-time Masters champion, two-time PGA Championship winner and U.S. Open champion with 52 official PGA TOUR event victories, Nelson says about his charity work, “It’s the best thing that’s ever happened to me in golf. Better than winning the Masters or the U.S. Open or 11 in a row, because it helps people.”

Beginning with 110 USO and Red Cross exhibitions at the peak of his career during World War II, Nelson’s humble Texas heart outshined his golf skills. The World Golf Hall of Fame honored his philanthropic career and impact on golf with one statement: “A Champion … A Gentleman.”

Nelson is the namesake and one of the driving forces of the largest charitable fundraiser on the PGA TOUR, the EDS Byron Nelson Championship.

“Thousands of lives have been touched because of Byron’s humanitarian spirit. His legacy will remain long after his golf records are broken. We honor him and build on that every year,” said Pat Bolin, tournament chairman for the 2006 EDS Byron Nelson Championship.

The tournament has raised more than $88 million since its inception in 1968. All proceeds benefit Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers, where disadvantaged children and families can receive counseling and one of Dallas’ urban communities can access a world-class elementary school.

“Byron’s commitment to his community is unsurpassed among professional athletes of any generation. We’re honored to partner with the charity that bears his name,” said Mike Jordan, chairman and CEO of EDS.

In a commitment to another community, Abilene, the Byron and Louise Nelson Golf Endowment Fund has provided more than $1.5 million in funding to Abilene Christian University. Nelson also serves as the honorary chairman for the Metroport Meals on Wheels, which provides daily, home-delivered hot lunches for the frail, elderly and chronically ill residents.

Details regarding the legislation – officially House Resolution 4902 sponsored by Burgess and Senate Bill 2491 sponsored by Senator John Cornyn – can be obtained at Next steps for the bill include discharge from the House Financial Services Committee and co-sponsorship by at least 66 senators. Fans, community members, and all who appreciate the legacy of Byron Nelson can read more about how to support the legislation at
About the EDS Byron Nelson Championship

The EDS Byron Nelson Championship, the first PGA TOUR event named after a professional golfer, annually provides more money to charity than any other stop on the PGA TOUR. The 2005 Championship donated more than $6 million to Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers (SCYFC). More than $88 million has been raised for SCYFC since the tournament’s inception.

Salesmanship Club Youth and Family Centers, the sole beneficiary of the EDS Byron Nelson Championship, is a nonprofit organization that is helping transform children’s futures in the Dallas area. SCYFC operates innovative programs for at-risk children and their families, including a laboratory school in Oak Cliff and family therapy centers in Oak Cliff and Northwest Dallas. In April, 2006, SCYFC will open the Family Works Center, which will include intensive treatment for troubled adolescents, a comprehensive assessment program for young children and skill-based training for children and families to encourage language and social development.
About EDS

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