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Zurich creates a new Classic for a deserving young golfer

August 8, 2019

Teeing off a lasting wish for Make-A-Wish® recipient at Zurich’s “Benjamin Classic.”

Benjamin was just 7 years old when his mother took him to the doctor for an ear infection. That visit, however, revealed a much bigger health issue: Benjamin had leukemia.

Make-a-Wish Benjamin lemonade stand
Wish Kid Benjamin (center) and his brothers Charlie (left) and Teddy (right) at a “Benjamin Classic” course display celebrating his lemonade stand donations.

 

“It’s not what you sign up for,” Benjamin’s mother said of her son’s diagnosis as she shared their story with the crowd of Zurich employees gathered to welcome Benjamin to its Schaumburg headquarters. But she went on to discuss the support received from the good people their family has crossed paths with over the last few years.


Benjamin, now 10, completed his treatment in March. While battling an illness of his own, he also demonstrated a huge heart for giving to others. That was something Zurich wanted to support.

Benjamin started a lemonade stand shortly after his diagnosis in 2016. With help from his friends, family, and community, he has raised more than $100,000 for organizations that support children with critical illnesses. If anyone ever deserved to have a wish granted, it is Benjamin.


When Zurich found out his wish was to golf in Hawaii with his family, the idea of hosting the “Benjamin Classic” was born. Not only is Zurich a proud sponsor of Make-A-Wish, but the company is also the title sponsor of the PGA TOUR Zurich Classic of New Orleans, so this send-off was a perfect fit.

Benjamin and his brothers played a round on a “golf course” Zurich set up within its headquarters building. Employees cheered from the sidelines as the whole family collected gifts along the way to help make sure they had everything needed for their tropical vacation.


Zurich has hosted 42 send-offs across North America since beginning its support of Make-A-Wish back in 2001. Benjamin’s event was one of nine that Zurich North America will host in 2019, and his wish was one of more than 700 that will be granted in Illinois this year alone.

However, there is still a big gap to close if Make-A-Wish Illinois is to realize its vision of making every eligible child’s wish come true. More than 1,200 children in Illinois are diagnosed with a critical illness each year. Why not take a page out of Benjamin’s book and help make some of these wishes come true? There are many ways to get involved with Make-A-Wish, detailed on their website.

This is one of the many ways our employees exceed expectations in building the resilience of communities and promoting people’s health and well-being. To learn more about the community investment efforts at Zurich, visit our Community Impact page.