Phil Mickelson has a way of connecting with people that brings back memories of Arnie in his heyday. But, more importantly, Phil and Amy Mickelson have quietly devoted themselves to causes and individuals in the community who need their support.
As you can read in this article by Alan Shipnuck for Golf.Com, the list of folks that have seen their lives improved by the Mickelson’s humble devotion to philanthropy is a long one indeed. Many of the causes are very visible-the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy that helps train math and science teachers every summer or their Start Smart program that provides kids from low income school districts in San Diego with school supplies and clothing each fall.
Many others are off the radar entirely, like Phil’s relationship with David Finn, a young man who suffers from a mitochondrial disorder that keeps him wheel chair bound and makes communication with others very difficult. Phil connected with David during a practice round at the 2005 PGA at Baltusrol by greeting him and handing him an autographed golf glove. When Phil won his second breakthrough major a few days later, he had the presence of mind and concern to ask David if he would like to have a photo taken with Phil and The Wanamaker Trophy. This was an act of dignity and humility that says all you need to know about Phil.
Maybe the most interesting fact to glean from Shipnuck’s article is that Phil and Amy’s foundation is funded solely by them. Unlike many other celebrities, their foundation does not solicit money from others. The causes this foundation supports are the beneficiaries of their personal philanthropic grace.
There are many other touching and revealing stories in this article. It is evident that Phil and Amy’s impact on the world reaches far beyond the fame he has made for himself in the world of golf.
Photo-John Munson-Newark Star-Ledger