Sunday, 18 December 2011
José María Olazábal makes a speech at Viva la Vida, a Seve Ballesteros Foundation tribute event  (EuropeanTour)
José María Olazábal makes a speech at Viva la Vida, a Seve Ballesteros Foundation tribute event (EuropeanTour)

The life of one of sport’s greatest ambassadors was celebrated at the Seve Ballesteros Foundation’s official tribute event, Viva la Vida, at the Natural History Museum in London, which raised nearly £340,000 for the cancer research-based charity.

Viva la Vida, the Foundation’s flagship event, brought the golfing world together to celebrate all that is good about golf, not least the great man himself.

Present were many of golf’s iconic trophies and prizes, including the Ryder Cup, the Claret Jug, the Masters Tournament Green Jacket and the trophies that Seve claimed so many times in the 1990’s through his dominance at the Wentworth Club -  the Volvo PGA Championship trophy and Toyota World Matchplay Championship as well as the first trophy Ballesteros ever won.

Highlights of the evening included seen and unseen footage of Ballesteros from the BBC archives, a special Q&A session with two of Seve’s peers Sandy Lyle and Jose Maria Olazábal and golfing celebrity Jimmy Tarbuck.

There were also many moving moments as Seve’s daughter Carmen Ballesteros and José María Olazábal, one of Seve’s close friends and next year’s Ryder Cup Captain, shared their stories about the great man, who died last May 7th after a brave battle with brain cancer.

The sale of tables to this stellar event and live and silent charity auctions on the night boosted the revenue to generate the £340,000 raised. The auction lots included a signed replica of Seve’s famous Ping Anser putter, a stay in Justin Rose’s Bahamas Oceanside villa and a VIP trip to the 2012 Ryder Cup.  The main auction raised £102,500 while the silent auction raised £62,000.

In 2008 Seve was diagnosed with a brain tumour the size of two golf balls and in 2009, driven out of a desire to help others in his position, Seve set up the Seve Ballesteros Foundation and created a partnership with Cancer Research UK, with the ambition of raising funds for research into brain cancer.

The funds raised at Viva la Vida has taken the total raised by the partnership to over £2 million since its creation in 2009, making a serious impact to Cancer Research UK’s brain tumour research.

Former World No 1 and winner of over 80 tournaments including five major championships, Seve Ballesteros was, for a decade, arguably the greatest golfer in the world. While his individual record was exemplary, Ballesteros’ legacy will be for creating golf’s global appeal and for spearheading a resurgence in European Golf.

As well as this Seve will always be remembered for the strength and determination he showed not only on the golf course but also in the last years of his life, as he bravely fought brain cancer.

The Foundation is now Seve’s lasting legacy and will continue to fight brain cancer in Seve’s memory.

To donate or find out more about the charity, visit the Seve Ballesteros Foundation's website here...

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