Community Service

Updated: Jun 21, 2018


The Rolf Benirschke Legacy Foundation was established in 2000 as a way for Rolf to continue to make a difference in the community by connecting people and philanthropic organizations through golf.  Rolf wanted to ‘move the needle’ in San Diego-based charities and raise funds to make a positive difference.

In 2001, The Legacy Golf Invitational was founded by Rolf and a group of close friends. This special group shared a vision to create an event that brought together colleagues and community leaders, a passion for golf, a desire to build enduring relationships based on trust and respect, and the aspiration of making a difference in the community of San Diego. The focus of the event is to combine the building of relationship with raising money for selected charitable causes.  Since inception, The Legacy has raised over $5.4 million for San Diego charities


  • Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America

  • Pro Kids Golf Academy

  • United Cerebral Palsy

  • Fred Mort Fellowship & The Whittier Institute for Diabetes

  • Families of Spinal Muscular Atrophy

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Association

  • Autism Research

  • Lymphoma Research Foundation

  • Alzheimer’s Association of San Diego

  • Prostate Cancer Foundation

  • Burn Institute

  • Head North Foundation

  • Computers 2 San Diego Kids

  • Challenged Athlete’s Foundation – Operation Rebound

  • Armed Services YMCA

  • Advocates for Injured Athletes

  • Nine Girls Ask?

  • SD Chapter of The Huntington’s Disease Society of America

  • Workshops for Warriors

  • UC, San Diego CARE & Eating Disorders Center

Blood Drive

During his second season as the placekicker for the San Diego Chargers, Rolf suffered a life-threatening illness, ulcerative colitis. He needed multiple surgeries and 78 units of blood to survive the ordeal.  The community was passionate about their team and followed Rolf’s illness.  Out of this support and love, the largest blood drive ever developed began.

For the past 37 years, the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego Blood Bank have partnered for the Annual Chargers Blood Drive.  Since inception, over 140,000 units of blood have been collected, impacting thousands of lives.

Each year, it is the largest blood drive in the nation and is even recognized in the Guinness Book of Records. Rolf remains actively involved with the San Diego Blood Bank activities and the Chargers Blood Drive.

Marine Corps Officers' Ball

On November 9th 2014, Rolf Benirschke was the Guest of Honor of Major General Vincent Coglianese and speaker at the Marine Corps Officers’ Ball which celebrated the 239th birthday of the United States Marine Corps. At this annual evening of tradition, Rolf shared his personal story and how he had been inspired to persevere during the darkest times of his illness by books written by Marines who had been held captive in POW camps during the Vietnam War. It was an inspiring evening but humbling for Rolf as he thanked the Marines for their service and commitment and the example they set for all of us. Over the past few years, Rolf has developed a personal friendship with General Vincent Coglianese (pictured below) and through the Legacy Foundation has helped provide funds for programs that support military families during their times of need.

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