Funds raised through Golf Challenge team fundraising benefit the Els for Autism Foundation.
Els for Autism is committed to better understanding the aspirations of people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and helping them to fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives, through:
- Understanding the nature of ASD and facilitating the development and delivery of treatment therapies, educational programs, training programs, and recreational programs as well as residential and independent living programs.
- The development of global outreach that will facilitate the sharing of best practices and programs.
- Raising awareness and promoting the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with ASD.
Funds raised through Golf Challenge events located in the US, will be used to support the programs of the US Foundation. For more information, visit www.elsforautism.org.
Funds raised through Golf Challenge events located in Canada, will be used to support the programs of the Canadian Foundation. For more information, visit www.elsforautismcanada.com.
Event Day Donation Opportunity – Local Leave Behind
The Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Golf program is impacting local communities through funds generated from our golf clinics held at each Golf Challenge regional site. In 2016, funds were donated to clinic autism partners like Kennedy Krieger, Giant Steps and the Morgan Autism Center, and to clinic golf partners like The First Tee and New Jersey Golf Foundation. Our autism partners did some pretty cool things with this funding – here are a couple of their stories.
Autism Society of Central Texas
Funds were used to implement a pilot swim and water safety program with four children with autism ages 4-5. With a small group we were able to provide one hour sessions over four classes. We provided a kick-off event with a Family Fun/Meet and Greet day at the pool where parents and kids came for pizza, games, and each received a towel and fun water safety giveaways from our partner, Colin’s Hope. Overall children in the pilot were happy, confident, and all of the parents expressed gratitude and interest in continuing water safety and swim lessons for their children. One anecdotal story: one boy, J, age 4, was really nervous about lessons and his mom indicated that he may not even get near the water all. The swim instructor quickly engaged him with toys and he was actually IN the water at the Meet and Greet day with the instructor, who got him to submerge his face And body! Mom cried, the instructor cried, and everyone was beyond happy to see the progress with these kids. He did so well the swim school and instructor want to pay to continue lessons for him after the pilot ends.
Suzanne Potts: Executive Director
Duke Center for Autism and Brain Development
Funds were used to hold a basketball clinic for 32 children on the autism spectrum. Families were given the opportunity to watch the Duke Men’s Basketball team practice on their home court at Cameron Indoor Stadium
on Duke campus, then every player on the team worked directly with the children, coaching them and helping them practice dribbling and do shooting drills. All children received their own basketball with the Duke logo. They used the balls to practice the drills and then had the opportunity to have them signed by the players at the conclusion of the clinic. The event was considered a great success by all involved; families, the Duke Center for Autism, and the Duke Men’s Basketball program.
Dr. Geraldine Dawson