2014 Golf Challenge

Adams Golf announced as new Organizing Sponsor; joining SAP, Breitling USA, Wine Spectator, RBC and The Trump Organization

Jupiter, Fla. (April 7th, 2014) – Els for Autism today announced that registration is now open for the fourth annual Els for Autism Golf Challenge; the largest international charity-driven amateur golf tournament in history. The Golf Challenge, spearheaded by four-time Major winner and World of Golf Hall of Famer, Ernie Els, is an international, season long event series that takes place between May-September at over 20 of North America’s finest golf courses and culminates in a series finale in Las Vegas on October 10th and 11th.

Host venues for 2014 include a selection of first-class PGA TOUR stops and Major hosts including; Baltusrol Golf Club in Springfield, N.J., Harbour Town Golf Links, SC; TPC Boston, MA; and this year’s US Open venue Pinehurst, N.C. The 2014 series will kick-off with its first event on May 5th, at the exclusive Floridian National Golf Club in Palm City, Fla.

In this event series, a team’s fundraising ability is valued as much as their performance on the golf course.  Teams compete in a combined low-net event for a selection of first class regional prizes and all teams that fundraise $13,000 or more will join Ernie Els and his friends from the PGA TOUR at the series Finale in Las Vegas in October, where major prizes will be up for grabs.

Each team will register online at www.e4aGolf.com, be assigned their own team page, and will be encouraged to choose an “Honorary Captain”, a child on the autism spectrum who they play and fundraise in honor of. Teams are able to e-mail their page to friends, family and colleagues and ask them to donate to their team. One team raising $2,500 or more in donations will be selected to receive a 7-day ultimate IRISH LINKS golf tour to Ireland in recognition of their fundraising efforts.

Non-golfers and those unable to play in a regional event are invited to participate in the fundraising drive by joining ‘The Gallery Club’.  Members can compete in teams of one or two to raise funds and awareness for Els for Autism and earn the chance to come to Las Vegas and participate in the Finale.

For the 2014 Series, Els for Autism is excited and proud to announce the addition of Adams Golf as a new Organizing Sponsor. Adam’s joins an existing family of highly-respected global brands that are supporting Ernie in his philanthropic efforts through the Golf Challenge. These include, Presenting Sponsor SAP; and Organizing Sponsors; Breitling USA, Wine Spectator, RBC and The Trump Organization.

Once again, Els for Autism will also use golf as a medium to reach out to autism groups across the U.S. through the #GameON Autism Golf program. This year, in partnership with the PGA of America Foundation, The First Tee, The Honda Classic, Adams Golf and Southwest Airlines, #GameON Autism clinics will be expanded to include select Golf Challenge host courses in Canada as well as additional select golf courses in North America who will partner with local autism schools to establish golf as a year round training program for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Proceeds from the Challenge benefit Els for Autism in the U.S. and Canada. Proceeds from the Canadian events are donated to a variety of autism-focused, non-profit organizations in the territory or province in which they were raised. Proceeds from the U.S. events predominantly go towards the funding of a state-of-the-art autism center and hub of worldwide operations for Els for Autism; The Els Center of Excellence.

The Els Center of Excellence will provide a uniquely designed on-site educational program for 300 children on the autism spectrum ages 3-21. It will also bring together the critical components of early intervention, transition to adulthood, medical and professional services, and adult services all on one campus. Committed to a global mission, the Center will also include a multi-faceted global outreach program with facilities for international visiting scholars and researchers who will contribute to the global autism community’s offerings of best practice in education and therapy to children and families touched by autism across the U.S. and internationally. The Groundbreaking for the Center took place in March 2014 and marked the start of construction of the Lower School and Center of Excellence Auditorium building that will be at the heart of the global outreach programs. The school plans to open its doors in August 2015. In the meantime, the capital campaign continues to ensure a continuous build schedule for the Upper School, the sports facilities, the medical and professional component and the adult services program.

“This is our fourth year on tour with the Golf Challenge, and thanks to the support and generosity of a family of dedicated sponsors, players and donors the Foundation has been able to take some major steps forward. Last month, Liezl and I watched our dream of creating a world-class Center, focused on improving the lives of those impacted by autism, start to become a reality with the groundbreaking for the Center. In addition this year we will also be expanding our #GameON Autism Golf Program; an initiative also very dear to my heart.” Said Ernie Els, whose 11-year old son is profoundly impacted by the disorder. Els added: “It is incredible to think how far we have come since starting the Foundation in 2009; please stay with us on our journey as we continue to raise funds to deliver on our mission to help individuals on the autism spectrum fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives.”

The Challenge’s highly valued Contributing Sponsors include Boeing, Floridian National Golf Club, Pinehurst, The Honda Classic, Maui Jim, Ecco, Mantis, IRISH LINKS, South African Airways, TPC, The Globe and Mail, Southwest Airlines and GOLF Magazine.

Since its inaugural 2011 series, the Els for Autism Golf Challenge has raised over $6.5 million for autism thanks to over 5,000 rounds of golf and over 15,000 donors pledging funds. The tournament has grown year on year with 2013 being the most successful fundraising year to date with nearly $2.5million raised. The series has also helped raise awareness of a disorder that that now affects a staggering 1 in 68 children and 1 in 42 boys.

For more information on the Golf Challenge, the full events schedule and to register visit: www.e4aGolf.com

Donations
To donate by check: make out checks to Els for Autism and address to: Els for Autism, 3900 Military Trail, Suite 200, Jupiter, FL 33458
To donate online visit: www.elsforautism.com

The Els for Autism Foundation
The Foundation was established in 2009 by Liezl and Ernie Els shortly after their son Ben was diagnosed with autism. The Foundation has since embarked on a catalytic project; the establishment of a state-of-the-art Center of Excellence with a local, national and global reach. Els for Autism is a US 501(c)(3) public charity (EIN #26-3520396). Contact: Mary Kay Willson, Els for Autism, T: 561-252-6023, E: marykay.willson@ernieels.com

·       Foundation website: www.elsforautism.com

·       Golf Challenge website: www.e4agolf.com

The Els Center of Excellence
Once completed, The Els Center of Excellence will provide a uniquely designed on-site educational program for 300 children on the autism spectrum ages 3-21. It will also bring together the critical components of early intervention, transition to adulthood, medical and professional services, and adult services all on one campus. At its heart will be a multi-faceted global outreach program that will make best practices in education and therapy available to children, families and autism experts both in the U.S. and internationally. The Groundbreaking for the Center too place in March 2014 and marked the start of construction of the Lower School and Center of Excellence Auditorium building that will be at the heart of the global outreach programs. The goal is to have these in operation by mid 2015. In the meantime, the capital campaign continues to ensure a continuous build schedule for the Upper School, the sports facilities, the medical and professional component and the adult services program.

#GameON Autism Golf Program
#GameOn Autism Golf is a new, innovative program developed by Els for Autism in collaboration with The PGA of America Foundation and The First Tee for children and young adults on the spectrum ages 6-23. The program, aimed at developing life skills, encouraging social interaction and promoting healthy living through golf, was first piloted in 2013 in over 20 cities across the U.S. alongside the Els for Autism Golf Challenge series. The clinics include 30-40 minutes of golf, 15 minutes of bodily/kinesthetic activity and healthy refreshments for the participants. Through the development of partnerships with autism organizations, PGA Teaching Professionals, golf courses and partners like The Honda Classic and Southwest Airlines, Els for Autism’s goal is to use the  #GameON Autism Golf to give young people on the spectrum access to a golf program that builds self-esteem and confidence in a fun, welcoming and supportive environment.

SAP (www.sap.com)
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 195,000 customers to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably.

Adams Golf (www.adamsgolf.com)
Adams Golf, maker of the No.1 Hybrid on Tour, offers a complete line-up of innovative, easy-to-hit products for golfers of all skill levels. Follow Adams on Twitter @AdamsGolfInc and #ElstoAdams

Wine Spectator (www.winespectator.com)
Wine Spectator, published 15 times per year, illuminates and educates wine lovers and epicureans. Wine Spectator is renowned for its in-depth wine tasting reports and Buying Guide, travel and fine dining features, chefs’ menus, personality profiles and thought-provoking editorial.

Breitling USA (www.breitling.com)
Léon Breitling founded the company in 1884 in St. Imier, Switzerland. Breitling is the world’s only major watch brand to equip all its models with chronometer-certified movements, the ultimate token of precision. With its manufacture of the Caliber 01, Breitling has created the most reliable and accurate of all self-winding chronograph movements.

RBC (www.rbc.com)
As one of North America’s leading diversified financial services companies, RBC is among the largest banks in the world, as measured by market capitalization. It employs approximately 80,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the U.S. and 51 other countries. coverage of your favorite teams, and the biggest events in sports!

The Trump Organization (www.trump.com)
Donald J. Trump has become the most recognized businessman in the world, and the Trump brand is readily acknowledged as representing the gold standard around the globe. As the pre-eminent developer of quality real estate, his acumen is unrivaled, and the diversity of his interests has set a new paradigm in the world of business.

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