Find out more about World Autism Awareness Day & Month

02 Apr

PGA TOUR events, The RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, will turn golf blue this April to raise awareness during Autism Awareness Month, and support Els’ efforts
to build The Els Center of Excellence.

Jupiter, Fla. (April 1st, 2014) – World of Golf Hall of Famer and four-time Major Champion, Ernie Els will once again this year be showing his support on TOUR for those affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) throughout the month of April (Autism Awareness Month) by wearing a blue and white puzzle pin designed to provide international awareness about the disorder.  Els will wear the pin to PGA TOUR tournaments in April including the Shell Houston Open, the Masters, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, and the Zurich Classic of New Orleans.

Els will also be inviting fellow PGA TOUR players and fans to join him in wearing the autism awareness pin in the hope that the effort will shed light on the critical need to detect autism as early as possible. In honor of Autism Awareness Month, Els will also be turning his signature, Daphne’s lion head cover blue for the month and will be wearing a custom-designed, blue, Els for Autism I-ONICS Power Sport Band. In addition, Els for Autism will release autism facts each day throughout April using social media outlets to educate fans and supporters about the cause.

To support Els’ efforts, tournament organizers for both the Zurich Classic of New Orleans and the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing PGA TOUR events, have teamed up with Els for Autism again this year on a number of initiatives to; raise awareness of autism, highlight the importance of early detection and raise funds to help build The Els Center of Excellence which will serve people on the autism spectrum from ages 3-21.

The RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing has designated Friday, April 18th and the Zurich Classic has designated Saturday, April 26th to be the tournaments’ “Blue Out” days to support autism awareness. PGA TOUR professionals, spectators, volunteers and media will be asked to wear blue on the respective ‘Blue Out’ days and will have the opportunity to donate and receive Els for Autism’s blue and white puzzle pin – designed to provide international awareness about the disorder and show support for those affected.

Els’ family of sponsors will also be stepping up to support Autism Awareness Month in various ways. Swiss watchmaker Breitling, Els’ official watch sponsor, will be donating 20% of proceeds from the sale of any timepiece with a blue dial at their U.S. Boutiques for the entire month of April to the Els for Autism Foundation.

“Last year was the first year that we rallied our friends on the PGA TOUR to help us shine a light on autism in the month of April and the support we received was incredible from TOUR players, tournament organizers, fans and media alike.” Said Els for Autism Founder, Ernie Els.

Els added: “A huge thank you to my sponsors and to the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing and the Zurich Classic in particular for helping our efforts to use golf as a platform to raise awareness of this disorder and show support for the many individuals and families impacted by autism. I was pleased to see that last year both the winners of the RBC Heritage and the Zurich Classic tournaments were wearing the pin the entire week so hopefully that will be a motivating factor to get the guys on TOUR on board again this year!”

This year’s Autism Awareness month follows the recent release of new prevalence statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that estimates 1 in 68 children in the U.S. and 1 in 42 boys has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a 30% increase from 1 in 88 children two years ago.

For more information on Els for Autism initiatives taking place in April and to secure the Els for Autism Awareness pin, visit: www.elsforautism.com/april

Follow the action on:

Twitter @ElsForAutism – #GoBlue #ZurichBlueOut #RBCHeritageAutism
Facebook Ernie Els

– ENDS –

Photography:

Can be downloaded for editorial use at:

April Autism Awareness: http://www.elsforautism.phanfare.com/6289152_7219410

Els for Autism Generic Images: http://www.elsforautism.phanfare.com/5948584_6797112

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

About 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).

Foundation website: www.elsforautism.com  | Twitter: @ElsforAutism | Facebook: Ernie Els

About Autism Awareness Month in April

In 2008, The United Nations General Assembly unanimously declared April 2nd as World Autism Awareness Day to highlight the need to help improve the lives of children and adults who suffer from the disorder so they can lead full and meaningful lives. April is now known as Autism Awareness Month across the world.

Els for Autism on TOUR in April

Ernie Els will continue his support for those affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) throughout the month of April by wearing a blue and white puzzle pin designed to provide international awareness about the disorder and the critical need to detect autism as early as possible.  Els will wear the pin to PGA TOUR tournaments in April including the Shell Houston Open, the Masters, the RBC Heritage Presented by Boeing, and the Zurich Classic.

  • Els, among other fellow PGA TOUR players and caddies, will support the cause by wearing a blue and white autism awareness pin during April TOUR events.
  • Els will wear blue and ask players and fans to do the same at selected April events.
  • Els will reveal his signature Daphne’s lion head cover in blue for the month of April.
  • Els will wear a custom-designed, blue, Els for Autism I-ONICS Power Sport Band for the month of April
  • Els for Autism will release autism facts each day throughout April using social media outlets to educate fans and supporters about the cause.
  • Fans and supporters will have the opportunity to receive an autism awareness pin by donating online at www.elsforautism.com/april
  • Early diagnosis is a critical element of autism treatment success. Learn the early warning signs of autism at www.elsforautism.com/whatisautism

About 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 Center will integrate unique architectural components to create a learning environment specifically designed for children on the spectrum, and will include the technology, space and design components that will enable the Center to connect the international autism community with best practices and the latest information and research.

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.

About the Els for Autism Golf Challenge

Spearheaded by World of Golf Hall of Famer and four-time Major champion Ernie Els, the Golf Challenge consists of 20+ Super Regional events at top-rated courses across the US, and Canada from May through September with a Finale in October in Las Vegas. Two-person teams will 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 on October 10th & 11th, 2014.  www.E4AGolf.com

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