This past week was book-ended with a couple of sponsors’ engagements for Boeing and NetJets. So, I just want to start this latest report by saying thanks to the teams and to everyone who took part; that was a lot of fun!
Tournament-wise, it’s fair to say it’s been a bit of a slow start to the year. We’ve played five events, with three top-10s, but I’ve not really got it going yet. We’ve got a nice stretch of tournaments coming up, though. And some fine venues, too, so there’s plenty to look forward to obviously. Let’s see if we can find some good form.
Away from the golf course, there’s been lots happening, so let me fill you in on some of the highlights. There is certainly a lot to celebrate in April at Els for Autism Foundation®, as it is World Autism Month. We kicked off the month on April 4 with the groundbreaking celebration of our newest building on The Els Center of Excellence® campus: The Stoops Family Foundation Adult Services building. It was incredible to see so many of our supporters in person and I’d like to give a special thanks to the Stoops and Langenfeld families who are our two primary donors for the space.
For those of you who may not know, the Els Center of Excellence® campus is the U.S. headquarters of Els for Autism Foundation which was established in 2009 by myself, Liezl, and our board Chairman and long-time friend Marvin R. Shanken. Each building on the campus was purpose-built to meet the needs of individuals with autism providing support from diagnosis, to school-age years, and throughout adulthood. Through tele-health services, conferences, virtual programs and resources, shared programs (such as Ernie Els #GameON Autism® Golf), multi-language webinars, and peer-reviewed scientific journals, the Foundation’s staff has a much broader national and global reach.
When the building is completed in the summer of 2023, the doors will open to an incredible dedicated space for our adult programs which are growing and thriving every day. We’ll be able to substantially increase the number of adults who can participate in our programs and services and provide them with the steppingstones they need to achieve independence.
A full-service café will be at the heart of the building, and Els for Autism is looking to partner with an organization in hospitality, food-service and/or catering to operate the space. The café will be outfitted with both a drive-through window and dining area to offer a moment of respite for families and staff. Through this space, adults with autism will receive training and education in the areas of food service and hospitality. The building will be home home to our Adult Day Training Program, our Work Experience Program, and Job Coaching.
I am so proud of our team at the Foundation for achieving this incredible milestone for our campus, but most importantly, the people it is being built for. We are building and empowering potential in so many people with autism and truly changing the world for them.
Last month I joined the team at Ernie Els Pet Products on our stand at Global Pet Expo in Orlando, which is the premier international gathering for the pet industry, so it was a bit of a no-brainer for us to be there and showcase our range of champion pet training treats and products.
We got such a great response from the trade and media, so no doubt some exciting times are ahead. Whenever you put thousands of people with a shared passion in the same room, you’re in for a fun day. And it really was! If you want more information on our products, visit the website and place an order for your four-legged foodie. You can also follow us on any one of the usual social media channels:
Instagram & Facebook: @eepetproducts
Over in South Africa, the team at Ernie Els Wines tells me they’ve enjoyed a relatively smooth-sailing harvest period this year and Mother Nature is behaving. That can only mean one thing; optimal quality vines and premium consistency. On that note, they have recently released the latest vintage of our iconic Bordeaux-style blend, the Ernie Els Signature 2016. This wine is predominantly Cabernet Sauvignon-based, with a portion of Merlot and a splash of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Petit Verdot, which gives it a velvety finish. This vintage has been awarded an impressive 93 Points by the esteemed master of wine Tim Atkin. It’s available from the Ernie Els Wines online shop in a beautifully-presented red gift box.
Finally, we’d like to bring your attention to a piece that we collaborated on recently with our friends at the USGA for its latest issue of Golf Journal. You can read the article in full here. I want to thank them for their support and helping share our story at Els for Autism.
Okay, that’s if for now. I’ll write again soon.