The idea for TGCTours Gives Back, and eventually the plan for the Autism Speaks Charity Championship, started with a simple suggestion from Jason Wert, aka Irving R. Levine, that we name a 2016 Challenge Circuit event after Autism Speaks. If you haven’t read Jason’s story, please check out his blog post describing how the life of his son Eli is impacted by Autism, and what can be done to help.
Being an avid fan of the PGA Tour, I am able to see the charity work that the tour does each week, and how much of an impact a golf tournament can have. It seemed like a natural fit for TGC Tours to replicate the PGA Tour model and put on a charity golf tournament, and Autism Speaks was the perfect cause to kick off the TGCTours Gives Back campaign.
Reaching out to Autism Speaks was an interesting and educational experience, as I have no prior experience with putting on a charity event. It actually took awhile to explain our plan to Autism Speaks, as they are used to volunteers hosting events such as walks and various other fundraisers, many of which require promotional materials and a certain amount of reimbursement for costs incurred. Once they finally grasped the concept, and realized that all we were asking for was more or less their approval, they said, “So basically you are handing us cake, and all you are asking is for us to eat it?”
So in short, that is what the Autism Speaks Charity Championship is about. We understand that not everyone can make a financial contribution during the tournament, and it is certainly not expected or required. If you can’t contribute, however, helping to create awareness is just as important and is just a small way that you can help not only the cause of Autism Speaks, but the greater cause of TGCTours Gives Back going forward. Can you help us hand them cake?
Throughout the week I will use this venue to post information about the Autism Speaks cause. Today I will highlight the Autism Speaks organization:
At Autism Speaks, our goal is to change the future for all who struggle with an autism spectrum disorder. We are dedicated to funding global biomedical research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a possible cure for autism. We strive to raise public awareness about autism and its effects on individuals, families, and society: and we work to bring hope to all who deal with the hardships of this disorder. We are committed to raising the funds necessary to support these goals.
Autism Speaks aims to bring the autism community together as one strong voice to urge the government and private sector to listen to our concerns and take action to address this urgent global health crisis. It is our firm belief that, working together, we will find the missing pieces of the puzzle.
Autism is a general term used to describe a group of complex developmental brain disorders – autism spectrum disorders – caused by a combination of genes and environmental influences. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by communication difficulties, social and behavioral challenges, and repetitive behaviors. An estimated 1 in 68 children in the U.S. is on the autism spectrum.
About Autism Speaks
Autism Speaks is the world’s leading autism science and advocacy organization. It is dedicated to funding research into the causes, prevention, treatments and a cure for autism; increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders; and advocating for the needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with autism. Mr. Wright is the former vice chairman of General Electric and chief executive officer of NBC and NBC Universal. Since its inception, Autism Speaks has committed more than $570 million to its mission, the majority in science and medical research. Each year, Walk Now for Autism Speaks events are held in nearly 100 cities across North America. On the global front, Autism Speaks has established partnerships in more than 70 countries on five continents to foster international research, services and awareness. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit AutismSpeaks.org.