Els for Autism Teams up with Trumpet Behavioral Health and The PGA Tour to Launch ‘The Els Gallery Club’

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The Els for Autism Foundation, founded by World Golf Hall of Famer, Ernie Els, announces the launch of ‘The Els Gallery Club,’ a unique opportunity for the golf and autism communities to come together to raise money for Autism. Pledge $50 to Els for Autism through the Els Gallery Club and get free PGA Tour event ticket. Fundraise $2,500 or more per person through the ‘Club’ and win an invitation to join Ernie for a unique seminar in Las Vegas.

Today, The Els for Autism Foundation, founded by World Golf Hall of Famer, Ernie Els, announced the launch of ‘The Els Gallery Club,’ a unique opportunity for the golf and autism communities to come together to raise money for Autism.

The Gallery Club, sponsored by Trumpet Behavioral Health and supported by The PGA Tour, is a new initiative designed for those who want to be part of this year’s Els for Autism Golf Challenge* but who are either non-golfers or just unable to make it to one of the 30+ Super Regional Golf Challenge events happening across the U.S. The Gallery Club consists of individuals or two-person fundraising teams participating in a virtual fundraising challenge through which they can qualify for tickets for select PGA Tour events and the Golf Challenge’s Grand Finale in Las Vegas.

Last year’s inaugural Golf Challenge was a huge success with over 1,700 players taking part in the series, 8,500 donors pledging funds and a total of $1.8 million raised. Els is confident that the latest Gallery Club initiative will help the Golf Challenge hit this year’s fundraising goal of $2.5 million by taking the Golf Challenge to a wider audience.

“As PGA Tour golfers, we are lucky enough to have a gallery of supporters watching us on television and coming to support us at tournaments” Els said. “This year, we wanted to create a virtual gallery who have the opportunity to be part of the Els for Autism Golf Challenge. The Gallery Club gives those who don’t play golf, or those not able to tee it up at one of our Golf Challenge events, a fun way to get involved and make a difference.”

Gallery Club members will be rewarded for their active support of Els’ Foundation. Supporters who join the Gallery Club by registering a $50 donation will have a special opportunity, thanks to The PGA Tour, of moving from a virtual Gallery supporting Ernie’s off-course philanthropic efforts to a physical gallery actually cheering on the South African three-time major winner, at one of three PGA TOUR tournaments. Members can select to be part of the gallery at one of three tournaments:

The Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra, Florida (May 10-13)
The WGC Bridgestone Invitational at Firestone Country Club in Akron, Ohio (August 1-5)
The Barclays at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, New York (August 23-26)

After registration, Els Gallery Club members will be given a dedicated fundraising page on the Golf Challenge website http://www.e4aGolf.com and encouraged to secure donations from friends family and colleagues. Members who successfully raise $2,500 (per person) will be invited to the Els for Autism 2012 Grand Finale in Las Vegas, October 19th and 20th, hosted by Ernie, that will include a special one-day seminar on autism, evening festivities and the chance to win extraordinary prizes.

The proceeds from the Golf Challenge and the Gallery Club will go towards creating The Els Center of Excellence, a $30 million facility that will provide state-of-the-art education for children with autism spectrum disorders and a global digital learning platform for families, researchers, therapists and teachers throughout the world to gain access to the latest research and programs to help those children and families touched by Autism; a disorder that now affects a staggering 1 in 88 children and 1 in 54 boys.

The Els for Autism Golf Challenge is supported by Presenting Sponsor SAP; Organizing Sponsors Wine Spectator, RBC, Callaway; and Gallery Club Sponsor Trumpet Behavioral Health.

To become part of the 2012 Els for Autism Golf Challenge, whether by entering one of 30+ Super Regional Golf Challenge events OR by joining The Els Gallery Club as a non-golfing supporter, register today at: http://www.e4aGolf.com
About the Els for Autism Golf Challenge
Spearheaded by World of Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els, The Els for Autism Golf Challenge is the largest charity-driven amateur golf tournament in history. The Golf Challenge consists of 30+ Super Regional events at top-rated courses across North America from April through September. Two-person teams compete for a place at the Grand Finale - a two-day extravaganza of golf and entertainment hosted by Ernie and his friends from the PGA Tour in Las Vegas on October 19th & 20th. In this tournament a team's fundraising ability is valued as much as their performance on the golf course and as such there are two ways for teams to get to the Final - be the low net team at a Super Regional event or raise $10,000 or more and automatically qualify. Non-golfers are invited to participate by joining the newly launched Gallery Club. Terms and Conditions apply. Events and dates subject to change.

For more information contact:
Mary Kay Willson, Els for Autism        
E: marykay.willson(at)ernieels(dot)com        
T: +1 561 252 6023

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Mary Kay Willson
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