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Golfers hit the sweet spot for Big Easy Foundation

Golfers hit the sweet spot for Big Easy Foundation

More than R50 000 was raised for The Ernie Els Centre for Autism South Africa at the third annual Hilton Durban “Big Easy” Golf Cup held at Durban Country Club, which has been ranked as the 5th best golf course in South Africa by Golf Digest.

Jason Bird clinched the winner’s trophy with a winning round of 40 points for the second year in a row, beating more than 50 other golfers at the invitation-only event. Steve Cooper and Nigel Woodroffe took second and third spots respectively. Two fundraising auctions added to the fun at the prizegiving dinner which was hosted at Big Easy Winebar & Grill Durban by Ernie Els. Executive Chef Janine Fourie created a special menu for the evening which was paired with a selection of the best Ernie Els Wines.

A number of sporting celebrities rubbed shoulders with participants on the day, including Butch James, Andre Joubert, Kevin Curren, Barry Richards, Stefan Terblanche and Pat Symcox (who was also Master of Ceremonies at the dinner). VIP guests included Jan van der Putten (Vice-President Africa and Indian Ocean Hilton Worldwide) and Nico van Rensburg (Business Development Manager of the Ernie Els Group).

“It was a very successful tournament; the course was in excellent condition and the golfers really enjoyed the day”, says Markus Fritz, General Manager of Hilton Durban. “I would like to thank the golfers who attended and the companies who through their support and sponsorship, helped to make this day possible. The Hilton Durban Golf Cup is one of our main fundraising events and we are thrilled to be able to make a meaningful contribution to the Els for Autism Foundation.”

The two auctions (one was a Silent Auction) and “Score for Autism” spot penalty fines on the golf course (R10 per birdie or blowout scored) helped realise a final total of R53 000 raised for The Ernie Els Centre for Autism South Africa (which was founded in 2009 by Ernie and his wife Liezl after their son was diagnosed as being profoundly autistic).

  • The Ernie Els Foundation for Autism was founded in 2009 by Ernie and his wife, Liezl, after their son was diagnosed as being profoundly autistic. The couple then focused on providing the service in South Africa and in January 2011 founded The Ernie Els Centre for Autism (EEC). The Els Centre of Excellence opened in Florida in the United States in August 2015. The service allows lower-resourced families of children, on the spectrum in South Africa, with free access to effective treatment. Support is supplied at their in-centre sessions in Braamfontein, Gauteng, as well as via telephonic and Skype guidance. EEC-trained facilitators use a multi-faceted e-learning solution to render customized intervention for each family. A primary goal of the Foundation is to empower caregivers so that they can teach a multitude of skills – including social understanding, matching colours, throwing a ball and toileting – in order for them to practise and incorporate them into their daily life. For more information on the Foundation visit the EEC website:


Durban Get It Magazine April 2018

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