Photo Essay: Athletes’ Charities Supporting Special Needs – PGA Superstar Ernie Els Takes On Autism

For Hall of Fame golfer Ernie Els, advocacy for autism is personal. In 2008, his son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism, and shortly after, Els and his wife Liezl established the Els For Autism Foundation. Using his celebrity and golf as a platform, Els has been able to bring awareness to autism, and fund The Els Center of Excellence, a 26 acre campus for children who are ages 3-21 on the autism spectrum. This spring, the Els Center of Excellence will celebrate the conclusion of its first school year. Already cemented as a legend, Els says he wants to be remembered for his battle against autism rather than his victories on the golf course, concluding “I hope you’ll share an interest and join me in this fight.”

Photo courtesy of Els 4 Autism

Photo Essay by Chad T. Collins