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Tenth Annual Els for Autism Pro-Am Raises $1.1 Million

March 15, 2018

The distinctive pop of Champagne bottles being uncorked mixed with the steady smack of golf balls being launched into the sky. It was Monday morning in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, and a field of pro golfers and eager amateurs were warming up for the Els for Autism Pro-Am on Monday morning at Old Palm Golf Club.

It was year 10 of this event, which raises money to help children with autism—and that heady occasion called for a toast. The group of 22 teams, each of them headed by a professional golfer, took to the practice green and surrounded Marvin R. Shanken, editor and publisher of sponsors Wine Spectator and Cigar Aficionado, to raise their glasses of bubbly as a team of bagpipers called the day to a start. The day raised $1.1 million for the charity, pushing the ten-year total to $10 million.

The Els Center of Excellence, the school in Jupiter, Florida, was created with the funds raised by this Pro-Am. Shanken founded the event and the charity with pro golfer Ernie Els and his wife, Liezl, whose son Ben has autism and is a student of the school. The site is a hub of education and information for autism, one of the most serious developmental disorders affecting children in the world today. Cigar Aficionado has more.

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