Join Els for Autism® in Celebrating World Autism Month: Creating Opportunities for Inclusion and Acceptance of Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder

Els for Autism World Autism Month

As we prepare to celebrate World Autism Month this April, Els for Autism invites individuals and families to join us in our mission of creating a world of limitless possibilities for individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families. Through our comprehensive programs and services spanning a lifetime, the Els for Autism team empowers individuals with to thrive.

This year, we are spotlighting the remarkable journey of Els for Autism Advisory Board Member Connor Sturgis who was recently recognized by Publix for his tenure. In the last 11 years at Publix, Connor has earned several promotions and now holds the job title of Customer Service Representative. “Connor’s opening line to me many years ago was ‘I get to go to work every day,'” said Els for Autism Co-Founder & Honorary Chair Marvin Shanken. “How many employees say, ‘I get to go to work every day?'”

Recognizing the importance of inclusive programs, Connor has embarked on a mission to raise $100,000 for adult services offered by the Els for Autism team. We invite you to join us in supporting Connor’s endeavor by helping him achieve his fundraising goal.

To celebrate World Autism Day on Tuesday, April 2, Els for Autism will open the Big Easy™ Cafe by Ernie Els to the public, with Connor as our honored guest. Located at The Els Center of Excellence® campus in Jupiter, Florida, our cafe not only offers delicious meals, snacks, and specialty drinks (see menu) but also is a vocational lab for clients in our Adult Day Training (ADT) program. Additionally, the cafe serves as a meaningful place of employment for an autistic adult and is one of our Work Experience (WE) sites, where adults are learning essential employment skills specific to the food industry. Join us on Tuesday, April 2, from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. for a memorable World Autism Day celebration in our cafe.

Once again, Els for Autism will host “Awe in Autism” at The Gardens GreenMarket, showcasing handcrafted items from local micro-businesses made by individuals with ASD. Els for Autism microbusiness, Sea of Possibilities, will be one of the many vendors selling their products. Sea of Possibilities empowers individuals with autism to learn communication, motor, money, and vocational skills. Awe in Autism will be held April 7 and 14 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.

On Saturday, April 20, the Els Center of Excellence campus will welcome participants to the 5th annual Roots & Ruts Off-Road 5k run/walk, specifically designed for individuals with autism and their families. This sensory-friendly course runs through the Jupiter Flatwoods, the first certified autism-friendly natural area in Florida, and will also feature a sensory-friendly obstacle course and post-race expo.

Wrapping up World Autism Month, Els for Autism will host the Golf Challenge Regional Event at Bear Lakes Country Club, featuring a special Ernie Els #GameON Autism® Golf Clinic for adults in our Adult Day Training program. “We are providing a unique opportunity for individuals with autism to play on a top-rated golf course while golfers, participating in our Golf Challenge, tee off,” said Marlene Sotelo, Executive Director of Els for Autism. Since its inception in 2011, the Golf Challenge has raised over $37 million to support programs and services offered by the Els for Autism team.

Members of the media are cordially invited to attend these events. For inquiries, please contact Rachel Soler at or 812.550.4353.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *