July 20 golf scramble
Fundraiser aims to help autistic children
A golf scramble last year helped Michael Collier earn his Eagle Scout badge and raise almost $3,000 to help children with autism.
He hopes to do better this year.
The second annual iPads and Apps for Autism Golf Scramble will be held at Homestead Springs Golf Course, 5888 London-Lancaster Road, Groveport, on Friday, July 20, with a shotgun start at 9 a.m. The $200 team fee includes all fees, cart, food and prizes. One golfer will take home a four-day/five-night vacation at High Chalet Condominiums in Gatlinburg, Tenn.
The money raised last year was enough to purchase four iPads equipped with special social applications. The devices were given to four families, each with a child who has severe autism.
Collier said the iPad devices and their programs have enabled the children to make incredible improvements in their ability to communicate. He said iPads are effective tools "because of their simplicity."
He said a new iPad costs $500 to $600. His goal this year is to raise at least $3,900.
"Studies have shown that kids that are autistic, especially non-verbal (kids) that can't communicate, with the iPad, they can communicate," he said.
What started as a campaign to raise awareness about autism "got into raising money, and now it's both," he said.
Since he's already earned his Eagle Scout designation, this year's event is part of a required senior project for the 2012-13 school year at Fairfield Christian. Collier said his efforts to raise money and awareness will continue well after the golf scramble ends.
"Even when the golf outing ends, the project doesn't end," he said. "I can continue -- this is just a good time to get sponsors."
The issue holds special significance for him because he is mildly autistic. He has an autism spectrum disorder called Asperger's Syndrome, or AS.
It differs from autism in that people with Asperger's have more advanced language and cognitive development. Collier credits scouting with helping him to adapt socially.
"In addition to speech therapy, joining Boy Scouts provided me an outlet and allowed me to refine my social skills," he said. "A social outlet of some kind is indeed vital to move an autistic child along the path to improvement."
The registration deadline for iPads & Apps for Autism Golf Scramble is Monday, July 9. Registration forms are available at the Southeastern Ohio center for Independent Living (SOCIL), 418 S. Broad St., Lancaster, or online at: http://www.socil.org.
Completed registration forms can be dropped off at either SOCIL or mailed to Michael Collier, 7799 Lithopolis Road, Carroll, Ohio 43112.
People interested in the golf outing can also call SOCIL at 1-740-689-1494, ext. 12, to have a form sent electronically or mailed.