GAUTIER— A charity tournament to benefit children with autism will bring golfers from across the Mississippi Gulf Coast—and beyond–to Shell Landing Golf Club in Gautier later this month.
The Swing Into Autism Awareness 2018 Golf Tournament on July 28 kicks off the largest annual fundraising event for the Mississippi Centers For Autism And Related Developmental Disabilities.
The nonprofit organization in D’Iberville provides treatment programs for children with autism spectrum disorder and their families at its facility.
Ganece Darden, coordinator for the golf tournament volunteers, said that Shell Landing is an ideal venue because of its size, location, and inviting atmosphere. With other weekend events taking place in Harrison County, having an event in Jackson County brings the fundraiser to a wider audience.
“They’ve always been very cooperative and supporting, so we’ve partnered with them,” Darden said of Shell Landing’s participation in the event over the years.
Darden said the golf tournament draws locals as well as those from outside Mississippi. Special guests of this year’s tournament include NFL sporting agents and retired NFL players. Refreshments and lunch will be provided, and volunteers will be running golf carts for participants.
Those interested in swinging a golf club for a good cause can register with others as a team or as individuals to be placed on a team.
After the Saturday morning golf tournament, the fun continues that evening with an All White Affair at the Scarlet Pearl. On the following Sunday afternoon, author and actor T.C. Stallings will be the guest speaker at the Living Life With a Purpose event at the Biloxi Civic Center.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 1 in 68 children in the U.S. has been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. This means if you don’t have it, you probably know someone who does, Darden said.
“Autism is very prevalent in this day and age, and I think it kind of has an effect on everybody,” Darden said.
For more information or to register for any of the fundraising events, visit www.mscentersforautism.org. The website also includes a link for visitors to make a donation to MCARDD.