Autism Society of America to host golf tournament

BRASELTON - The Georgia chapter of the Autism Society of America will host its fourth annual charity golf tournament April 29 at Chateau ...lan.

The tournament, which will be held on two of Chateau ...lan's three prodigious courses, is set up as a four-person "modified scramble." There is a $1,200 entry fee for teams and a $300 fee for individuals.

Participates are treated to a lunch provided by Publix and a LongHorn Steakhouse dinner reception. An awards presentation will follow. No matter what the scorecard reads, each golfer will receive a free $125 pair of FootJoy golf shoes.

All proceeds from the tournament support the Autism Society of America-Greater Georgia Chapter.

Tournament founder Tom Harrison, whose 10-year-old grandson Drew lives with autism, expects more than 200 participants. The tournament coincides with National Autism Month.

"It continues to amaze me how many people come back every year for this great cause," he said.

The Autism Society of America-Greater Georgia Chapter provides education, information, referral and support to families touched by autism. Harrison said after living in Chateau ...lan for more than decade, he thought his family was the only household in the community dealing with the condition. Through founding the tournament, however, Harrison found out 18 families in Chateau ...lan had a member living with the disorder.

"The main thing this tournament does is promote awareness," he said.

Defined as a neurological brain disorder, autism affects one in 150 children born each year in the U.S., according to the Autism Society of America-Greater Georgia Chapter.

The estimated lifetime cost of caring for a child with autism ranges from $3.5 million to $5 million. There is no known cure, but advocates say there are treatment and educational approaches that may reduce some of the challenges associated with the condition.

For registration or sponsorship information, call 770-904-4474.