Home > Awareness, Co-founders, Fundraising, The Pin Is In > A Day in the Life: Volunteering at Autism Speaks’ Celebrity Golf Challenge

A Day in the Life: Volunteering at Autism Speaks’ Celebrity Golf Challenge

This guest post is by Autism Speaks staffer Kerry Magro.  Kerry, an adult who has autism, is a rising senior at Seton Hall University, majoring in Sports Management.

One may ask what someone does after volunteering from about six in the morning to 10 at night. Does one take a shower, go to sleep, get some food, OR in some rare cases, write a blog about the day’s events? If you chose the latter, you were correct and win the glorious prize of knowing there are completely loopy people like me in this world. (Don’t believe me; I just used the word loopy in a sentence.)

On Monday, June 28, Winged Foot Golf Club in Mamaroneck, New York hosted the 12th Annual Autism Speaks Celebrity Golf Challenge. I had the opportunity to volunteer to help run the event with Autism Speaks, and as a true golf enthusiast, I felt very privileged and excited, to say the least!

The day’s events were simply astonishing, whether it was the swarms of celebrities (some with inflated handicaps and some without) or the continuing use of huge advancements in the world of technology, such as Bid Pal (a device similar to an iPhone that helps auctioneers place bids on numbered items during auctions) and eGolfScore devices (handheld wireless scoring devices updating golf scores up to the second for standings and updates). All celebrities in attendance were teamed up with groups of golfers to play in the events. The event also featured a live and silent auction in the evening with quite a few great items up for grabs.

The golf events from the day were joyous for the most part; however, an interesting sight to see was in the late afternoon when it started raining and several golf groups kept playing. Whether it was based on the fact that it was Autism Speaks’ event or not didn’t matter; people were enjoying their day and it was great to see.

The most heartfelt event of the day for me occurred during the evening dinner program where Kevin J. Murray, The event and committee co-chair spoke about autism and how it had impacted not only his son, but his family’s lives around him. This was during a very funny transitional period where Autism Speaks and Winged Foot debuted a video that was shot throughout the golf events of the day. The video included a spoof of the movie “Caddyshack” (I chuckled more than once and am laughing while typing this out as well in memory). Kevin probably said it best when he said, “This video we are about to see truly captures the feeling of today” and it did:  fun, eventful and timeless.

Suzanne and Bob Wright, The honorary co-chairs who were also in attendance, spoke during the evening dinner program and showed once again how effective and powerful they are when it comes to public speaking. Suzanne Wright, who quoted Michelangelo, said, “I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” This was symbolic to Autism Speaks’ dedication to help with autism put together the puzzle, piece-by-piece.

Special thanks go out to all the celebrities who attended, the golfers who played and made donations to Autism Speaks, and also the to the staff members and volunteers whose fabulous work made the day run smoothly for everyone.

Read more about the event and view photos here.

  1. June 29, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    Hi Guys,

    Well done on putting this event on. I live just outside london in the UK and I am going to put on a seminar about Autistic Adults at the end of this year or in Spring 2010 at the latest. My younger brother is 28 and has aspergers syndrome and I am a Chiropractor. Over the years we have been continually frustrated by the lack of info and training out there to help practitioners/trainers/carers with autistic adults as all of the seminars out there are aimed at helping autistic children! So far I haven’t had any joy getting the guys behind the Sunrise Program on board or Judith Bluestone (Founder of Handle).

    The event I am putting on will be to raise money for various Autistic Charities and was wondering if Kerry would be interested in maybe speaking at the gig? I only found this site today and it looks very interesting indeed. Cheers. Chat soon


  2. June 29, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Thank you for everything you are doing to get the word out. I dont believe people realize how your life changes when you have a child with ASD. In fact i received an email frm a girl i went to high school with on a website for our high school. i had told her all about vinnie and when she replyed she said” i know alot of children with autisim” I know her very well and she has 4 healthy children and i do know she does not know anything at all about having a child with autisim. Our lives changed in a way we never thought it would. we have 4 older children 35yr,33yr,31yr,19yrs old None of them ever bothered to take the time to know their brother let alone be able to care for him. I am so grateful for this website and for the people who volunteer and blog about it!! thank you and God Bless All Of You Lisa

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