Mini-Grant Recipient Success Stories: Els for Autism Foundation (2017-2018)

Els for Autism Foundation has been awarded 2 Healthier Jupiter Mini-Grants over the years. The impact they are making in their community is amazing!

Els for Autism Foundation’s mission is to provide life spanning service programs to help adults successfully transition to all aspect of life including employment, independent living and recreation.

Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) often lack opportunities for physical activity due to high levels of intensive therapy involving stagnant activities throughout each day. In addition, many individuals with ASD have high incident deficits in motor planning and coordination leading to an aversion to fitness activities. Although these individuals may shy away from physical activity and organized sports, it is imperative to create programs that use evidence based practices to get them active, moving and practicing social skills

In 2017 - 2018 Els for Autism Foundation used their grant for their program ERNIE ELS #GAMEON AUTISM GOLF. The funds from the grant were used to help fund a golf coach for Ernie Els #GameON Autism™ Golf Program is an innovative program, developed by Els for Autism in collaboration with PGA Reach and The First Tee, that gives children and adults on the spectrum, access to the game of golf. The program is aimed at developing life skills, encouraging social interaction and promoting healthy living through golf. #GameON Autism Golf is designed to build self-esteem and confidence in a fun, welcoming and supportive environment; encouraging participants to learn golf skills while practicing specific autism learning concepts infused into each golf session.

Els for Autism shared this story with Healthier Jupiter…”Andrew B. is a 20-year-old nonverbal young man with autism.  He had no interest in golf at all, and in the initial sessions, he would just run around the greens.  It took about 4 or 5 sessions to get him to stay with the group and start to participate in some of the activities.  By the beginning of the second session, we were able to get him to hold the club with both hands independently.  By the end of the series, we had him swinging the club and making contact.  The thrill for all of us was when he putted into the hole during the very last session!"

Additionally, 60% of their clients have continued with a fitness routine at least 2 days per week after the 8-week initial program.

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Els for Autism Foundation’s ERNIE ELS #GAMEON AUTISM GOLF Program met Healthier Jupiter’s Mini-Grant focus to help individuals become more physically active on a regular basis,.

About Healthier Jupiter’s 2019-2020 Mini-Grant Program

Healthier Jupiter, a community initiative founded to address health and quality of life issues, for the fourth year in a row, Healthier Jupiter will offer Mini Grants to impact the health of our community. The goal of the Mini Grants is to fund innovative projects that have measurable impact and can create meaningful, transformative change in the health, wellness and success of the greater Jupiter community. The grants will allow civic organizations, churches, temples, schools, government entities and nonprofits to fund pilot ideas to improve our collective community health in one of four focus areas:

  1. Increase the availability and affordability of fresh, healthy foods;

  2. Help individuals become more physically active on a regular basis;

  3. Encourage people to engage mentally and physically to practice healthy behaviors; and/or

  4. Support changes in the built environment and community policies that promote equitable opportunities for healthy living.

For more information about Healthier Jupiter’s Mini-Grant Program please visit Here you can learn about past recipients, get some great inspiration from innovative ideas from around the country, and submit an interest form (which is required to submit a grant).

Healthier Jupiter is funded through a generous grant from Palm Health Foundation in partnership with Jupiter Medical Center, as part of the countywide Healthier Together Initiative.