Pro athletes help drive autism closer to a cure at the inaugural Canadian Athletes Against Autism Golf Tournament August 10 - 11

    Current & Former NHL Stars including Olie Kolzig, Scott Mellanby, Byron
    DaFoe, Mike Vernon, Chuck Kobasew, Axel Mercx and Todd Simpson are Among
    Those Expected to Tee Off in Support of Autism Awareness and Research

    KELOWNA, BC, July 28 /CNW/ - Current and former professional athletes
from around the sports world will join sponsors, volunteers and supporters
from the Kelowna, British Columbia community at the inaugural Canadian
Athletes Against Autism Golf Tournament on August 10 - 11 at the Harvest Lake
Golf Club to help raise awareness and funds for autism research. This
fundraiser is hosted by Athletes Against Autism - a group of athletes devoted
to making a positive impact for families affected by autism - and its parent
organization, Autism Speaks - an autism advocacy organization dedicated to
raising awareness and funds for autism research.
    The Grand Okanagan Resort will host a kick-off gala on Sunday, August 10.
The evening will include a cocktail hour, dinner and silent auction featuring
exclusive sports memorabilia and unique vacation packages. The next day,
golfers will be partnered with a current or former professional athlete for a
round of golf at the Harvest Lake Golf Club. The festivities will be
highlighted by a number of contests, including a hole-in-one challenge,
followed by dinner and an awards reception.
    Lead Sponsors include Pareto Platform and Mission Hill Winery.


    Autism Speaks has partnered with professional hockey players Olie Kolzig,
Byron Dafoe and Scott Mellanby to form Athletes Against Autism. They, along
with many other professional athlete supporters, are harnessing their efforts
into one voice in order to raise awareness and funds for autism research,
treatment and family support programs. As fathers of children with autism,
Olie, Byron and Scott realize the importance of using their status and
influence to make an impact on the global autism community. For more
information, please visit


    Autism Speaks Canada, the Canadian arm of Autism Speaks, is dedicated to
increasing awareness of autism spectrum disorders, to funding research into
the causes, prevention and treatments for autism, and to advocating for the
needs of individuals with autism and their families. Autism Speaks was founded
in February 2005 by Suzanne and Bob Wright, the grandparents of a child with
autism. Bob Wright is Senior Advisor at Lee Equity Partners and served as vice
chairman, General Electric, and chief executive officer of NBC for more than
twenty years. To-date, over $6 million in funds have been provided to the
Canadian autism research community from coast to coast in grants provided by
Autism Speaks. To learn more about Autism Speaks, please visit


    Autism is a complex brain disorder that inhibits a person's ability to
communicate and develop social relationships, and is often accompanied by
extreme behavioral challenges. Autism spectrum disorders are diagnosed in one
in 150 children, affecting four times as many boys as girls. The diagnosis of
autism has increased tenfold in the last decade. The Centers for Disease
Control and Prevention in the United States have called autism a national
public health crisis whose cause and cure remain unknown.

For further information:

For further information: Emma Petievich, Senior Event Manager, Autism
Speaks,, (323) 549-0500; Suzanne Lanthier,
Executive Director, Autism Speaks Canada,, (888)
362-6227, (416) 388-3139

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