Athletes ‘Care 4 Autism’

Darryl Strawberry shares a special moment with a child with autism

The Darryl Strawberry Foundation

Darryl Strawberry garnered a lot of attention over the years, on the baseball field for his homeruns and in the public eye for his sometimes-tumultuous personal life. Now, Strawberry is dedicated to being remembered in the public eye for a new reason: getting people with autism the services that they require.  Strawberry founded The Darryl Strawberry Foundation with his wife after watching countless families struggle to get their children the services they needed to progress.  Currently, the foundation is working to begin an adult day program as well as help adults with autism find new opportunities in life.

The Dan Marino Foundation

Dan Marino is as much of a force in the autism field as he was on the football field.  Marino opened The Dan Marino Foundation in 1992, alongside his wife Claire.  They seek to provide children, teenagers, and adults with the programs and treatments they need.  Since its inception, the foundation has raised over $28 million dollars.  The money has gone to supporting the daily operations of their programs, funding medical research, and constructing the Dan Marino Center at Miami Children’s Hospital.

L/R: Laurie, Doug Jr., Doug and Alexa Flutie (Photo by: Derek Wilmot)

The Doug Flutie, Jr. Foundation

Former NFL all-star Doug Flutie and his wife Laurie noticed a change in their son’s behavior when he was two and a half.  Their son Doug Jr. was later diagnosed with autism.  While the Flutie’s are fortunate enough to be able to provide their son with whatever resources he may need, they acknowledged that this was not the case for thousands of other families out there.  The Doug Flutie, Jr Foundation was established to provide a light at the end of the tunnel for families with autistic children.  The foundation has to date, given over $5 million dollars in grants to research based organizations and organizations providing services to children with autism.

Ernie Els (Photo by: billypoon photos)

The Els for Autism Foundation

Professional Golfer Ernie Els and his wife Liezl were first personally touched by autism when their now seven-year-old son was diagnosed with autism at age of four.  After feeling the plight of what a family with an child with autism goes through, they decided to found the Els for Autism Foundation in the spring of 2009.  The foundation’s first order of business is to erect a Center of Excellence for children with autism.  They have since embarked on a $30 million dollar capital campaign to build the school and research facility which will serve 300 children.

NHL Legend, Ted Lindsay

The Ted Lindsay Foundation

NHL legend “Terrible Ted” Lindsay formed The Ted Lindsay Foundation in 2001 with his friend John Czarnecki, who is the father to a son with autism.  The Board of Directors, work (at no cost), with a research team to conduct various research projects, which are in turn funded by the foundation. The Ted Lindsay Foundation operates entirely on volunteer efforts, and as a result, 100% of the money that they raise goes directly to autism research. The foundation has raised over $1.5 million dollars and has put it all towards finding a cure for autism.

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