AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)– Easterseals East Georgia hopes local golfers will support their mission by teeing it up for a good cause!

“Golfing for Greatness” is coming up April 24th at the Belle Meade Country Club in Thomson. It benefits the organization’s program for autism, according to CEO Lynn Smith.

“Over the years, we’ve really gotten involved with the autism community in a lot of ways. We discovered probably about eight to 10 years ago, that individuals on the autism spectrum really struggle sometimes when they get into the workforce, because of their unique characteristics. Their socialization or their communication deficits sometimes. So we developed some programs to support that and we’ve been very successful helping people get jobs and stay in jobs that might have come into conflicts before.”

But it’s more than finding meaningful employment. It’s also about helping people with autism, and their families, connect with others in non-threatening ways.

They don’t always have the interconnectivity that a lot of other people might have. So we’ve kind of expanded our recreational, socialization activities. We’ve made a collaboration with The Mosaic Center to have this wonderful program, it’s called Life on the Spectrum, Augusta. We have a Facebook page that’s very active and associated with that is a support group for the families, for their parents. And we try to provide information. We meet definitely at the Mosaic Center on the last Friday night of the month. And it’s kind of a respite for the family night, but a fun night for the individuals that come. And there’s usually 50, 60, 70 young people there. And we do gaming, we watch movies, we do a lot of different things. And then we take the support group off, the families, if they’re interested and talk about a special topic that may be related to that community. So it might be Social Security Benefits, it might be developing relationships, it might be these, we had talked at one point about the college experience programs. They’re called IPSE programs, but they’re college experience programs. There’s a new one at University of South Carolina Aiken the Pacer Program. But they’re all over. And people, families that have individuals that might qualify, need the information about that, ’cause it’s very new stuff. So what we try to do is be a resource for all that information, but also be kind of giving a little cattle prod, get out there, enjoy your life, you know, make connections.”

For more information about the golf tournament, call Lynn Smith at 706-667-9695.