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Country music star Jack Ingram to perform during autism benefit at TPC Sawgrass on Sept. 12

September 11, 2013

Jack Ingram

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla.– Country music star Jack Ingram and golf course architect Bobby Weed are teaming up in an effort to help families in Northeast Florida with children on the autism spectrum. 

The Bobby Weed-Jack Ingram Charity Golf Classic will be held at TPC Sawgrass and kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 12 with cocktails, dinner and a silent auction, followed by a performance by Ingram and his “Beat Up Ford Band.”  Presented by THE PLAYERS Championship and Nimnicht Family of Dealerships, the private concert titled “JACK INGRAM PLUGGED IN FOR iPADS” will raise funds to purchase iPads for use in Jacksonville-area Exceptional Student Education (ESE) classrooms.

The charity golf tournament will begin the next day on Friday, Sept. 13, on Dye’s Valley, a course Weed co-designed with Pete Dye at TPC Sawgrass.  The event will feature breakfast and a golf clinic beginning at 8:00 am, with the shotgun start tournament teeing off at 8:30 am.  Lunch and awards will follow.  Both events will benefit the Ponte Vedra-based HEAL (Healing Every Autistic Life) Foundation.

Weed, who co-founded HEAL with his wife, Leslie, explained, “Our 15 year-old daughter, Lanier, is non-verbal and profoundly affected by autism. Through the iPad, Lanier is able to with us.  It has opened up a whole new world to her and has given her a “voice.”

After witnessing the progress students with autism are making with iPads, Leslie and Bobby decided to dedicate the funds from this year’s HEAL event to purchase iPads and donate them to Exceptional Student Education (ESE) classrooms throughout the five counties surrounding Jacksonville.

Matt Rapp, executive director of THE PLAYERS Championship, said, “THE PLAYERS is a proud supporter of HEAL and is honored to present this year's event at TPC Sawgrass.  The organization's mission to provide educational programs and camps tailored to the needs of the autism community coincides with THE PLAYERS’ goal to generate $50 million for youth-related charities in Northeast Florida.  Together, we can help bring new learning opportunities to those with developmental disabilities through the touch of an iPad.”

The HEAL Foundation has created a special acronym for the event:  iHEAL- iPads Helping Enrich Autistic Lives.  Tickets for Thursday evening’s festivities are $100, with limited quantities available to be purchased online at HealAutismNow.org.  For tournament entry and sponsorship information, please contact the HEAL Foundation at (904) 716-4198.

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