PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Fla. (March 7, 2022) – The HEAL Foundation (“Helping Enrich Autistic Lives”) – co-founded by golf course designer Bobby Weed and his wife Leslie – has proudly raised $400,000 for those with autism from Bobby Weed’s Golf Gig and HEAL BackYARD Bash. The Weed’s youngest daughter, Lanier (age 23), is profoundly affected by autism and is non-verbal.
“We are so appreciative of our spirited and generous friends in this community,” said Leslie Weed, co-founder of the HEAL Foundation. “Northeast Florida’s biggest winners are those directly affected by autism.”
Held at The Yards in Ponte Vedra Beach, Bobby Weed’s Golf Gig was a team scramble comprised of 76 area players, corporate partners and golf industry representatives.
The sold-out HEAL BackYARD Bash included festive cocktails, dinner and distinct live auction items:
• Villa Paraiso: 8-night/12-person stay in a dramatic 12,000 sq. ft. oceanside villa complete with a five-person staff in Manzanillo, Mexico (sold four times at $17,000 each)
• America’s Cup Yacht: 3-night stay at Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa and a voyage on the infamous America’s Cup yacht, “Stars and Stripes USA 11”
• Cabin Bluff: A captained Intracoastal Waterway boat ride on a ’35 Intrepid, lodging in well-appointed hunting cabins, sport clay shooting, a round of golf, bike rides, meals and more
• Round Diamond Solitaire Necklace: Donated by S.E. Joseph Jewelers
• Lowcountry Getaway: Golf at Harbour Town Golf Links, Long Cove Club and a two-night stay at the Sonesta Resort Hilton Head Island
$115,000 was also raised for iPads and tricycles in local schools. iPads give those who cannot speak the technology to “release their voice.” Tricycles offer students the sense of independence and joy that people feel when riding a bike.
Later in the evening, guests enjoyed a special musical performance by the Weed’s oldest daughter, Haley (“HAYL”). Debuting for the first time, the singer/songwriter wrote a cinematic ballad for her sister, “You Can Say It All” which reminds those who feel invisible that there is always someone who will listen. The song is now available on all music streaming platforms. A percentage of stream proceeds will be donated to HEAL.
HAYL is also minting an NFT (“non-fungible token”). Each token gives users access to exclusive content, including the original conception demo for “You Can Say It All.” All proceeds will be donated to HEAL. Fans can pre-register for the March 24 debut in this link.
“Candidly, we weren’t sure what to expect after the pandemic cancelled last year’s gala,” said Chriss Spires, president of the HEAL Foundation. “This year’s incredible turnout, over-the-top energy and robust sponsor support was a true testament to the northeast Florida community.”
Looking ahead, 350 young people will participate in 15 summer camps organized by HEAL. To learn more and support HEAL’s mission of aiding those with autism, visit healautismnow.org.
About Bobby Weed Golf Design
Bobby Weed Golf Design (BWGD) possesses some of the most innovative minds in golf. Bobby Weed has designed over 50 new courses and comprehensive renovations spanning from the “golden age” of design to the “modern era.” His work features a balance of visual appeal, sustainability and playability, all informed by an environmentally-sensitive aesthetic and an exceptional hands-on approach.
His professional career began in the 1970s with an extended apprenticeship under Pete Dye, sparking a near 40-year friendship with Mr. Dye. Hired in 1983 as the Golf Course Superintendent at TPC Sawgrass, Weed went on to become the PGA TOUR’s first in-house golf course architect. He was responsible for many of today’s best known TPC venues, which continue as host sites for prominent professional events.
In 1994, Weed’s career reached new heights with the formation of his own design firm. Both his original and renovated courses are consistently ranked at the top of their respective design categories.
BWGD is also a leader in golf course repurposing – a means to update layouts through redesign and reallocation of partial acreage for higher value land uses – which results in successful, refined and durable golf course designs.
Weed is a member of the American Society of Golf Course Architects. He is also a 42-year member of the Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, was a former Certified Golf Course Superintendent and is a member of the Florida Turfgrass Association.
More information: bobbyweed.com, 904.910.2876