‘Champagne, Clubs & Chukkas’ In Wellington Benefits Els For Autism

Ernie and Liezl Els at the recent Els for Autism benefit at IPC in Wellington.

World Polo Tour player Facundo Pieres, World of Golf Hall of Famer and four-time Major champion Ernie Els and his wife Liezl Els joined together to host the inaugural “Champagne, Clubs & Chukkas” fundraiser on Sunday, Feb. 21. It was an exciting afternoon of high-goal polo along with a socially distanced, outdoor brunch at the International Polo Club Palm Beach in Wellington to benefit Els for Autism.

The highly anticipated event was originally scheduled for April 2020 but was postponed due to the pandemic.

“I have to say that this event was worth the wait. It was a beautiful day and so much fun to spend time with our friends and supporters,” Liezl Els said. “The International Polo Club was so gracious, and we all felt very well taken care of.”

The event kicked off with a champagne toast and welcome message from Liezl Els, co-founder and managing director of Els for Autism.

Later, Pieres and Ernie Els spoke to guests in an entertaining and informational conversation about the similarities between golf and polo. “Facundo Pieres is a good friend of mine, and it was a lot of fun to have him join us for our fundraiser,” Ernie Els said. “We are all very grateful to everyone who attended our event.”

Guests enjoyed a delicious brunch out on the open-air veranda while watching Santa Clara take on Scone in a C.V. Whitney Cup polo match. Attention-grabbing raffle baskets and a silent auction added excitement to the fundraiser, and guests departed with luxury gift bags courtesy of Crystal Air Cruises. A total of $121,000 was raised for Els for Autism.

The foundation thanks the International Polo Club for hosting the event, as well as event sponsors the Breakers, Moët Hennessy, Wine Spectator, Crystal Air Cruises and Image Skincare. Proceeds from the event benefit the Els for Autism Foundation.

Els for Autism Foundation’s overarching mission is to help people on the autism spectrum fulfill their potential to lead positive, productive and rewarding lives. Learn more at www.elsforautism.org.