BOSTON, Mass – Since 1997, the Francis Ouimet Scholarship Fund Annual Banquet has become a tradition ‘unlike any other‘ in New England, honoring golf’s most accomplished individuals, while raising valuable funds to distribute to need-based college men and women who qualify.
The annual banquet is America’s largest golf dinner and the stage was first set by the “King” – Arnold Palmer – while 25 others have graciously accepted the “Francis Ouimet Award for Lifetime Contributions to Golf.”
Ernie Els will be honored at the 2023 fundraising gala scheduled Monday April 3 at Encore Boston Harbor, which annually attracts upwards of 1,500 guests.
“We are thrilled to have Ernie Els as the 2023 Banquet Honoree,” said Ouimet Fund Executive Director Colin McGuire. “Not only is Ernie Els one of the most prolific winners of his generation, he and his wife Liezl have transcended the sport with groundbreaking charitable endeavors and fundraising by founding in 2009 “The Els for Autism Foundation.”
Ernie Els owns 72 professional career victories on his golf resume, including four major championships, two World Golf Championships and a record seven Match Play titles. As a former World No. 1 Els is one of the most prolific golfers of his generation and his global reach is almost without parallel. He was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 2011 and the South Africa Golf Hall of Fame in 2009.
Ernie and his wife Liezl founded the Els for Autism Foundation in 2009, spearheading a campaign that led to the opening in 2015 of The Els Center of Excellence in Florida, a world-class site hosting leading-edge programs and services for individuals with autism. In 2009, the couple established The Els for Autism Foundation shortly after their son, Ben, was diagnosed with autism.
The Ouimet Fund’s purpose is to help deserving young men and women, who have worked at golf courses in Massachusetts, obtain a college education. Since 1949, The Fund has awarded over $46 million in scholarships to more than 6,470 deserving men and women.
The Francis Ouimet annual golf banquet has become a fixture in the New England golf community! Previous honorees include Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus, Greg Norman, Gary Player, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, President George Bush, Jim Nantz, Nancy Lopez, Annika Sorenstam, Ben Crenshaw, Chi Chi Rodriquez, Tom Kite and more.
The Ouimet Banquet is always a special evening and a wonderful opportunity to hear directly from Banquet Honorees, who represent much of the history of the game of golf. Guests also hear from the Student Speaker, whose personal story embodies that of so many Ouimet Scholars. The Ouimet Scholarship Fund expects to award $3 million in need-based scholarships for the 2022-23 school year.