Second Annual Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Celebrity Golf Tournament Raises Over $400,000 for Stuttering Education and Research
Arthur M. Blank and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, three-time DP World Tour winner, join forces through The Blank Center
ATLANTA – Oct. 18, 2023 – The second annual Dream. Speak. Live. Blank Center for Stuttering Celebrity Golf Tournament at the Brookhaven Capital City Club, one of the world’s most recognizable private country clubs, raised over $400,000 in support of the Arthur M. Blank Center for Stuttering Education and Research (The Blank Center) and its programs.
The day was filled with inspiration from Blank Center students and competition including longest drive and closest to the pin and a hole-in-one competitions, as well as a VIP gifting suite. Participants were made up of 18 foursomes paired with celebrity guests including PGA TOUR and LPGA golfers, Atlanta Falcons legends, Atlanta United and Atlanta Braves alumni and many more. Bonded by the experience of being stutterers, Arthur Blank, The Blank Center and Christiaan Bezuidenhout, a three-time DP World Tour winner, joined forces in September 2021 to raise awareness of stuttering and the life-changing approach to treatment available through The Blank Center. This golf fundraiser was a natural extension of their passions and influence.
In 2020, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation partnered with The University of Texas at Austin Moody College of Communication to launch The Blank Center followed by the first satellite office in Atlanta in 2021 with worldwide satellite offices to come. The goal of The Blank Center, founded and led by Dr. Courtney Byrd, who has been building the program at UTA since 2003 as an industry leader and renowned stuttering expert, advances understanding about the nature and effective treatment of stuttering through evidence-based programming to treat children, teenagers and adults worldwide.
“As a person who stutters, partnering with Dr. Byrd and Christiaan is a gift to me. Stuttering has genetically been part of my family for as long as I can remember,” said Arthur M. Blank, chairman, the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and owner, PGA TOUR Superstore. “This event allows us to expand the immeasurable work of Dr. Byrd while amplifying Christiaan’s incredible gift as a world-renowned golfer who happens to also stutter, reinforcing the necessary message that stuttering doesn’t have to slow us down. I’m grateful to those that came out to have some fun and support this very meaningful cause.”
The Blank Center rests on a foundation of ‘Dream. Speak. Live.,’ with the evidence-based understanding that communication is not defined by fluency and stuttering does not stop people from pursuing their dreams and living their lives to the fullest.
“My own life has been changed by the groundbreaking work at the Blank Center,” said South African professional golfer and Olympian Christiaan Bezuidenhout. “Combining my passion of golf with this world-renowned work is a blessing, and I look forward to continuing to work alongside Dr. Byrd and Arthur Blank to ensure that the world understands that it truly is ok to stutter, and to help prevent as many children as possible from going through the same struggle with their stuttering that I did.”
“Arthur Blank and Christiaan Bezuidenhout are wonderful role models for children, teens and adults worldwide,” says The Blank Center founder and executive director, Dr. Courtney Byrd. “Two brilliant, kind individuals whose extraordinary success inspires those who stutter to never let stuttering stop them from pursuing their dreams and informs the public that people who stutter can accomplish whatever they set their mind to,” said Byrd. “I am forever grateful for the organizations and individuals who make this fun, educational and inspiring event possible as their efforts have enabled us to impact many more lives in the years ahead. My heart is overwhelmed by our Blank Center participants who were also part of this special day, and like Arthur and Christiaan, they are and will forever be what inspires and informs our global mission.”
During the next decade, additional satellite centers will be established nationally, and Byrd’s signature intensive treatment program, Camp Dream. Speak. Live., is now operating in over 40 countries across the world. The Blank Centers will also provide education for students and clinicians so that they are equipped to serve people who stutter.
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