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The Ted Lindsay Foundation: Dedicated to cure Autism

Annual golf outing raises funds for autism research and provides a chance to meet a hockey legend

by Arthur J.Regner @arthurjregner / DetroitRedWings.com

DETROIT - Ted Lindsay has led an extraordinary life.

Considered to be one of--if not--the greatest left wing in the history of the game, Lindsay's on-ice accomplishments have made him an immortal in his sport.

However, Lindsay's on-ice greatness pales in comparison to the man he is off the ice, which is really saying something.

Over 16 years ago, Lindsay, a physical fitness enthusiast, was being stretched out by his friend, John Czarnecki, who told him about his son, Dominic.

"I work out three times a week and I was being stretched at the gym by one of the gym's owners, John Czarnecki," Lindsay recalled. "He mentioned his son, Dominic, had autism. I had never heard of the disease before, but my wife had a lot of medical dictionaries, so I went home and got them out.

"The next time at the gym when John is stretching me, I asked, 'What can we do for Dominic?' He said, 'We can raise money.'

"How do old athletes raise money? They have golf outings. I had long finished playing (Lindsay was in his late seventies at the time), but I was involved with charities and we had a golf outing, which has always been held the Monday after Labor Day."

This year, the 17th Annual Ted Lindsay Foundation Celebrity Golf Outing will be held on Monday, September 11 at the Detroit Golf Club.

There are several golf and sponsor packages, including a corporate golfer package, an individual golfer package and for just $125, a dinner and cocktails package where you'll be rubbing elbows with many of Detroit's big-time athletes.

Also, in honor of Ted's late wife, Joanne, the Foundation will be raffling off a 2017 Chrysler 300 donated by Dick Scott. Each raffle ticket is $99 and the drawing will take place at this year's golf outing.

"That car is given by Dick (Scott), free and clear, there is not one nickel attached to it," Lindsay said. "Anybody that wins it, walks away with that car. For $99, it's a pretty good gamble."

Since the Ted Lindsay Foundation has been formed, it has raised millions of dollars, all of which has been poured in to the research and treatment of autism.

"Research is the key," Lindsay said. "With this vehicle we've created, we built a million-dollar building on Greenfield just before 13 Mile in Southfield, all for autism research.

"We also have a company in Austin, Texas, who do research. That has been going on for 16 years.

"I wasn't looking for something to get involved with over longevity, but sometimes diseases are longevity, so we will continue. Hopefully before I leave this world we will find what is causing this epidemic."

Lindsay turned 92 last month. His competitive spirit and the resolve of his character has never waned.

Whether he was going against the Wings' archrival, Maurice Richard's Montreal Canadiens, or autism, a serious developmental disorder which affects an individual's ability to communicate and interact, Lindsay says, "I have always believed in a good fight."

A fight where the results have favored Lindsay more times than not.

"I try and get into our facility in Southfield as much as I can to see what is happening," Lindsay said. "They're learning, the doctors are learning, they learn by treatment also.

"Dominic (Czarnecki), the young man I got involved with is entering college this year, was autistic, but it tells you what can be done with good families, with good parents."

That is true, but it also tells you something about a hockey player nicknamed 'Terrible Ted,' who is anything but terrible as a man.

If you're interested in participating, sponsoring or advertising in this year's Ted Lindsay Foundation Celebrity Golf Outing, please contact Lew LaPaugh at 248-202-6194 or Don Fichter at 248-755-8026. You can also obtain information at TedLindsay.org.

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