Golf developer has supported Autism Delaware's autism community for 20 years
Published: May 10, 2023 by: Lisa Walenceus
Tim Johnson, owner and founder of Johnson Electrical Construction, received the annual Steve Byrnes Going the Distance Award at the 2023 Drive for Autism held at Fieldstone Country Club in Wilmington, DE, on May 1, 2023. Johnson received the award in recognition of his longtime support of The Drive for Autism and other events that provide support to Delaware’s autism community.
Johnson established his electrical construction company in 1985. His development group, Oak Forest Park, LLC, recently purchased the former Shawnee Country Club in Milford to reopen its golf course and build a new restaurant.
Artie Kemper, the event’s founder and organizer said, “Tim and his team have played in the Drive for 20 years. He’s a die hard Eagles fan, so the team usually drives up in his specially outfitted Eagles-themed RV. He really puts his heart into the event.”
“When the new Milford course is ready,” he continued, “We’d love to play a Drive for Autism there!”
For 22 years, the Drive for Autism has raised awareness of the needs of people living on the spectrum and established foundational support for the services Autism Delaware provides. The event pairs teams of golfers with celebrity sports figures who generously donate their time to help people who have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder.
This year’s roster of celebrity supporters included Eagles players Brandon Graham, Brett Celek and William Thomas; NFL players Qadry Ismail, Erik Williams, Mike Mayock, Colin Thompson and Scott Brunner; NASCAR’s Jeff Gordon, Chase Elliott, Joey Logano, Denny Hamlin, Clint Bowyer, Michael Waltrip and Regan Smith; Fox Broadcasters Mike Joy, Adam Alexander and Jamie Little; Major League Baseball’s B.J. Surhoff, Dicky Noles, Mickey Morandini and Ben Davis; University of Delaware coaches Ryan Carty and Martin Inglesby; and broadcasters Scott Graham, Mike Corey and Scott Klatzkin.
About the Steve Byrnes Going the Distance Award
Autism Delaware’s Going the Distance Award was established in 2015 in honor of Steve Byrnes, a reporter for Fox NASCAR who died in 2015 of complications from cancer. His son, Bryson, presents the award each year to honor his father’s legacy. Bryson is following in his father’s footsteps, pursuing a career in sports broadcasting.
Byrnes was an exceptional supporter of people on the spectrum.
“Steve wore the autism awareness pin every time he was on the air,” Kempner explained. “He helped our community grow and made autism a cause for people to get behind.”