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Golf tournament honouring late teen helps local youth with autism

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A golf tournament is carrying on the legacy of a teen who died in a car crash in 2018 by helping to support local youth with autism.

The Swing Fore Nelson annual golf tournament took place on Saturday, supporting a bursary that was created in honour of Orillia's Nelson Bell, who was just 16 when he was killed in a car crash in 2018.

"We're raising money for children on the autism spectrum, which we give out every year in honour of my son, Nelson, on his birthday," said Carla Bell, Nelson's mother. "Nelson's struggling with autism throughout his life taught me a lot about autism, and I feel the need that people need to be more aware of what autism does and how it affects a child."

Nelson was a rapper at the time of his death and was in the midst of finishing his first full album.

In 2020, the Orillia Youth Centre, which held a special place in Nelson's heart because it was where he performed his first show, opened a music studio in his honour.

Bell and her family started the "Swing Fore Nelson" tournament in 2022.

"I think Nelson would be very proud of what we tried to do in honour of him," she added. "I just think it's a good thing to do, turn something so tragic into a positive."

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