By: Kristen Hernandez
Coral Springs, FL — During a touching ribbon cutting ceremony held recently at the Coral Springs Country Club, young 11-year-old Carter Bonas stood holding the giant scissors he was about to use that would unveil his new golf apparel line, Spectrum Golf. With a smile that could light the entire city, Carter looked up at his mom, Dr. Thelma Tennie, as the Coral Springs/Coconut Creek Chamber of Commerce presented his exceptional story.
Commerce President Cindy Fee said to Carter, “You’re the youngest member of the Chamber, and probably one of the most special people I’ve ever met,” as she wrapped up a brief speech. Carter looked up at Cindy with the honesty only a child can bring and said, “Everyone is special!”
All the attendees were on their feet cheering as Carter cut through the ribbon to unveil the first golf apparel line created by a black, autistic child. It would also be the first time a golf course will stock Spectrum Golf in a Golf Pro Shop.
Carter Bonas was diagnosed at an early age and ranks high on the autism spectrum scale. Carter faced adversity right from the beginning of his young life. Those challenges were compounded with a learning disability, dyslexia. Carter didn’t speak until he was age four and had trouble making friends. His classmates began to bully him extensively. Carter became depressed and even had suicidal thoughts, all before turning ten years old.
Realizing her son was in major crisis, Dr. Tennie knew she had to get mental health professionals involved in Carter’s life immediately. Carter began to love life again and discovered the game of golf.
At the same time, Covid began raging through our community. The fear of losing his parents and facing such an uncertain outcome caused Carter to ask about starting his own business. After discussing several ideas with his family, including selling rocks, Carter chose golf apparel.
The golf clothes he already wore irritated his sensitive skin. He wanted to create something that would not only be soothing to sensitive bodies like his, but to inspire people as well. He made sure to include an inspirational message inside the lining of Spectrum Golf pants. Because Carter is dyslexic, he illustrated the logo design with the “G” in “SG” backwards.
In order to show others that he lives by his motto, “Embrace Your Difference”, he left it that way and the Spectrum Golf logo was born.
Carter’s mom, Dr. Thelma Tennie Ph.D., is also the founder of the Healing Arts Institute. They provide mental health services such as Cognitive Behavior, Behavior Modification, Family Therapy, and Sex Trama Therapy. These services are available to members of the community regardless of their ability to pay. The Healing Arts Institute is currently in need of donors so they can keep these special services, just like the ones Carter received, free of charge. Please visit www.healingartssfl.org and donate today.
Carter Bonas took all of the obstacles in his young life and hurdled over each one. Members of the community and city leaders came out to support the ribbon cutting ceremony. Afterward, Carter generously held a Golf Clinic and was spotted giving lessons to Vice Mayor Joshua Simmons and members of the press. “We’re all smiles because this is one of the most positive things we could be doing with our day,” said Simmons, “And that’s celebrating a talented young man, Carter Bonas, opening his own business here in the beautiful city of Coral Springs!”
The thing that sticks out the most from that truly inspiring Spectrum Golf unveiling is the grin on Carter’s handsome face as he stood anxiously waiting to show the world what he was truly capable of. It reminds me that no matter the “disability”, each of us has the ability to make our goals a reality and change our outcome. Make sure to visit www.cartersspectrumgolf.com to check out this young business owner’s apparel and read more about Carter Bonas.