Charity tournament going from strength to strength

reston_tennis
August 3, 2016 11:21 AM

By Ashley Marshall, USTAFoundation.com

A charity tennis tournament that started with 30 participants and now draws players from across America hopes its fifth annual event will be its biggest and best yet.

Rally for a Cause started in 2012, when members of the Reston Tennis Association in Reston, Va., decided to use the sport to benefit two charities close to its heart.

The tournament takes place Sept. 17-18 at the Lake Newport Tennis Courts in Reston. Funds raised from the tournament are split between the USTA Foundation’s Warrior Tennis Curriculum and the Cornerstones Laurel Learning Center.

Last year’s event saw 96 players raise $4,500. Organizers hope they can surpass 100 participants and $5,000 this fall.

“If every local community did something like this, it would add up really quickly,” said Elaine Killoran, who has helped organize the event each year. “If you get 100 communities doing this, and each one raises $5,000, that’s $500,000. If we can do it, so can you. We hope people will see what we’re doing and will want to hold their own event.”

The weekend features men’s and women’s singles (on Sunday) and men’s and women’s doubles (on Saturday). Participants are guaranteed to play two matches and the competition includes brackets from the 3.0 NTRP level to the 4.5 level, ensuring players are grouped by ability. Players are asked to make a $35 charitable donation.

“We have made it bigger and better and we’ve made it easy for people to come and play tennis,” said Killoran, noting that the event draws players from Carolina and Arizona as well as dozens from the local communities in and around Reston, Washington D.C., and throughout the state of Virginia. “People like to combine their love of tennis with helping others and giving back to their community. It’s a fun event and it’s helping improve grass-roots tennis.”

Over the past four years, the event has raised nearly $14,000 for the Warrior Tennis Program, which develops curriculum for providing rehabilitation through tennis for wounded, ill and injured service members and veterans, and for the Cornerstones Laurel Learning Center, which serves the underserved in the Reston community through family services and developmental childcare programs.

Robert Tucker, the tennis program manager for the Reston Association, which plans the event, said the goal of Rally for a Cause is to bring physical activity and charitable giving together.

“[It] promotes the benefits of tennis as a healthy, life sport for all ages, while providing an effective way to give back to the community,” Tucker said in a letter to the Northern Virginia business community.

Registration begins Aug. 1 at www.restontennis.org. For more info, click here or email rally4acause@restontennis.org

 

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