The Annual Memorial Day Charity Doubles Tournament is a highlight of the Tampa Bay tennis community’s year. It is one of 5 tournaments directed by the Suncoast Tennis Foundation. Now in the 25th year of the tournament, the Friedreich’s Ataxia Research Alliance was chosen in the very competitive selection process. 240 participants played in 14 different divisions of men’s, women’s, and mixed doubles hosted at the East Lake Country Club in Oldsmar, FL May 22nd through 25th. The festivities were kicked off by a Friday night draw party with a silent auction and drawings throughout the holiday weekend all to raise money and have a great time!!! Approximately $20,000 was raised for FARA, which will be used directly to fund research for a cure!
I have participated in this tournament for a number of years, but this year was more special due to my involvement in the FARA community. The tennis was fun, but the most rewarding thing for me this year was spreading awareness of FA and the work that FARA does. I discussed with all my opponents the importance of the charity that we were raising funds for this year; the true purpose of the weekend. Players that may have been drawn in only for the event, left with a new appreciation of the importance of finding a cure for FA.
While there are many FARA events in the Tampa Bay area it is great to be able to add events that reach new audiences to raise awareness. Raising awareness adds to the promise of finding the cure soon.