The South Bend Racquet Club hosted local organization Hannah & Friends and the Saint Mary’s tennis team last Saturday for “Serving Up an Ace for Awareness and Compassion,” a fundraiser benefitting children and adults with special needs.Saint Mary’s junior and Hannah & Friends intern Hannah Monte said all proceeds would go to the organization, which former Notre Dame head football coach Charlie Weis, his wife and their daughter Hannah founded more than ten years ago. “There were about ten tennis courts set-up for the Round Robin match,” Monte said. “Players included for the South Bend Racquet club, people in the community and Hannah & Friends participants. We also had courts open for just children to play around on.”She said the College’s tennis team led warm ups for Hannah & Friends before the tennis match, and this was the first year the two organizations partnered together.Monte also said she was glad to see the College team partner with the organization.“It was great to see two communities that I’m involved in get together for a great cause,” she said.The organization’s assistant director of operations, Saint Mary’s alumna Kayle Sexton, said she came up with the idea of bringing together the organizations because she played on the College’s tennis team for four years. “This event was a great success,” Sexton said. “We were very pleased with the turnout and cannot wait to do it again next year.” Sexton said she was thrilled by the tennis team’s support and ability to lead residents in drills. Saint Mary’s College tennis player senior Margaret Faller said three residents from Hannah & Friends participated in the event.“Other residents from Hannah & Friends joined us to watch the match play, eat snacks and do crafts,” she said. Fellow College tennis player junior Kaitlyn Venters said there were tennis-themed coloring pages non-participating residents could work on while the tournament was going on. “Before the tournament started we showed participants from Hannah & Friends how the Saint Mary’s team warms up before practicing,” Venters said. “Then we did some drills to help them practice their volleys, backhands and forehands.”Faller said she appreciated the opportunity to share her love of tennis with the residents.“My favorite part of the event was simply being able to spend time with the participants and share with them a sport I’m truly passionate about,” Faller said. “This is definitely an event we would love to be apart of again next year.”Monte said the event combined something the team loves to do with the opportunity to spread the organization’s message.“The event was a major success and definitely something we would like to do in the future,” Monte said, “Through this event we were able to truly encompass Hannah & Friend’s mission, which is creating awareness and compassion.’’According to Sexton, Hannah & Friends’ future events include a barbecue in May and a 5k Run and Fun Walk in June. Tags: Hannah & Friends, SMC Tennis
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West Florida Cross Country Teams Running to Help Arthritis Share Aug. 15, 2007PENSACOLA, Fla. – The University of West Florida Men’s and Women’s Cross country teams will be running for a cause this Friday, August 17th when they participate in the first “From Jay to the Bay Charity Relay.”The 30 UWF student-athletes and coaches will participate in this inter-squad relay race to raise funds for the local office of the North Florida Arthritis Foundation.”The arthritis foundation helps a lot of people in the Pensacola Bay area,” said UWF Head Cross Country Coach Matt Dobson. “One of my goals for the new team this year is to see more community involvement among the student-athletes. I’ve had the vision of this inter-squad relay race for a long time and I’m glad we are going forward with it this year.”The runners will participate as co-ed teams and start from the parking lot of Cora Baptist Church in Jay. They will run south on Chumuckla Highway, turn right onto Highway 90, go across the Causeway and end with a lap around the UWF track. A distance of approximately 32 miles.In 2006, 46 million people were found to be suffering with some form of arthritis. Arthritis is second only to heart disease as a cause of work disability. Arthritis limits everyday activities such as walking, dressing and bathing for more than 7 million Americans. It affects people in all age groups including nearly 300,000 children and costs the U.S. economy a total of $128 billion annually. Baby Boomers seem to be at prime risk and most people don’t think anything can be done to help them.”I think it will be a good thing to see strong, healthy athletes, young adults taking time to do something for an organization that helps people with the debilitating disease of arthritis,” said Dobson. “There will be no trophies at the end of this race, just the satisfaction of doing something noble while promoting team spirit.”The UWF athletes and coaches are still currently collect donations and pledges for the event. All money raised will go directly to the Arthritis Foundation. If you are interested in donating, please contact the UWF Cross Country office at 850-474-2141. If you want more information about what the local Arthritis Foundation can do for you if you suffer with this disease, contact Teresa Mepham at 850-432-4348. Print Friendly Version