USTA/Midwest Tennis & Education Foundation Treasurer Paul Farah, presented Special Olympics Michigan (SOMI) on Monday, February 27 with a $1,000 matching gift from the Foundation. In early January, the Greater Midland Tennis Center held their first Team Tennis Challenge Fundraiser with all proceeds benefiting SOMI.
Over 40 adults and juniors participated in this fun event and many other members and patrons of the tennis center contributed cash donations. The USTA/MTEF matched the $50 registration fee for the first 20 individuals that signed up to participate. USTA/Midwest Section Tennis Service Representative George Lowe attended the event on the foundation’s behalf.
Several Midland area businesses contributed items for a silent auction which raised additional proceeds. Two sponsors covered the cost of the event. The participation, silent auction and donations along with the matching gift from USTA/MTEF raised over $4,000 for SOMI.
Executive Director Scott Mitchell of the Greater Midland Tennis Center said that the event came about through a casual conversation with Special Gifts Manager of SOMI, Robbie Waclawski. During that conversation, Mitchell found out that SOMI did not have tennis as a sport.
“There are many opportunities to grow the great sport of tennis within Special Olympics Michigan, as well as with special needs populations throughout Michigan,” said Waclawski. “Plans are being made to conduct a tennis clinic as part of the Special Olympics Michigan State Summer Games hosted on the Central Michigan University campus in the first week of June.”
The Greater Midland Tennis Center and SOMI plan to make this fundraiser an annual event.