SOS Tennis Benefit Spreads the "Love"
Apr 04, 2014 09:34AM
● By Anonymous
23rd Annual SOS Tennis Benefit Raises Funds and "Love" for Victims of Domestic Violence
Southlake Tennis Center is well known for supporting local women’s shelters and will host the Mid-Cities Supporters of SafeHaven (SOS) Tennis Benefit to raise funds for SafeHaven of Tarrant County this May.
SafeHaven operates two emergency shelters for survivors of domestic violence. What began in 1991 as a small tournament with just 40 players is now a three-day event with nearly 240 players from throughout the Metroplex and includes a pretournament of mixed doubles, followed by the ladies only event. The 23rd Annual SOS Tennis Benefit will take place May 13-15 at Southlake Tennis Center and is open to players of all levels with a mixed doubles event being held on Sunday, May 3.
The original tennis benefit was played at Hackberry Creek Country Club and Richland Tennis Center before moving to Southlake Tennis Center in 2000 where it has remained ever since. Mia Gordon-Poorman, general manager of Southlake Tennis Center, became the tournament director in 2002 and has co-chaired the event for the past four years.
"This event and organization is near and dear to my heart. Not only do we host it here, but we also bring children from SafeHaven into our junior summer camp program each year, " says Gordon-Poorman, noting 100 percent of the entry fees go to SOS and all expenses are covered by sponsors. "Playing tennis is a great physical activity for the kids which also helps them develop social skills and self esteem."
As one of only two fundraisers hosted each year by SOS (its annual Celebrity Chefs was held in January), this tennis benefit offers a good time on and off the courts, but it has a serious purpose: to assist SafeHaven of Tarrant County in its mission to end family violence through financial support and by promoting community awareness of family violence.
"It is very important that we assist local victims of domestic violence and let them know that there is a place they can go for help,” Gordon-Poorman said. "Almost every year during the tournament, a woman comes up to one of us and says that either she or someone she knows received help from SafeHaven."
Since its inception, the SOS Tennis Benefit has raised nearly $300,000 for SafeHaven of Tarrant County. These funds are used to uphold SafeHaven's mission to change the lives of women and children affected by domestic violence. SafeHaven offers a multitude of programs and services to protect victims and create opportunities to achieve independence and self-sufficiency:
- Two emergency shelters with a combined 174-bed capacity that provide safety planning, living quarters, meals, clothing, transportation and medical/dental care referrals.
- SafeLiving, a transitional living program that successfully moves families from shelter to independence.
- SafeResponse, a 24/7 crisis intervention program available to hospitals and law enforcement.
- CampHeart, a weekend camping program for child victims.
- SafePlay, a sports camp program for child victims.
The 2013 tennis benefit raised approximately $30,000 which funded children’s programs and critical updates for SafeHaven’s website. In 2011, tournament proceeds helped purchase two vans to transport women and children at the shelters to appointments and activities.
A popular event for many players at Southlake Tennis Center, Gordon-Poorman says players also come from Arlington, Flower Mound, Keller and Grapevine. A Mixed Doubles Event will kick off the tournament on Sunday, May 4 followed by the Ladies Only Event on May 13-15. Each team will play in a round robin, with the winners from each division playing in the finals:
- Tuesday, May 13: Levels 3.0B & 3.0A
- Wednesday, May 14: Levels 4.0B & 4.0A+
- Thursday, May 15: Levels 3.5B & 3.5A
The benefit starts promptly at 8:45 a.m. each day and lunch and awards are held at 1:00 p.m. The entry fee is $50 per player and includes a light breakfast, snacks, lunch and gift. In addition to the action on the court, there will be a silent auction and basket raffle. Deadline for registration/payment is May 3.
The May 4 Mixed Doubles Event starts at 1:00 p.m. with awards at 5:00 p.m. The entry fee is $50 per player and features suds and barbeque with a silent auction too. Registrations must be received by April 28 to guarantee entry.
For more information on either the May 4 Mixed Doubles Event or the May 13-15 Ladies Only Event, contact Mia Gordon-Poorman at 817-421-5605 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can register online at www.usta.com by clicking on the Tennis Link for Tournament #800042814.
Tracy Southers, APR, is president of WordPlay, LLC, a public relations agency in Grapevine, Texas. The company’s services include consulting, copywriting, marketing communications, publicity, social media and special event planning. For more information, visit WordPlay Texas or call 817.756.1233.