By Jill Fox
After 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff was murdered by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas, her mother’s tennis team wanted to do something to get involved and help her mother Lori cope with her loss.
They created the Annual Make Our Schools Safe Tennis Round Robin and Shopping Boutique which is now in its second year.
“We thought this would be the best way, to have a day of camaraderie, laughs and sunshine for Lori,” said her good friend Lara Kalidyn.
The event, which will include a shopping boutique, will take place on Friday, May 10, where tennis teams from Heron Bay, Parkland Golf and Country Club and the Coral Springs Tennis Center will compete during two morning sessions.
Last year’s event proved successful, raising over $30,000 for Make Our Schools Safe, founded by both Lori and Ilan Alhadeff.
Funds raised this year will continue to focus on school safety initiatives, such as specialized fencing to produce single point entry, ballistic glass, stop the bleed training and Alyssa’s Law, which calls for the installation of silent panic alarms in schools.
The event will start with two women’s round robins in the morning and continue with an exhibition match between professional tennis players representing each local tennis club.
This year, the event has expanded to include a youth tournament from 6 to 9 p.m. featuring entertainment, pizza, ice cream, button making, a photo booth and more.
Non-participants can purchase tickets for $40 to attend the pro exhibition match, shop at the boutique, enter raffles or bid on auction items like box seats to the Delray Open or an entire year of car washes.
“Everybody that plays in the local tennis community is invited to come and participate in this little tournament that we have,” said Kalidyn.
The schedule of events:
8:30 a.m. – Registration opens
9 a.m. – Boutique opens
9 to 10:30 a.m. – Round robin tennis first session
10:30 a.m. – Registration opens for second session
11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. – Round robin tennis second session
12 to 1 p.m. – Lunch
12:45 p.m. – Exhibition match
1:30 p.m. – Raffle and silent auction closes
5:30 p.m. – Youth registration opens
6 to 9 p.m. – Youth round robin, dinner and raffles
All donations from the event will go to Make Our Schools Safe. Visit Make Our Schools Safe Annual Tennis Round Robin for more information and to buy tickets.
The Parkland Tennis Center is located at 7901 Parkside Drive, in Parkland.