tennis schools
Lori and Ilan Aldaheff at Tennis Fundraiser for Make Our Schools Safe. Photo by Sharon Aron Baron.

By Jill Fox

Lori Alhadeff’s tennis team wanted to do something to get involved and help her cope with the tragic loss of her daughter, Alyssa, who was murdered by a gunman at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018.

Together, they created the Make Our Schools Safe Tennis Round Robin and Shopping Boutique, now holding their third event.

Typically held in May, the event includes tennis matches, shopping, raffles, and more. Each year, it has raised over $30,000 for the organization founded by Lori and Ilan Alhadeff, whose goal this year is $50,000.

Despite COVID, Lori is feeling optimistic about this year. “Tennis is one of the lowest risk types of activities,” she said. “There will be four players to each court, hand sanitizer at each one, and temperature checks at the door.”

The organization has altered the event to include boxed lunches and virtual raffles. The boutique will be held outside, and anyone who enters the tennis center must wear a mask.

“Everything will be cashless and available on your phone, and the raffle items will be there to see,” said Lori.

The round-robin will take place on Friday, December 4, where tennis teams from Heron Bay, Parkland Golf & Country Club, and the Coral Springs Tennis Center will compete during two-morning sessions. The 9 a.m. session is full, but there are still openings at 11 a.m. and for the youth tournament, which takes place from 6 to 9 p.m., and includes dinner and entertainment.

Attendees will also have a chance to see the bench dedication by a tree planted to honor the 17 victims of the MSD shooting.

tennis schools
A tree planted at the Parkland Tennis Center honors the 17 victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.

Funds raised this year will continue to focus on school safety initiatives, such as Alyssa’s Law, which calls for installing silent panic alarms in schools.

“Right now, our major goal is to get Alyssa’s Law passed federally, said Lori. “We want the panic buttons to be required as a standard measure of safety in every school across the country.”

Visit Make Our Schools Safe Annual Tennis Round Robin for ticket sales and information. Non-participants can also purchase tickets for $40 to attend the matches, shop, enter raffles, and have lunch.

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