By: Liz Cary | Category: In Our Communities | Issue: May 2012
Mendy Stone and Liz Cary stand in front of the Claremore courts where the third annual Serve for Youth will be held May 11-13.
May is tennis month! If you enjoy tennis at any level, consider playing in the third annual Serve for Youth tennis tournament in Claremore, Friday, May 11 through Sunday, May 13. In 2010, a well known Claremore tennis player and local tennis coordinator, Dian Russell, passed away. Many of her family and friends gathered together to play tennis in her honor and raise money to benefit Volunteers for Youth. Last year, the event had about 45 participants, and this year, the tournament coordinators are hoping to have even more tennis players for the tournament.
This tournament is a doubles-only tournament held at the Claremore High School tennis courts located at 1410 E. Stuart Roosa. There are women’s, men’s and mixed doubles draws. Cost is $25 a person or $50 for a doubles team, with proceeds benefiting Volunteers for Youth. Each participant will receive a Serve for Youth visor. Winners will be awarded a Serve for Youth champion towel.
Don’t have a doubles partner? No problem! We’ll do our best to pair participants for the tournament. Ready to sign up? Go to www.volunteersforyouth.com/Tennis.aspx and click on the link for the entry form. Players under 18 may play with a parent’s consent.
Tennis skill levels for participants varied last year, from college level players to weekend warriors and high school players. In the true spirit of charity, one player signed up after he hadn’t picked up a racket in 20 years. “We accept all skill levels!” says Mendy Stone, executive director of Volunteers for Youth.
This tournament benefits Volunteers for Youth. Their mission is to positively impact the lives of youth in Rogers County and provide services including mentoring, safe and structured activities, and service opportunities.
Currently, Volunteers for Youth offers three programs: PAL, BLAST and StepUp. The PAL program is a school-based mentoring program that matches a student who could benefit from pairing with a caring adult mentor at school. The PAL program recently introduced an e-PAL program, where the mentor emails with a student weekly, and visits at school for an hour a month.
BLAST is an after school program where a child can get help with homework and have fun after school. StepUp offers juvenile first offenders and those demonstrating signs of delinquent behavior an opportunity to avoid the overcrowded juvenile court system and a chance to get back on track while being closely monitored and supported. Volunteers for Youth participates in the Drug Free Communities project and provides education in drug and alcohol prevention for teens.
Volunteers for Youth is a 501c3 status, nonprofit organization supported by individual contributions, grants, fundraisers, and the Rogers County United Way. For more information, contact Mendy Stone at (918) 343-2530.