The Greater Midland Tennis Center and Special Olympics of Michigan are excited to be partnering for the first time ever for a Team Tennis Challenge Fundraiser this December 17th.
Since its inception in 1968, Special Olympics of Michigan (SOMI) has been providing life-changing opportunities to children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Every year Special Olympics facilitates athletic competitions in 24 different sports at the regional, state, and national level and provides their athletes with year-round training to prepare them for their competitions. While physical strength and fitness are the most apparent benefits these athletes gain from the program, the mental, spiritual, and emotional advantages are just as great. Special Olympics athletes gain the courage to overcome adversity and experience the joy and sense of purpose that comes from being a part of a tight-knit and supportive community. These athletes gain the confidence and connections to become strong contributors to their local communities, evidenced by the fact that 52% of Special Olympics Athletes in the United States are employed. Close to half of these individuals are “competitively employed”- employed in workplaces alongside individuals without intellectual disabilities.
The benefits SOMI bring to our community cannot be stressed enough and they rely almost entirely on corporate funding, individual gifts, and fundraising to support their programs. This is why Greater Midland Tennis Center is thrilled to be hosting the Team Tennis Challenge Fundraiser on December 17th, with all proceeds go to benefit SOMI.
“When Robbie Waclawski (Special Gifts Manager with SOMI) approached me several months ago about doing the event I didn’t hesitate a moment. To be involved with an organization that does so much in our communities and touches the lives of so many athletes and their families aligns with Greater Midland’s values,” said Scott Mitchell, Executive Director of the Tennis Center.
Proceeds from this event will help SOMI to support local area athletes in Midland with volunteer registration, training, background checks, coaching certifications, program support and more. SOMI also underwrites the majority of athletes’ cost for attending any of the six state-wide competitions.
For $50, participants of the Team Tennis Challenge will be placed on a team with five or six other players who will then play singles and doubles matches against other teams. Every team is guaranteed to have a minimum of two matches against another team and it promises to be a fun time of low-key tennis competition! The cost of registration also includes a t-shirt, snacks and drinks, and a silent auction. Viewing of the matches will be free and every player is encouraged to bring fans to cheer them on!
Greater Midland is proud to be working with SOMI and hopes it will be the start of a long and esteemed partnership.
“Tennis is currently not part of the Special Olympics in Michigan so this is a great first step and one we hope to continue for years. I hope this will grow into something really special for Midland,” added Mitchell.