Youth-Led Nonprofit Reaches Fundraising Milestone
When a member of the tennis community at Black Hawk Tennis Club in Waterloo was diagnosed with advanced breast cancer in 2019, a fundraiser tournament in her name was created. After a couple more of these, Club Kids for a Cause was officially created in 2020 as a non-profit organization.
“We aim to relieve the financial strain on those afflicted by cancer by organizing USTA sanctioned tennis tournaments to support cancer patients and survivors by raising funds to advance cancer treatment and research in the state of Iowa,” said Mira Keeran, one of the volunteers.
Keeran said they hope to expand the organization across the Missouri Valley as well as across the nation in the future. So far, they’ve raised $30,000 from five tournaments that have gone to a variety of different causes.
“We’ve donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, Above + Beyond Cancer, Children’s Cancer Connection, Pinky Swear Foundation, the Jennifer Mackey Scholl’s Scholarship Fund at UnityPoint, the Des Moines Disaster Recovery Fund, recently the University of Iowa Children's Hospital, as well as directly to individuals who have been affected by cancer in our community,” Keeran said.
One of the unique aspects of Club Kids for a Cause is it’s run by kids, with only a few adults to help advise them. Keeran is an 18-year old high school senior. She hopes other kids will see that they can also make a difference in the local community when you band together for a common goal.
“In each tournament and fundraiser people participate in, the cause is bigger than just tennis. By hosting annual tennis tournaments along with silent auctions, our team wishes to help those in need when they need it the most.”
Club Kids for a Cause will be hosting adult socials and another upcoming tournament. The adult socials will take place at the end of May where people can play tennis for fun, socialize, eat and support the organization. The next USTA tournament is the “Club Kids for a Cause Summer Classic,” on August 12-14 at Byrnes Park Tennis Center in Waterloo.
“At the tournament we will have a silent auction which has always been a huge hit in the past years. Also, we are hoping to have food trucks since that was a participant favorite from the summer tournament in 2021,” Keeran added.
For more information on the club, click on the website: https://www.clubkidsforacause.org/