Tennis Serves Others
Erin Maher | November 29, 2018
Tennis is a game that gives its players competition, confidence and purpose. But what can those players, who received so much from the game, give in return?
Giving back was what one group of women set out to do, and in 2016, Tennis Serves Others (TSO) was born.
“We had been getting together so much to play tennis and win,” said TSO Founder and CEO Carol Walsh. “and we thought, well why don’t we give back?”
TSO is a CTA non-profit based in Orange County, Calif., that uses tennis as a vehicle to promote and organize charitable activities benefitting individuals, groups or other non-profits in the Orange County community and throughout the world. Since its birth, TSO has expanded to three chapters and over 150 members.
TSO hosts multiple tennis round robins throughout the year and promotes on-going service projects, including Tennis SOLES for Others, in which they collect gently used shoes to donate to others in need, whose beneficiaries have included local communities, women’s groups and families in Tijuana and children in Africa. ADVERTISEMENT Other projects include making goody bags for Meals-On-Wheels seniors, supply bags to the homeless, adopting families during the holiday season to give gifts, and donating used tennis balls to dogs at local shelters. In 2018, TSO expanded their services by starting TSO GiveBack, providing funds and supplies to support youth tennis at local parks and schools.
The marquee charitable event that TSO runs each year is the Wimbledon Gala & Tournament. The competitive tennis tournament offers participants prizes, superb auction items, music and delicious food. The tournament is such a success that in 2017, TOS TSO presented a check for $10,000 to Wings for Crossover, an organization helping former slave children in Africa have sustainable food for years to come. And in 2018, TSO presented two $10,000 checks, one to ACEing Autism and another $10,000 to Mary’s Kitchen.
“It was wonderful being able to raise that money,” said Walsh. “Coming together for a greater cause means so much. We are using our passion for tennis to serve others”
Walsh and the rest of the TSO ladies are looking to keep giving, expanding and, of course, play tennis, for years to come.
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