Tennis players score for youth nonprofit – Medford News, Weather, Sports, Breaking News


Ashland Tennis Club members Sascha Wells, left, and Cian O’Neil pose with Maddie Fournier of The Maslow Project after dropping off a donation raised at a benefit event last month. (photo sent)

Ashland Tennis Club members raised nearly $9,000 for The Maslow Project through a ‘hit-a-thon’ in early March

A night of tennis rallies at a community event sponsored by young athletes in Ashland resulted in a donation of nearly $9,000 to The Maslow Project, a local nonprofit aimed at helping underprivileged youth.

Maddie Fournier, community engagement specialist with the Medford-based organization, announced the donation this week. She said money raised by members of Project Ascension — an effort to turn young athletes into leaders — would expand the nonprofit’s services.

“When the community comes together and provides this support — especially a donation as large as this — it shows us how important we really are and how supported we are in our community,” Fournier said. “Especially when it’s young people like Ashland Tennis Club supporting other young people, it has a huge impact and shows our young customers that they are supported by their local peers. It’s incredible.”

Tennis club members Sascha Wells and Cian O’Neil were the catalysts for the 90-minute hit-a-thon. Wells said she heard about The Maslow Project through her mother and recognized the nonprofit as “an amazing organization” for focusing on “empowering homeless youth.” shelter”.

O’Neil also praised the Maslow project.

“We like what they do and the fact that they are in our valley. We wanted to help support them in any way we could,” he said.

In the weeks leading up to the fundraising event, Wells and O’Neil had set up additional support, working to collect pledges or lump sum donations.

In the end, the money raised was “certainly a bigger number than we all expected,” according to Wells.

O’Neil added: “We didn’t know we were doing this and a group of kids might have the ability to help other kids like this.”

“It was great for our team to realize that even though we’re just kids, we have the power and the ability to help other kids in our community – and we can do that by playing tennis and doing which we love,” Wells said. .

Fournier noted that Wells and other young tennis players approached her with the idea of ​​doing a “hit-a-thon,” and she was particularly impressed that they weren’t just throwing it to fill a credit. courses.

“They really wanted to help,” Fournier said. “I said, ‘That’s great. Let me know how we can help you,” and they really took the reins and did it all themselves. When they told me it was a $9000 donation, I was so surprised, shocked and happy.

With 75% of its clients identifying as young (average age is 11), The Maslow Project provides case management, educational support, basic needs and “other stabilizing and low-barrier services to help young people and families achieve stability,” according to Fournier.

“The fundraising economy and climate is always a challenge, and so when we have local support like this, it’s really a huge surprise and benefit to our service delivery,” he said. she stated.

Contact journalist Kevin Opsahl at 541-776-4476 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @KevJourno.


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