PARKLAND, FL – Lori Alhadeff's mission to make schools safe got a financial boost on Thursday when Make Schools Safe Inc, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit she founded, held a Women’s Round Robin Tennis Fundraiser on May 11 at the Parkland Tennis Center to raise funds for the organization. The event yielded $30,000 for the organization.
Alhadeff organized the event with professional event planner Jodi Lippman, tennis partner and dear friend Lara Kalidyn, along with the help of family and friends all throughout the Parkland community.
“Our goal is to make schools safe for all kids in all schools,” said Alhadeff, who lost her daughter, Alyssa, in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas tragedy.
The event included a shopping boutique for people to purchase gifts and fun things for themselves, friends or family, as well as raffles. Raffle prizes included 4 VIP Box tickets to the Delray Beach Open, an ATP event. The event culminated with a doubles tennis exhibition match with local professional tennis players representing Parkland/Coral Springs clubs. The ball boys and girls were Marjory Stoneman Douglas students, who wore Make Schools Safe Inc. t-shirts.
Kalidyn said, "On behalf of the Make Schools Safe's Board and committee members, we would like to thank every corporate and family sponsor along with all the volunteers for putting this event together in eight short weeks. It has been an honor co-chairing this event with Jodi Lippmann, a professional event planner with many years of nonprofit involvement. She has guided me every step of the way, making it feel like planning a holiday party on steroids. A big thank you to Jodi from the bottom of my heart."
She said, "To the committee members and volunteers that have spent so many hours helping us get donations for our raffle items, approaching local business owners to be sponsors, making baskets or buying tickets to come here today, thank you so much. Together, in these short eight weeks we have raised nearly thirty thousand dollars. I can't wait to see what we can do next year with months to plan."
“We would particularly like to thank our sponsors: Rob Nickels Tennis Academy, Couture Confections, City of Parkland, Land Lubbers, Belfort Fitness Lifestyle, Bagels & a Whole Lot More, Sniff Perfumes, Pure Energy, the Delray Beach Open, Bagels With, Tennis Anyone, and Culinary Harvest,” said Kalidyn.
The event included a tree dedication and a dedication of a memorial plaque that was displayed at the event. The memorial plaque references the names of the children lost on February 14th and remembers the staff who lost their lives, as well. Christine Hunschofsky, Mayor of Parkland, led the dedication.
"Lori is an amazing tennis player and person. Quite often our character on the court reflect who we are off the court and Lori is no exception. She is a fighter, never gives up and has great confidence. She doesn't care about technique or looking good. She just wants to win and get the job done. I love you for that, Lori. You inspire me to be a better person," said Kalidyn.
"With eight weeks of planning we were able to raise $30,000 and are excited to see how much we can raise next year with months to prepare. We are asking ladies to mark their calendar for this annual event to be held sometime before Mother's Day 2019," said Kalidyn.