YORKTOWN, N.Y. – Lisa Olney is putting together a different type of charity ball.
Looking to score victories over domestic violence and human trafficking, the philanthropic Yorktown resident is teaming up with Club Fit Briarcliff for a tennis fundraiser on Saturday, July 27.
The aptly named “Eat, Play, Love”—Olney describes it as a “social night of tennis”—begins at 5 p.m. and will raise money for My Sister’s Place. A White Plains-based non-profit organization, My Sister’s Place “strives to end domestic violence and human trafficking through comprehensive services, advocacy, and community education,” according to its website.
“They offer completely free legal service for their domestic [violence] clients and human trafficking clients,” Olney said. “It’s just great work they’re doing on every facet.”
Now in its third year, “Eat, Play, Love” raised about $2,500 in 2017 and $4,000 in 2018.
“This year, I’m hoping we can raise somewhere between $7,500 and $10,000,” Olney said.
Olney, a reference librarian at John C. Hart Library in Shrub Oak, sits on the board of directors for My Sister’s Place. Her fondness for tennis developed several years ago while watching her son play the sport. She now plays competitive matches through the United States Tennis Association (USTA).
“Eat, Play, Love” was born out of Olney’s effort to marry her two passions.
Beyond the money it realizes, the fundraiser helps bring awareness to My Sister’s Place, especially in the northern part of Westchester County.
For the fundraiser, Club Fit Briarcliff is donating its tennis courts and two of its tennis pros, Heath Hoover and Rodrigo Schtscherbyna. Located at 584 North State Road, the fitness center is co-owned by Ellen Koelsch.
“I wouldn’t be able to do this event if Ellen and Club Fit weren’t so generous,” said Olney, a club member for almost two decades. “Their philosophy has always been to be a community partner.”
The tennis tournament, overseen by Hoover and Schtscherbyna, is a round-robin format, meaning all teams will play a fixed amount of games. People do not have to come in pairs, nor do they have to be members of Club Fit.
Donors don’t have to play tennis to take part in the fundraiser, which also includes dinner, refreshments, and raffle prizes. Tickets are also being sold for spectators.
“It’s really just a casual night of hanging out,” Olney said.
“Eat, Play, Love” runs from 5 to 8 p.m. The rain date is Sunday, July 28. To learn more about the charity event or to register, visit mspny.org/eatplaylove.