October 26th, 2017

MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation Gala Raises Record for After-school Tennis Program

General News

Jim Courier in a Q&A session at the gala

The MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation’s 21st Current Sherman Group Champions for Children Gala raised $310,000 on Oct. 19, 2017, at the Florida Blue Conference Center in Jacksonville, Fla. The MWYF provides after-school programs promoting academic achievement, tennis, and life skills for children in one of the most challenged areas of the city.

Former No. 1 and current U.S. Davis Cup captain Jim Courier was the featured guest on a night that included a cocktail party and dinner, live and silent auctions, and a tennis pro-am the following day.

“Mal called and said can you come, and I said, ‘When is it, and I’ll be there,'” Courier said. “Twenty-one years is incredible to keep this up and the work they do, you can’t possibly say no. What Mal, Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi do with their charitable foundations is awesome.”

The fundraising amount was a new record for the foundation, which had humble beginnings in a recreation center with two weathered tennis courts, and eventually expanded to its own $3.8 million state-of-the-art facility allowing for additional services to impact children and families, including eight lighted courts, three permanent 36-foot kids courts and three activity courts.

“This year was a new record for the programs and services of MWYF,” said Executive Director Terri Florio. “Most importantly, this support allows us to continue to impact children throughout the next year, changing and saving lives.”

The foundation also announced its scholarship award winners, with the organization allotting more than $700,000 in scholarships since 1997.

Live auction items included a Roger Federer autographed racquet, a Breakfast at Tiffany’s New York package, a week-long getaway in Maine, a Turks & Caicos vacation, an ESPYs Awards package, America’s Cup Yacht Sailing Experience, Emmy Primetime Awards Show package, Jacksonville Jaguars private suite, Steamboat Springs getaway, 2017 Audi A3 Sedan 24-month lease, and 2018 US Open President’s Box package.

MWYF is a non-profit youth development organization which operates the Tennis-n-Tutoring (TnT) after-school program in Jacksonville’s urban core. The TnT program serves more than 200 students in the community and provides free homework assistance, tennis lessons and life skills classes to youth in grades K-12 from Monday through Friday. The mission of the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation is to develop champions in classrooms, on tennis courts and throughout communities.

MWYF is an official USTA Florida Community Tennis Association, and member of the USTA National Junior Tennis and Learning network (NJTL).

For more info go to www.malwashington.com.