July 13, 2016
RESTON, VA — The Fourth Annual Serving For Heroes Charity Open was held July 8-10 to support Our Military Kids, a McLean-based nonprofit that provides support to the children of deployed National Guard and Military Reserve personnel as well as severely injured Service Members and Veterans from all branches. Our Military Kids organization supports these children through grants for extracurricular activities. Presented by Keller Williams McLean/Great Falls, the United States Tennis Association-sanctioned tournament was hosted at Lake Newport Tennis Facility in Reston, VA. Since 2012, the tournament has hosted approximately 500 tennis players and has raised over $25,000 to support wounded veterans as well as to ease the emotional and physical hardships that many military children experience while a caregiver is deployed. All of the proceeds from this year’s tournament benefitted Our Military Kids
“Initially, the Serving For Heroes Charity Open raised funds to assist in the recovery process for wounded veterans. In 2015, I decided to broaden the scope a little bit to focus more on the military families who also endure incredible emotional and physical hardships that tend to be overlooked,” said Wilson Paine, the tournament director and organizer. “That is what attracted me to Our Military Kids. They understand that supporting military families and more specifically military children is an extension of supporting our veterans. Their grants offer an outlet to ease the emotional toll placed on military children while their parents are deployed. It’s such a worthy cause and felt like a natural fit for this tournament’s mission.”
This year, the Serving For Heroes Charity Open raised more than $10,000 for Our Military Kids. Ninety-seven USTA members competed in the Open, and approximately 250 people attended the event.
The winners of the matches were: Nicholas Daly (National Tennis Rating Program Men’s 3.5 Singles), Griffin Graves (NTRP Men’s 4.0 Singles), Nicholas Colletti (NTRP Men’s 4.5 Singles), Christine Becer (NTRP Women’s 4.0 Singles), Casey Nunneker/ Brandon Ward (NTRP Combined Men’s 8.0 Doubles), Jennifer Huppert/ Agnes Trice (NTRP Combined Women’s 8.0 Doubles), Laurentiu Popescu (Men’s Open Singles), Alicia Wise (Women’s Open Singles), Safin Bouland/ Mark Prettyman (Men’s Open Doubles), and Vinnie Khera/Pavlov Khera (Mixed Open Doubles).
The weekend included raffles with prizes donated by local Northern Virginia organizations. Lunch was provided by Carrabba’s Italian Grill, who also donated their profits to Our Military Kids. The tournament was a great event that supported military personnel and their families and provided an opportunity for the USTA community to give back as well.
Sponsor Main & Crosses’s owner, Smith Chaiyakan shared his thoughts on the event, “We are happy to support such a great cause! As a prior Military Active Duty Service Member I know how hard it is when parents are overseas and kids are left behind.”
“I am very happy to once again bring an event like this to our local community,” commented Open director Paine. “The tournament has experienced enormous growth over the past three years and the outpouring of support from the tennis community, Keller Williams Realty, the Reston Association, and all our partners has been amazing.”
Our Military Kids Executive Director, Linda Davidson expressed her gratitude, “We are grateful to everyone who participated and volunteered at the Serving For Heroes Charity Open, with a special thank you to Wilson Paine, the event organizer. Our Military Kids appreciates the support for our troops’ most precious assets – their children. The money raised to help fund our grant program is significant, but equally important is the reminder to the community that we all have an obligation to support our military families while they selflessly serve to protect our freedoms.”
Drawing above created by 8-year-old, Gabrielle Barrera, who received her Our Military Kids grant for a tennis program.