Over $189,000.00 raised from this year’s event and will directly benefit local children who have battled pediatric cancer or a chronic blood disorder through the Panera Bread Knead for Knowledge Scholarship Program.
April showers brought more than May flowers to the 2nd Annual Tennis on the Green, for the Love of Children’s Cancer Center fundraiser! The event raised over $189,000.00 for the Panera Bread Knead for Knowledge Scholarship Program benefitting the Children’s Cancer Center. In a match coined “Battle of the Brothers” Thomas Blake went head-to-head against Kris Courier, keeping spectators on the edge of their seats. While Blake and Courier are both avid tennis players, they also share another thing in common…their brothers are professional tennis players!
This unique twist on sibling rivalry came to life as a sold-out crowd of over 350 guests watched a lively and competitive game of tennis unfold on a large indoor screen in the ballroom at Palma Ceia Golf & Country Club. While the match ended in a Blake victory, the kids at the Children’s Cancer Center were the real winners of the night. The money raised from this event will directly impact their futures by providing educational support and college scholarships.
Prior to the match, Taylor Brandt a four-year Panera Bread Knead for Knowledge Scholarship recipient and recent graduate of the University of South Florida shared how her world changed after she was diagnosed with two brain tumors at the age of fifteen. “I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to come here tonight and share how the Children’s Cancer Center helped me turn into the woman I am today,” said Brandt.
“Paying it forward to students like Taylor is priceless” said Kevin & Kerry Ricci, owners of Covelli Family LP, a franchisee of Panera Bread. “We hope that the proceeds raised from Tennis on the Green will help turn the dream of attending college into a reality for local youth who have already endured so much.”
In the past two years, Tennis on the Green has raised over $335,000.00 which will directly benefit the Children’s Cancer Center through the Panera Bread Knead for Knowledge Scholarship Program. The program provides local children who have battled childhood cancer or a chronic blood disorder educational support and college scholarships. In the past nine years, Covelli Family Limited Partnership has awarded 195 scholarships totaling over $550,000.000 to ninety-six young adults. The program also funds a bi-monthly educational program called S.A.I.L. (Students Achieving through Interactive Learning) to help bridge any emotional or educational gaps caused by the child’s treatment or illness.
Following the tennis match, guests enjoyed dueling violinists, delectable food stations, specialty cocktails and a silent auction. The ballroom transformed into an indoor oasis filled with white hydrangeas, pink tennis balls, vintage tennis racquets and glowing lounge seating. “It was a spectacular evening embodying the spirit of the mission” said Patty O’Leary, executive director of the Children’s Cancer Center. “We have so much gratitude for Kevin and Kerry and their ongoing efforts to bring the Tampa Bay community together to make an immediate difference in the lives of local children battling cancer and life-threatening blood disorders.”
For more information visit www.childrenscancercenter.org. For future sponsorship and ticket opportunities, follow the event on Instagram (@tennisonthegreen.)