HOLLIDAYSBURG -?The inaugural "Matches for MS Awareness" Tennis Tournament took place on July 18, 19 and 20 at the Tiger Tennis Center.
The charity tournament, which supported the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, was the brainchild of tournament director Emre Cardakli, a student at the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School and varsity player on the boys' tennis team at the school.
Cardakli chose the MS Society in memory of his uncle, who developed multiple sclerosis at a young age. Unfortunately, after successfully fighting the disease for many years, the disease took a turn for the worse, becoming debilitating, and Cardakli's uncle passed away in his mid-1950s.
Participants in the inaugural “Matches for MS,” to benefit the MS?Society, three-day tennis tournament ranged from 5 years old to the mid-20s.
Emre Cardakli presents a check to Sharon O’Keiff of the Keystone Branch of the National MS Society.
The tennis tournament attracted over 75 players from the surrounding areas of Hollidaysburg, Altoona, Bedford and Ebensburg, to as far away as Indiana and Johnstown.
The players ranged in age from 5 to mid-20s, as well as in abilities, from first-time players to collegiate athletes.
Divisions ranged from 10 and under singles to open singles and doubles to include anyone who wanted to play, regardless of age or ability. The tournament was a huge success, raising nearly $4,000.
Cardakli would like to thank the tournament sponsors for their generous donations, as well as all the players and community members who came out to support the cause.
The sponsors included EyeDoc Associates, LLC; Penn Medical Informatics Systems Inc.; University Orthopedics Center; Sheetz; Coldwell Banker; Blair Gastroenterology Associates; Drayer Physical Therapy; ProActive Sports; and All-Pro Trophy.
"Additionally, a huge thanks goes to Hollidaysburg tennis coaches Brian and Amanda Denis. Without the help of everyone, none of this would have been possible,"?Cardakli said.