WARSAW – The official cap to year three of Racquets For Riley happened Wednesday morning at Warsaw Community High School. The reintroduction of the ‘big checks’ came out as Camille Kerlin and her team donated over $10,400 to Riley Hospital For Children and another $1,100 to the Kosciusko County Community Foundation.
The third-annual tennis fundraiser and community outreach saw tennis participation drop slightly from year’s past, but community support rise. Racquets For Riley had over 50 corporate sponsors and a number of personal donations, which helped bring the grand total for donations for its three years of existence to over $37,200 to Riley alone and another $3,500 to local charities. Quite a number for the aspirations of one girl and her family.
“It’s impressive,” started Kerlin. “The first year I was blown away by how the community got behind me and supported me. But to continue to keep raising a big number every year just shows the support here. I’m really proud and grateful to live in Warsaw.
“I think Riley has done so much for me that I really need to do something to give back to them. My whole life, I’ve had to rely on Riley. They’ve done so much, and this is a good way to give back.”
On hand Wednesday morning were Susan Miles, an advocate for Riley Children’s Hospital, as well as Brenda Rigdon of KCCF and Mike Bergan, founder of the Kosciusko County Riley Kid’s Fund. Miles, who has seen several startup projects support Riley’s charities, was impressed by the outpouring of community support Warsaw has had for Racquets.
“It’s just amazing that she started as a Riley kid herself, and with their incredible families, that they want to give back,” Miles said. “To see the kids themselves take on that philanthropic spirit, it’s amazing. They are incredible, and fearless, and they take on a whole different level of spirit.
“Kids really need to know that they have power, regardless of their age, that they can make a difference,” Miles continued. “Camille being a tennis player at Warsaw High School, taking something she loves, and putting a philanthropic bend to that to impact others to make a difference is amazing.”
More details on the Racquets For Riley campaign can be found here, including links to their website.