The invaluable experiences that Buddy Up Tennis provides for our Athletes are made possible by the funds raised by members of our community, including parent volunteers, high school students, and community volunteers. This special group of volunteers begins as Buddies and Coordinators, and they recognize the impact that the organization has on them, their families, and our Athletes. They then develop a drive to share this impact with their school communities, tennis communities, and home communities. These volunteers, who create opportunities for our Athletes by raising funds, have developed unique ways to share the “Buddy Up Tennis high” in their communities. Community involvement is key to the success of our Athletes, and these volunteers have harnessed their communities in ways that help create unstoppable Athletes, both on and off the courts.  

Gianluca Audia, Upper Valley: In 2018, at the age of 13, Gianluca raised thousands of dollars through his inaugural “Swing Into Spring” fundraiser to bring Buddy Up Tennis and Buddy Up Fitness to his community, the Upper Valley, which includes regions in both Vermont and New Hampshire. Gianluca continues to amaze us with his passion for Buddy Up Tennis. This year, even while dedicating his time as a Buddy at the Buddy Up Tennis Upper Valley location, he held a second Swing into Spring event. The event was even more impactful than the last, as our Athletes and Coaches were able to participate in the event and show off their skills with the participants. Click HERE to read more about Gianluca’s incredible second annual Swing into Spring Fundraiser. 

Brent Blagec, Columbus & Green Bay: As a passionate and dedicated Buddy Up Tennis and Buddy Up Fitness Buddy, Brent has personally raised funds for the Buddy Up Tennis Columbus location, and he was also instrumental in bringing Buddy Up Tennis to his hometown of Green Bay, Wisconsin. Brent wanted his home community to experience the joy and camaraderie that he experiences weekly in Columbus, in addition to bringing the Buddy Up Tennis experience to the Down syndrome community in Green Bay. Across states, Brent is finding ways to share his excitement for working with our Athletes. 

Cheryl Halpern, Dallas: From the first time she heard Kate Snow’s Inspiring America segment featuring Buddy Up Tennis, Cheryl was determined to both lead Buddy Up Tennis Dallas and create a way to bring Buddy Up Tennis to her community. By personally fundraising via email, word of mouth, and social media, Cheryl single handedly raised nearly all of the funds for the program launch. This wonder woman and 2020 Coordinator of the Year has also taken it upon herself and her community to financially maintain the second-largest Buddy Up Tennis location, totaling over 50 Athletes and 100 buddies. She continues to find unique ways to raise both funds and awareness in her community through her involvement in the North Texas Giving Day and the ACLU Walk Against Hate. 

Ashwin Ramesh, Naperville: High school senior Ashwin has been a dedicated Buddy at our Buddy Up Tennis Naperville location since its launch in 2016. He has emerged as a junior coach and a true leader on the courts at both Buddy Up Tennis and Buddy Up Summer Camp. After his second Buddy Up Summer Camp experience, Ashwin was enthusiastic to share his love for Buddy Up Tennis with those at his high school. He joined forces with two fellow Buddies and created a doubles tournament to raise funds and awareness for Buddy Up Tennis Naperville. With the Athletes joining the participants on the courts for a fitness challenge and skills showcase, Ashwin successfully harnessed the Buddy Up Tennis energy and united both the Naperville Athletes and his high school community. Click HERE to read more about Ashwin’s exciting Serving for Buddy Up Tennis Tournament. 

Join the Buddy Up Tennis Movement today by supporting our Athletes with your gift. Click HERE