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Philanthropy

Love 15 Tennis event raises funds to support local teen’s team house for Build a Miracle organization

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Participants at the ‘Tennis Fest & Clinic” fundraiser.
(Courtesy)

April Bisharat, founder of Love 15 Tennis and former professional tennis player, hosted a fundraising “Tennis Fest & Clinic” Feb. 10 to support local teen Daniella Benitez’s team house for the organization Build a Miracle, at L’Auberge. Initially aiming to raise $1,000, Bisharat exceed this goal to raise, $2,000, allowing her to contribute to Daniella’s Build A Miracle team home, as well as to the team home of Daniella’s younger brother, 7th grade Notre Dame Academy student Gabriel. Bisharat was proud to support Daniella, who was her first-ever tennis student.

Love 15 Tennis is a San Diego-based children’s and adult tennis program, with seven locations in the area and over 150 enrolled annually. In addition to lessons, clinics, and camps, fundraising events are another channel Bisharat seeks to engage the local community through. Love 15’s “First Ace: Finding A Way To Win” give-back initiative launched in 2018, and provides tennis clinic fundraisers for local organizations such as Build A Miracle and Make Schools Safe Again. To date, more than 70 kids and adults have participated and the clinics have raised over $14,000 to date.

For the Feb. 10 Build A Miracle event, over 27 children attended. Locally-based tennis professional James Blake also made a special guest appearance and played with participants making the day even more special for everyone involved. The Aviators passed out prizes, while their DJ Danny played fun music.

In addition to Love 15 Tennis, April runs the official Junior Tennis Camp of the San Diego Aviators (Pro Tennis Team), and is the head varsity coach for girls, boys, and co-ed tennis at Cathedral Catholic High School, where Daniella is a student and is on the tennis team. April also directs 25 USTA tournaments per year.

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Like Bisharat, Daniella is focused on raising funds for causes, with Build A Miracle, founded by Chris and Julianne North, being a main focus of hers.

In 2017, San Diego school Notre Dame Academy had sponsored the building of a home in Tijuana, Mexico through the nonprofit organization, Build a Miracle, founded by Chris and Julianne North. It takes $16,000 to take a family from living in a shack, to a fully furnished home with running water, electricity, bedrooms, bathrooms, showers, a kitchen and real roof. “Our family, friends, and I went down to help physically build that home, and it was such a rewarding and life changing experience,” said Daniella.

After returning from that trip, Daniella was so moved, she wanted to commit to heading up the building of one home a year, herself. To date, Daniella has raised over $48,000 to build four homes and is currently raising money to build a fifth home. Proceeds from the Feb. 10 event will benefit this build, along with her brother’s second charitable home build.

To engage more children, in addition to fundraisers, Daniella has also started a Build a Miracle Club at Cathedral Catholic High School. — News release

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