Organized by Tennis Club Colibri’s owner and tennis pro Dan Mainzer, Nosara’s growing tennis community gathered almost 2500 non perishable food items for local needy families through the Rally4Hunger program held January 11 to 13.
Mainzer coordinated with Stacey Smith, tennis professional from Baton Rouge, Louisianna, and her organization Rally4Hunger, to put on the event.
“The tennis community here is mostly an affluent community,” said Mainzer. “We all have locals who work in our homes and businesses who we know. Who might need something extra, or who have family members who are struggling. So we are giving back to this community we all love.”
Mainzer and Smith held three days of free clinics, doubles mixers and competitions for the longest tennis ball rally to raise food supplies. Participants were required to bring in boxed, bagged or canned non-perishable food in order to enter the events.
A total of 28 children and 25 adults attended the competitions. The participants and supporting businesses brought in 500 donated food items. The Rally4Hunger organization contributed 788 food items to match the number of tennis ball rally points the kids accumulated in their competition.
The Nosara Rally4Hunger also received $600 in cash donations. To support the effort, the Guanacaste Community Fund and the Harmony Hotel Fund each donated $300 to match the total cash raised. Mainzer and Smith used the $1,200 to purchase additional rice, beans, milk, sugar and basic staples for the food baskets.
On Wednesday, January 14, Mainzer and Smith distributed bags of food staples to 40 needy families in Esperanza, Santa Marta, Nosara and Los Arenales. Each family received 25-50 pounds of food, depending on family size. On Thursday, they filled a car with the remaining food and gave it to the Ostional Association for Development (ADIO) to distribute to hungry families in the their community.
Food recipient Weiner Carrillo said the help “has been a big surprise. We are very grateful to this foundation for their generous heart.”
“This was our most successful rally ever,” said Smith. “It was a great way to start 2015. I’ll be back next year and we’ll do it again.”
Mainzer echoed the sentiment saying he wanted to make the rally an annual event. “We’ll start earlier and get local businesses to sponsor and get them on the t-shirts next year,” he said.
Nosara’s other two tennis clubs, the 506 Tennis Center and the Nosara Tennis Club in Pelada, both supported the event with food and cash donations, sponsorship and member participation in the events.
Rally4Hunger has staged similar events in Baton Rouge, Louisianna, Bakersfield, California and Eleuthra Island of the Bahamas since its inception a year ago. The organization’s stated mission “is to create a fun tennis experience while simultaneously helping to fight hunger through the staging of tennis rallies.”
Photo by Dan Mainze - The Carrillo family receives bags of rice and other food staples from Stacey Smith of the Rally4Hunger.