Recent Westosha Central High School graduate Gage Reynolds lunges towards a ball at 3 a.m. Saturday as part of a 24-hour Rally for Life event to raise funds for the American Cancer Society and items for The Sharing Center (Earlene Frederick/The Report).

Rally for Life raises funds for cancer research

By Jason Arndt

Courtesy of supportive families and coaches, the annual Rally For Life tennis marathon held at Westosha Central High School continues to break records, reports president Bob Ferruzzi of the Western Kenosha County Tennis Association.

Rally For Life, which consists of 24 consecutive hours of tennis, started 1 p.m. July 28 and ended the following day.

Last year, when Rally for Life was in its third year, the organization raised $3,000 for the American Cancer Society and delivered about five boxes of school supplies to The Sharing Center.

However, in 2017, WKCTA brought in a new record of $3,500 and plans to donate about seven boxes of school supplies.

“I think it just proves that our numbers are growing every year. Every year it gets more popular with word of mouth,” said Ferruzzi, who also credits families for pitching in. “We have had a lot of families that have been in the program for a long time, so it feels very good to do that.”

After nearly 24 hours, Lucas Graveley, Stephanie Dopuch and George Capelli were still forging ahead at last weekend’s Rally for Life tennis fundraiser held at Westosha Central (Jason Arndt/The Report).

As the organization raised funds for cancer research, a trio of WKCTA members survived the 24-hour marathon, including recent Westosha Central graduate Lucas Graveley.

With red eyes, Graveley believes the marathon was worth it, considering the beneficiaries.

“It feels good in the heart, and it makes it easier to stay up when you know it is for a good cause,” Graveley said. “That is what makes it worth it.”

For incoming Westosha Central senior Stephanie Dopuch, who joined WKCTA as a freshman, she used the children as motivation to forge ahead in this year’s event.

“I cracked last year, but this year I decided to go through I am making it,” Dopuch said. “It is all for a good cause and it is about helping the kids.”

George Capelli, a 2016 Westosha Central graduate, said this year’s event was the longest he held on for.

He participated in two previous Rally For Life events.

“It’s been my longest ever,” said Capelli, who only missed 30 minutes to get a change of clothes. “It’s great, it is important to me, it is important to my family and it is always a great purpose.”

The three are not only former or current Falcon tennis players, they also pass their words of wisdom to youth enrolled in WKCTA programs, which started in 2008.

Ferruzzi said the three members played a crucial role in maintaining the flow of Rally For Life.

“I was here for the entire time except for three hours in the middle of night,” he said. “I left at 1 a.m. and everybody was playing, we had about 30 kids on the court, I came back at 4 a.m. there were 35 kids on the court.”

“It was amazing, in past years, we had four or five kids on the court at that time,” Ferruzzi said.

As Rally For Life concluded its fourth year, Ferruzzi has a mission in 2018, when the organization targets $5,000 for cancer research.

Rally For Life, presented by Western Kenosha County Tennis Association, raised $3,500 for the American Cancer Society last weekend (Earlene Frederick/The Report).


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