MELBOURNE, FLA.—The $13,000-plus raised at the Aces for Autism Kiwi Tennis Exhibition on Sept. 12 will help offset costs for families in social skills classes held at the Florida Institute of Technology Scott Center for Autism Treatment.
The event, held at the Kiwi Tennis Club in Satellite Beach, pitted Florida Institute of Technology tennis coach Bill Macom and Fred Sutton against Ed Scott and Glen Outlaw in a doubles match.
The money raised through entry fees and by a supporter who came forward to donate $1,000 for every ace achieved by the players went to the Macom Scholarship fund. An ace is a legal serve that is not returned because the server’s opponent never touches the ball with his or her racket.
As part of Aces for Autism that day, members of the Florida Tech Panthers tennis team ran a mini-court tennis clinic for the children and siblings of the Scott Center. The team also played in a Pro-Am tournament to entertain spectators.
Mary Beth Kenkel, dean of the Florida Tech College of Psychology and Liberal Arts, emceed the exhibition. Macom’s family contributed the cost of the food served at the club’s Palm Café during the event for players and families.
The exhibition kicked off Aces for Autism, which will last the entire 2010-2011 school year. During the year Macom and the student team will provide support through tennis instruction to children with autism. The community may participate in the Aces program by pledging a set amount for each Ace during the season or providing a designated amount. Information on pledging is available on the Scott Center website at http://research.fit.edu/scottcenter.
There will be another exhibition and Pro-Am Tournament at the Kiwi Club in September 2011.
Aces for Autism addresses the specific needs of children with autism and their families by providing coordinated recreation; this assists in social skills, physical movement and activity. “Aces” also offers an opportunity for Scott Center families to enjoy a leisure activity together.
The Scott Center at Florida Tech is dedicated to providing the highest quality treatment, training and applied research to enhance the functioning and improve the quality of life of children with autism and related disabilities in Central Florida.