When Sara Perelman first learned that her cousin, Jacob, had been diagnosed with Juvenile Diabetes, she didn’t sit around and wait for someone else to act. Instead, she decided to lead the way.
That was in 2006, when Perelman created Swing for a Cure, a charity tennis event to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF). Eight years later and now playing tennis at Cornell University, Sara passed the responsibility to her younger sister, Emma, and teammates on the ShadySide Academy tennis team. Under their leadership, the seventh annual Swing for a Cure event was hosted March 9 at the Mellon Tennis Bubble in Pittsburgh.
This year, Swing for a Cure raised more than $11,000, and has now raised 55,000-plus overall. The charity event has evolved into a project involving family, friends, teammates, and an entire community as a support staff.
“I am proud to carry on this tradition and benefit those living with diabetes,” said Emma Perelman, a Middle States standout in the junior rankings. “I get a chance to teach kids a sport that I am passionate about, and at the same time, I am making a difference off the court for so many affected by this disease.”
In the end, the 2014 Swing for a Cure included an afternoon of tennis clinics for children ages 4-13, and included a free clinic that benefited Inner City Junior Tennis Program participants.
The Pittsburgh community backed the event, with Pittsburgh Citiparks donating the court time, and tennis pro Tom Mercer running the drills. The event pulled in kids from all over Pittsburgh.
Over the years, JDRF has taken major strides toward finding a cure. For more information on Swing for a Cure, visit www.swing4thecure.net.