On Tuesday February 26th, 5-time World Champion Rocky Carson hosted a Pro-Am Fundraiser for the Reaching Your Dream Foundation at the club where he plays and teaches. Rocky recruited several of the local area pro players (e.g., Luiz Avila, Brandon Davis, Scott Davis, Greg Solis, and Josh Tucker) and club players and was able to raise $10,000 for RYDF! We’d like to thank Rocky, the pros, and the donors who gave their time and money to support the Reaching Your Dream Foundation. We’d especially like to thank the owners and management of ClubSport Aliso Viejo. If any of those who read this want to consider doing the same thing for RYDF, please contact Mike Lippitt at 510.504.2494 and we will help you set it up. Thanks!
2016 has been another exciting year for the Reaching Your Dream Foundation. Our biggest accomplishment was providing financial and personal development support to over 50 domestic and international male and female racquetball players to become successful in the sport and life.
Also, we launched our Fitness Forever Program in partnership with John Ellis’ Pro Racquetball Academy and the In-Shape Athletic Clubs in the Stockton area. The Fitness Forever Program provides health, fitness, and education services to youth and families in under-served communities. The program teaches sports, health, and life skills in a fun, yet structured setting.
Both programs build on our guiding principle: mentor supported players and youth to be successful both on and off the courts.
In 2017, RYDF plans to expand both programs: assist emerging pro-level players and further engage under-served young people in the greater Stockton area and other locations, with help from supporters and donors like you.
Please help us provide emerging professional racquetball players opportunities for career development and a place for under-served youth and families to learn how to enjoy becoming forever healthy and fit. Your tax-exempt donation can make an immediate, positive impact: DONATE HERE
In closing, the RYDF Board of Directors, sponsored players, and Forever Fitness kids wish you a wonderful, happy, and healthy holiday season. Some of our players in the video below wanted to thank you personally:
"I am a proud Ambassador for the Reaching Your Dream Foundation because the combined reach of the racquetball community can have a greater impact than I can on my own. I have been involved with racquetball off and on since 1978 and currently support the Georgia racquetball scene and some of the local RYDF recipients/athletes. My recurring donation can help ensure that more young players get a chance to play at more professional events and that will help them stick with the game and help the game because they are around. To me, the RYDF is the best way to ensure that young players continue to promote the sport that we all love."
The Reaching Your Dream Foundation had a terrific 2015 in many ways, but mostly we were inspired by the difference we are making in the young players lives. In 2016 we will be focusing more on supporting individual players in very deep and meaningful ways and will begin implementing our Fitness Forever Program, a community engagement program of activities in under-served communities by helping adults and youth in the areas of health and fitness.
Here are some of the benchmarks we are hitting in 2016:
• Created a careful selection process to choose players who will receive RYDF support including four Featured Players who will receive a financial stipend to help them reach their dream of playing professional racquetball
• Aimee Ruiz to create criteria and standards for the RYDF supported players a program to follow to help them grow personally and professionally on and off the court. Aimee will work directly with these players to help them learn to brand themselves in ways to enhance their careers, the foundation, and the sport of racquetball
• Rocky Carson will continue to work with Featured and sponsored players to develop their interpersonal skills to be ambassadors of the sport and to properly brand themselves to their best advantage
• Recruited Mike Manoske, a well-known and respected professional Personal Coach, who has graciously volunteered to work with RYDF Featured Players and supported players on how to maximize their potential and learn to think strategically about their current situations and future.
• Began to implement the Fitness Forever program which will allow RYDF sponsored players to promote and teach health and fitness activities, including learning to play racquetball, to the youth in under-served communities beginning with the cities of Stockton and Oakland
• We have allocated $10,000 ($5000 each) to support two Recreational Vehicles which transport players to professional tour stops. The foundation has deemed this the RYDF Road Warriors
For eight years local Bay Area Racquetball players have celebrated the holiday spirit by having a racquetball tournament where the players bring toys for the children of families who otherwise might not get presents at Christmas. A couple years ago, the Reaching Your Dream Foundation moved the tournament to a larger club and branded it: A Season of Giving. On Saturday December 12th A Season of Giving sponsored a one-day shootout which was filled to capacity of 92 players.
Between the gifts the players brought, and those collected as part of the RYDF A Season of Giving, over 350 unwrapped presents were collected to be given to lower income families. A huge thank you to the Lanman Family who for the last eight years have helped gather greatly needed toys through the efforts of Monte Vista High School’s Scholastic Society. Robyn Lanman continues to help us even after their three kids (now young adults) have graduated and gone on to college and medical school
Special thanks to Kim Randolph for all her hard work in putting this event together. Lastly, thank you to Dave Ruybalid, Athletic Director at the Big C, for helping us secure his club for our event and supporting the tournament in many other ways.
Congrats to our winners:
B Doubles: Irvin Sanchez/Richard Lozada Elite/A Doubles: Austin Fernandez/Shawn Fernandez Open Doubles: Harold Jagoda/Jose Diaz Mixed Advanced Doubles: Carlos Contreras/Heather Colon
See you in 2016!
The Reaching Your Dream Foundation is a tax exempt, nonprofitwhich promotes health & fitness and the long term viability of sports like racquetball by supporting players with diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. The foundation helps these young athletes with hope and opportunities for personal and professional growth while they pursue their dreams. RYDF was created to help these young athletes achieve success on the court and in life.
RYDF just finished an awesome two-day Fun-Raiser, held at Mariner Square Athletic Club in Alameda CA. We had over 90 players in five shootout divisions. Most of the food was donated to help the foundation raise money for its three causes: juniors, and men and women players interested in improving personally and professionally. Part of the proceeds were designated to the four Northern California juniors who made the USA Junior Olympic Team destined for the Dominican Republic in November. (Attached is a picture of two of the four players: Nikita Chauhan and Julian Singh). Each player’s family will receive $500 for each child.
The foundation depends on the generosity of people from our local communities and outside our community who believe in our Vision and Mission. Please “Like” our Facebook Cause page consider donating to help support the dreams of these very talented younger women and men players.
The Reaching Your Dream Foundation is a collective of people who want to see the sport of racquetball thrive with new energy and growth. When we formed over a year ago, we knew it was important to engage racquetball with the guidance of a board that understood the need for open inclusion at the professional level.
Initially, our group of board members was defined by several criteria. The first and foremost trait was passion for how the sport of racquetball can help develop the personal and professional growth of young, elite men and women athletes. And more importantly, promising players who do not have the resources to reach their racquetball dream. Furthermore, board members had to be open to branding and identifying the foundation with sports in general through our Fitness Forever messaging and programming.
The incorporation of RYDF was formally granted by the State of California on April 1, 2014. We incorporated with seven board members including three officers: a president, a secretary and a treasurer. Our initial board members included two physicians, an accountant, a pharmacist, and three other members. As we grew, we knew we also needed a broad base of business and professional experience. There was also an understanding that race and gender diversity was key to understanding and our board is very reflective of this type of thinking.
At the end of May 2014 we held our first annual meeting where we added two more members. At our second annual meeting in June 2015, we added another two members, including Jose Diaz, a well-known IRT player. At our meetings, we try to incorporate professional marketing training and communication workshops as often as opportunities allow.
When we established our board’s bylaws, we set the limit of board of directors to 15 members. We currently are at 11. We plan to slowly expand to the maximum number based on finding people who not only share our collective passion but also add particular value towards guiding RYDF to sustainability.
Recently, one of our board members, John Dalisky was asked to begin a dialogue with Eric Muller, the President of the International Racquetball Tour (IRT). During our first year of activity our main focus was on the younger players of the World Racquetball Tour (WRT), although we did sponsor rooms for players who also participated in IRT events. The advent of our new agreement with Rocky Carson, who is the current IRT #2 ranked professional, will provide a more comprehensive relationship with the IRT. We believe Rocky will make a powerful spokesperson for the Reaching Your Dream Foundation and help guide our younger players towards positive growth and opportunity.
Our group is dedicated to being agile in our growth. We are committed to engaging racquetball with progressive ideas and support. As dedicated as our group is, we can’t do it alone. We will critically need support from you, the racquetball community. If you believe that professional racquetball can enrich the lives of young professionals in truly positive ways, stand with us. Consider a tax-deductible donation to the Reaching Your Dream Foundation. Help pave a foundation of growth in racquetball, while more importantly, building on the future of young professional racquetball players.