- Posted Thursday November 8, 2012
Nov. 11 'Rally for Research' pairs kids and adults in doubles tournament
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. - Nov. 8, 2012 - A 14-year-old Scottsdale student has organized a "Rally for Research" tennis match to raise funds for cancer research at the Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen).
Austin Turell, an 8th grader at Cocopah Middle School, is pairing children and teenagers, ages 8-15, with older teenagers and adults in a doubles tennis match starting at noon Nov. 11 at La Camarilla Racquet, Fitness & Swim Club, 5320 E. Shea Blvd., in Scottsdale.
Austin's event is his main project in a school leadership class. He talked the idea over with his parents, Nancy and Jeff Turell, and settled on a tennis tournament because of his love of tennis, and a benefit for cancer because of other students, a school administrator and a family member who all succumbed to various types of cancer.
"I know a few people who have been diagnosed, and who have passed away," Austin said. "I feel like it's really important to find a cure, otherwise it could get out of control. We need right now to learn more about what is causing it, and there's no better way than through research."
Austin said he searched the internet for a local research organization because he believes the dollars would be best spent locally, and he decided to benefit TGen after discovering the tgen.org website, deciding it looked "solid" and calling TGen to set up his event.
"I really liked Erin," Austin said of his conversations with Erin Massey, Vice President of Development for TGen Foundation.
"I think it's incredible that a young man like Austin is able to put together a fundraising event like this," Massey said. "We are honored that he chose to support TGen's cancer research programs."
The cost of entering Rally for Research is $20 per person, or $40 for a team. Each team must have at least one member who is age 8-15, Austin said, because he wanted young people to be involved.
Austin will get help from his sister, 12-year-old Ashley, a 6th grader at Cocopah. Ashley is treasurer of a school club, and so Austin decided she could handle the donations.
Austin expects upwards of 30 to 40 participants after posting flyers at school, tennis shops, La Camarilla, and with family friends. Singles players will be matched with doubles partners at the tournament.
In addition to the courts, La Camarilla is donating the use of extra rackets, tennis balls and water, according to Roger Furman, the general manager and director of tennis.
"I think it's a great project," Furman said. "I told him I would be happy to help him in any way possible. But I also wanted to make sure he did the bulk of the work, so he knew what is involved in putting on an event like this."
Austin has been playing tennis since he was given a racket for his 7th birthday. For the past six years, he has participated in a New Hampshire sports camp where tennis was "the easiest thing to do," since you only need one other player.
Austin said he was appreciative of the help he has received from La Camarilla, and from his parents. "They're really supportive."
The Translational Genomics Research Institute (TGen) is a Phoenix, Arizona-based non-profit organization dedicated to conducting groundbreaking research with life changing results. Research at TGen is focused on helping patients with diseases such as cancer, neurological disorders and diabetes. TGen is on the cutting edge of translational research where investigators are able to unravel the genetic components of common and complex diseases. Working with collaborators in the scientific and medical communities, TGen believes it can make a substantial contribution to the efficiency and effectiveness of the translational process. For more information, visit: www.tgen.org.
TGen Senior Science Writer