Tennis tournament honors two local heroes and raises funds for Haiti charity, Food for the Poor | Key Biscayne

Honoring the memories of two special members of the Key Biscayne community with a tennis tournament is only half the mission.

The inaugural McGillibby Mixed Doubles Tennis Tournament – named for Dick McGill and Father Bob Libby – also will serve as a fundraiser for a charity called Food for the Poor, whose mission is to build homes to help Haitians displaced by last year’s earthquake.

The event begins at 11 am April 30 on the Key Biscayne Tennis Association’s clay courts. Two matches are guaranteed and entrants will receive an official tournament T-shirt.

There also will be a separate Arroz con Pollo dinner and dancing event, with wine and beer, that begins at 6 pm at the Tennis Club.

“Father Bob had a passion in life for Food for the Poor and was very strong in support of them by raising funds, ”said Rotary Club of Key Biscayne president Michael Nearing. “And Dick was a big contributor, so we figured a tournament in their honor ought to target Food for the Poor”

According to Nearing, McGill “was a high-functioning and operations guy for General Motors overseas. He joined the Rotary Club and was very generous, very active as a Rotarian. “

Father Libby had been a reverend at St. Christopher’s-By-the-Sea Episcopal Church.

Both passed away in recent years.

The Key Biscayne Rotary Club has been instrumental in helping the people of Haiti, who have persevered in the wake of hurricanes and earthquakes for decades.

Key Biscayne resident Ines Lozano has been assisting Haiti ever since the massive earthquake struck the island in 2010. She even organized the Flying High 4 Haiti mission, which helps open schools, build homes and provide water filters.

She has seen first hand the wonderful work accomplished by Food for the Poor, one of the nation’s largest relief organizations.

“I remember after Hurricane Matthew, Father Libby called me the next day telling me about how Food for the Poor could help,” Lozano said. “They have a great operation.”

Lozano said she doesn’t play tennis but is eager to help the event organizers raise funds to benefit Food for the Poor, which will use this money to build a two-bedroom home with water, lights, sanitation and reinforced roof beams in the battered Perigny community of Camp-Perrin in Haiti.

“Father Libby was so involved; I know he went there with some Rotarians, ”Lozano said. “This will mean a lot to both of them that we are doing this and things will get done.”

Patricia Amat Leon, a past Rotary Club president and the organizer of the fundraiser along with a committee, is excited about the event. “It’s going to be spectacular. It’s a beautiful venue, and… we’ll be under the trees and stars. “







Arantxa Sanchez Vicar


There will be trophies for the top three teams and 10 very raffle prizes, including: a signed tennis racket by former world No. 1 tennis star Arantxa Sanchez Vicario; a Sunset Sailing Champagne Cruise for two; and brunch for two at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne.

Nearing said the capacity for the mixed doubles event will be 50 teams, and single players will be paired up for the event.

“The tennis facility was kind enough to let us use the courts, and they’re helping us figure out how to run a tennis tournament, too,” he said, laughing.

Key Biscayne Tennis Association pro Juan Yuste will operate the draw and oversee the tournament.

Tickets to play tennis are $ 50 per player, while the evening event is $ 40 per attendee (two different tickets). To register, click here.

For more information, contact Nearing at nearing@gmail.com.

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