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Donna Yuritic Raises $12,000 for Charity in 24-Hour Marathon

May 8, 2007 08:25 PM

Professional Donna Yuritic played a 24-hour marathon of tennis for charity at the Village Health & Racquet Club in Phoenix, Arizona on April 28th and 29th. She raised more than $12,000 for Phoenix After School Sports (PASS)- an organization that promotes education and opportunities to disadvantaged children through tennis.

Donna played an amazing 381 games during the marathon. Her competitiveness as a past National doubles champion and ranked player fueled her Herculean effort. Her serve was only broken once during the entire 24 hours.

Her quest began on Saturday morning at 8 a.m. She had two simple rules: 1) She was allowed one five-minute break every hour. 2) Every hour three new participants would make a donation to play doubles with her.

Donna also battled a fourth opponent, the weather. Within the first five hours the temperature had risen to a brutal 101 degrees. She had to contend with a brief rain shower and dust storm in late afternoon. Once the winds calmed, the weather settled to a perfect 70 degrees.

Donna snacked and hydrated throughout the event to keep her energy level consistent. Many friends were cheerleading throughout the night and motivating music helped her cruise to the 8 a.m. finish on Sunday morning.

Donna was asked for a comment at the conclusion of the event, “Please make sure you let Sam know that his lemonade stand donation did not go unnoticed.” One of the Village members, Sam Evans, sold lemonade all day to help Donna’s cause to support the PASS kids ($31.50).

Among tennis professionals, Donna is considered to be an ‘iron woman” because of the amount of stress her body can take. True to her reputation and despite some blistering, she was back on the court teaching within 24 hours- in slippers.

Donna is the Tennis Adult Program Coordinator at the Village Health & Racquet Club. She has been a teaching professional (USPTA-P1) for 30 years and is the author of seven books. She has volunteered for many community service projects and was recognized as the Professional of the Year by the Southwest United States Professional Tennis Association in 2005.

Click here to see photos from the event.