TUPELO – Love, set and match will be all pink next weekend at the Rob Leake tennis courts at Tupelo City Park.
The first Rally for the Cure tennis tournament, organized by the Tupelo Tennis Association, will give players a chance to play singles, doubles or mixed doubles and help people in the region fight the disease.
Even the tennis balls will be pink, said Angie Stafford of the Tupelo Tennis Association.
“It’s just one more significant symbol of what we’re playing for,” said Stafford, who is hoping to fill the tournament to capacity with 125 entries.
The proceeds will benefit Susan G. Komen North Mississippi for the Cure, which uses 75 percent of the proceeds to help medically underserved women access mammograms and promote breast cancer awareness in the region. The remaining money goes to the national research program.
At least two of the players in the tournament know what it means to battle breast cancer firsthand.
“I just had to be a part of it,” said Liria Frerer of Tupelo, who is a four-year breast cancer survivor and an avid tennis player. Tennis “is my passion, and I wanted to celebrate life after breast cancer.”
Frerer lost her mom to breast cancer, and she plans to memorialize her on the back of her shirt, just as people do at the annual Race for the Cure.
“I’m excited about it,” Frerer said.
Becky DeMeo of Booneville played tennis in high school, but let it go as an adult when she got busy with family and work. When she was diagnosed with breast cancer nine years ago, her oncologist stressed the importance of taking calcium and weight-bearing exercise because her treatment put her at greater risk of osteoporosis. He casually mentioned tennis as an example.
“I said, ‘Wait a minute, you’re telling me I have to play tennis?” said DeMeo, who has played at least a couple of times a week religiously since she recovered from breast cancer surgery.
“The tennis I can’t turn down, and I want the pink balls,” DeMeo said.
Rally for Cure
– When: Oct. 15-17
– Where: Rob Leake tennis
courts at Tupelo City Park
– Benefits: Susan G. Komen
North Mississippi for the Cure
– Costs: $30 for singles and $50 per
team for doubles or mixed doubles
– Deadline: Oct. 12
– Contact: Angie Stafford at
Michaela Gibson Morris/NEMS Daily Journal