Local teen raises money by organizing tennis tournament to purchase sports equipment for Fricker Resource Center.
Giving back to the community is something that many people do these days, but sometimes the impact on the person volunteering is so great that it inspires them to do far more than they are asked. That’s exactly what happened when Eric Finger, a student at Pensacola High School in the International Baccalaureate (IB) program, started volunteering at the Fricker Resource Center. Finger and three other students volunteered at center’s after school program during their junior year as part of the IB program’s Creativity Action & Service initiative, or CAS, which requires each student to volunteer 100+ hours on a single service project.
Finger said once the after school program ended, he decided to continue volunteering a few more weeks in the summer camp program at Fricker. He noticed throughout his time there that they had some aging sports equipment so he decided to organize a tennis tournament as a fundraiser. “I go to school with a lot of the kids’ older brothers and sisters, so I see the problems a lot these kids face at home and the Fricker program is a really good way for them to escape this. Any improvement to the program benefits the kids in numerous aspects,” said Finger. The Fund the Fricker Charity Tennis Tournament was held this summer at the Pensacola Country Club and raised over $2,700 through entry fees and sponsorships which Finger is now donating to the Fricker Resource Center for purchasing sports equipment.
Justin Pierce, Recreation Area Manager for Play Pensacola Parks and Recreation said that the funds raised through this tournament will be used to purchase new wall pads for Fricker’s gymnasium. “It’s good to know there are young people out there willing to donate their time and efforts to help people that they don’t even know that well. When you come through a program and you are impacted in that way, it becomes a bigger blessing to everyone involved,” said Pierce.
As a senior this year, Finger and his classmates will pass down the project to a new group of juniors at PHS who will also volunteer at the Fricker Resource Center. Let’s hope this young man’s example will inspire the next group of students and many others to also go out and make a difference that will be felt for years to come.