COLORADO SPRINGS — A tennis tournament fundraiser generated money for a local non-profit dedicated to helping parents through an unimaginable loss, the death of a child.
The non-profit is called Heavenly Hope and Healing, which is a network of parents who all share the same grief of losing a child. Some of the members decided to plan a tennis tournament, hosted by the Garden of the Gods Resort and Club, where they said 23 players competed in 100 games each.
"They've had terrible losses, but this probably helps the healing process for sure," said Scott Liefer, director of Tennis and Recreation for the club.
The fundraiser raised more than $15,000 as of Sunday evening. For parents like Jill and Banty Hoover, this money is invaluable. The Hoovers' daughter Lauren died in a car accident in Breckenridge around three years ago at the age of 26.
"I'm in my late 60s, my husband's in his early 70s, and she was always so proud that we did athletic things. And so, I know she would have been so happy, and she's looking down from above and cheering us on," Jill Hoover said.
Lynda Shelhamer said she understands what the Hoovers have gone through.
"Our 15 year old son took his life... When he took his life, it felt like all of our lives were also taken... When I found Heavenly Hope and Healing, all the sudden, the other moms that had lost a child spoke my language," said Shelhamer, who is the founder of Heavenly Hope and Healing.
Shelhamer said the money raised will go toward the support group, sending parents to conferences, and making comfort baskets, among other things.
Those with Heavenly Hope and Healing said they will leave the tennis fundraiser up on their website through the end of the year. If you would like to donate, visit their website at this link.