MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation
Serving Hope | Changing Lives


Annual Champions for Children Gala


23 years ago Wimbledon finalist ‘96 MaliVai Washington had a dream to introduce the sport of tennis to low income children in the urban core of Jacksonville, Florida. Since then, that dream has expanded to provide after school and summer youth development programs to hundreds of Jacksonville youth each year. On Thursday, October 17th 2019 over 450 Jacksonville business leaders and community members came together to support the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation at the 23rd annual Merrill Lynch/Bank of America Champions for Children Gala, presented by Florida Blue.

Participants were invited to “Dare to Dream” with MWYF and rose to the challenge by raising over $250,00 during the gala to support our ongoing, vital programming and over $70,000 to support the programs and construction of the Teen Center. MWYF recognized the students and alumna who earned more than $93,000 in college scholarships earlier this year. The 2019 Student Athlete of the Year and recipient of a $5,000 college scholarship, Tyhlur Reynolds, gave a testimonial. Donovin Darius, former Jaguars player and philanthropist, attended as the special guest and keynote speaker.

Before the Gala, MWYF had $50,000 left to reach the $5 million goal needed to build the Teen Center. The USTA Florida Section Foundation made the announcement during the gala that they would be donating the remaining $50,000, completing the Capital Campaign and making this dream a reality.

Title Sponsor

Presenting Sponsor

Pro-Am Sponsor

Merrill Lynch Bank of America Logo.png
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Silver Sponsors
Black Knight Financial Services
MountainStar Capital

Bronze Sponsors
ATP Tour
CSX Transportation
Katie Deering, Realtor
Delaney-Gravelle Families
DuBow Family Foundation
Nancy & Spence Edwards
Terri Florio
Gray Robinson, P.A.

Holland & Knight LLP
Jaguars Foundation
Charlie & Anne Joseph
Miscellaneous Sheet Metal, Inc.
Murray Family
Rowe Family
Pam & Michael O’Conor
Smith Hulsey & Busey

THE PLAYERS Championship
Traeger Family
James & Judy Urbach
USTA Florida
Ginger & Paul VanderHeyden
MaliVai & Jen Washington

2019 Gala Committee
Katie Deering, Chair
Irene Wolfe, Vice Chair
Kristie Aillo
Laurie Allen
Jennifer Behnam
Jackie Coffey
Soo Lim
Carol Hadley

Anne Joseph
Donna Kamke
Melissa Mancebo
Noel Peters
Entrice Rowe
Jane Day Stuart
Dede Walker

In-Kind Donations
Hartley Press
Pat & Inger Geraghty
Sight & Sound Productions
Sylvette Kilgore
Tiffany & Co.

Host Locations
Florida Blue Conference Center
San Jose Country Club