This teenager wants you to make a racket
by Sally Litchfield
August 12, 2012 12:00 AM | 1788 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Melina Blasetti, above, is the founder of Rackets4All, a charity that provides gently used tennis rackets for children who cannot afford them.
Melina Blasetti, above, is the founder of Rackets4All, a charity that provides gently used tennis rackets for children who cannot afford them.
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Donation bins, above, can be found at PGA Tour Superstores in Kennesaw, Duluth and Roswell. Monetary donations are also accepted.
Donation bins, above, can be found at PGA Tour Superstores in Kennesaw, Duluth and Roswell. Monetary donations are also accepted.
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Rising senior at Pope High School Melina Blasetti puts her love for tennis to work for children. In 2011, Blasetti founded Rackets4All, a nonprofit organization that collects and finds new homes for gently used rackets.

“We collect rackets that are gently used that people don’t use anymore or don’t need anymore. We find them a new home with underprivileged children so they can experience the love for tennis that I get when I play,” Blasetti said.

Blasetti, an avid tennis player who trains up to five hours per day with Stefan Diaz Tennis Academy, wanted to find a way to help the community. She said, “With my busy schedule with academics and tennis, I never really had time to participate in activities to give back to the community. I really wanted to do something to combine my love for tennis and giving back.”

Blasetti inspires children through Rackets4All when she and volunteers distribute rackets to children in need as well as host a mini tennis clinic to teach recipients basics of the game. She said, “(Rackets4All) is giving kids the supplies they need for tennis because tennis is an expensive sport, and not a lot of people would have an opportunity to play it.”

Inspired by the movie “The Blind Side,” Blasetti knew she could spread her love for tennis in a productive way: “It’s important to me to give underprivileged children more joy and to help them have a sport.”

During the first Rackets4All event through the metro Atlanta Boys and Girls Clubs, they gave away 47 rackets refurbished for free by Serious Tennis in Marietta. The recipients also received tennis balls, T-shirts and Rackets4All bracelets along with lunch. PGA Superstores, Kroger, Chick-Fil-A and Serious Tennis-Marietta are sponsors.

Rackets4All maintains collection bins for rackets at PGA Tour Superstores in the area.

“Instead of drugs or violence, if we can stop one kid from doing that, then maybe we could have the next Roger Federer instead of someone in jail,” she said. “We need more money so we can reach more kids.”

Rackets can be donated at PGA Tour Superstores at 1005 Holcomb Woods Parkway in Roswell, 2911 George Busbee Parkway in Kennesaw or 4000 Venture Drive in Duluth. Monetary donations can be sent to Rackets4All, 4438 Freeman Road, Marietta, GA, 30062. Visit www.rackets4all.com or email blasetti@

bellsouth.net for more information.
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