SOUTH ORANGE, NJ — In honor of her upcoming bat mitzvah celebration, Lily Schonbraun, a 12-year-old from Short Hills, organized and ran a fundraiser at Orange Lawn Tennis Club in South Orange on May 15 to benefit the Greater Newark Tennis & Education program. The mitzvah project, which raised in excess of $32,500 for GNTE, featured a warm-up clinic run by Orange Lawn coaches Michael Thompson, Asim Sengun and Yhonny Murray, in which 60 children participated, followed by a tiered “U.S. Open and French Open” tennis tournament for 32 parent/child doubles teams who competed on the club’s clay courts.
A sixth-grader at Newark Academy, Lily knew she wanted to combine her love of tennis with her desire to give back to the community for her mitzvah project.
“Ever since I was little, tennis has been such an important part of my life and something that I have always been so passionate about,” Lily said. “I have learned so much about the game, and more importantly, the life lessons that have come out of the game.
“The Greater Newark Tennis & Education program is an amazing organization that provides kids in the Newark area with a place to learn and play tennis, broaden and enhance their education, and learn valuable life skills,” she continued. “I realize how fortunate I have been to enjoy tennis lessons and the opportunity to play every day, so I was really excited to be able to help other kids share that experience, which will hopefully guide them well through life.”