By Charlie Ligon
Six years ago, Jack Ligon, with the help of his younger brother, Charlie Ligon, began his efforts to raise money for Alzheimer’s patients through a tennis tournament in Oxford . Jack, however, had no charity in mind and was looking for a recipient for these funds.
Dr Jo Ann O’Quin, the founder of Memory Makers, contacted Jack and requested that tournament winnings be donated to Memory Makers, focusing the tournament on the local Oxford fight against Alzheimer’s disease. This led to the founding of the Memory Makers Tennis Tournament, which has so far raised over $90,000 for the organization and is looking to top $100,000 this summer.
The Memory Makers Tennis Tournament is different from many charity events in that it seeks to help a service organization that directly cares for Alzheimer’s patients, instead of just raising awareness about Alzheimer’s disease . Memory Makers is a respite day program for adults with Alzheimer’s disease or memory loss due to a form of dementia.
The respite day program is designed to provide socialization for the person with a disability and to provide rest and education to assist the caregiver. It provides participants with a therapeutic and safe environment in which they can feel comfortable and succeed.
“I was in the 7e when my older brother, Jack, started the tournament,” Charlie Ligon said. “I remember driving around with him and asking people for money and being so excited when someone donated.”
The tennis tournament is the main fundraiser for the Students for Alzheimer’s organization at Oxford High School. Charlie is a rising senior at OHS and president of the organization, as well as this year’s tennis tournament director.
“It was awesome because my brother came home from college and it’s like old times working together on this awesome charity event,” he said. “I can’t wait for all the players to come and have fun playing tennis for a good cause. I really love how I’ve seen this event grow in its support of Memory Makers, and I’m so happy to be able to lead this tournament in continued service to one of Oxford’s most important charities. .
Jack Ligon, a rising senior at Notre Dame, added, “I’m so proud to see that the Alzheimer’s students at Oxford High have continued to work to keep this tournament going even after I graduate. Oxonians are such generous citizens to continue supporting this event. Even with COVID and a struggling economy, our small town has come together to raise money for Memory Makers to help serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community.
The tennis tournament will take place at 9 a.m. on July 30 at the John Leslie Tennis Courts. Admission is $25 per person and is a mixed doubles format. Participants can register now or on the morning of the tournament. There will also be a silent auction. To donate, make checks payable to Memory Makers and drop them off at 1121 Mimosa Drive in Oxford.