Non-profit in need of donations after losing equipment in fire
By Thabie Sibanda
NW OKLAHOMA CITY — A non-profit that helps kids from lower-income families lost all of its equipment in an overnight fire. Now they need the community to step in and help with donations.It was around midnight Monday night when the leaders at the Tennis Center in Will Rogers Park got the call about the fire. Officials believe someone set the storage shed filled with dozens of rackets, hundreds of shoes and countless balls on fire.Most of what was in the shed was donated to the center to be used by the non-profit First Serve. Director Emmy Hufangel told FOX25 the non-profit's mission is to teach tennis to children who wouldn't have the opportunity otherwise."Since everything is burned we're trying to find new donations," said Hufangel. "[We're] trying to rebuild so that the kids have a racket and a pair of shoes to take with them at the end of the summer.Steve Henry, the director of tennis at the center, told FOX25 that they've had a couple of instances of vandalism recently. He believes a bored child may be responsible but they're using the fire as a learning tool for other kids in the summer program."What not to do. How this interrupts other people's lives," said Henry.Hufangel said the fire is a tragedy but they still are grateful."When you put it in perspective, we're really fortunate that people have stepped up to the plate," said Hufangel.For now the non-profit and the Tennis Center are focused on rebuilding."The building was probably a 40-50 thousand dollar expense," said Henry. "I would expect the contents to be 30 to 40 thousand dollars. It ends up costing everyone."First Serve is still in need of used tennis rackets, athletic shoes and tennis balls. You can donate by either going to the center at Will Rogers Park or you can go to the Oklahoma Cleats for Kids.
KOKH Fox 25 provides, news, sports, weather and local event coverage in Oklahoma City and surrounding areas, including McLoud, Shawnee, Tecumseh, Seminole, Wewoka, Maud, Asher, Wanetted, Goldsby, Norman, Blanchard, Chickasha, Pauls Valley, Purcell, Andarko, Bridgeport, Lawton, Duncan, Okarche, Kingfisher, Guthrie Stillwater and Cushing, Oklahoma.