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OHS Student Organizes Tennis Tournament Benefiting Alzheimer's Patients

Jack Ligon

Jack Ligon, a student at Oxford High School and member of the Charger tennis team has organized a doubles tennis tournament benefiting Memory Makers, a local non-profit dedicated to improving the lives of Alzheimer’s patients. The tournament will be held at the John Leslie Tennis next to the Oxford Activity Center on August 5.
“It’s going to be really laid back. You’re going to play a lot of tennis, have a lot of fun while benefiting such a worthy cause,” Ligon said.
Ligon remembers his grandmother and her friends laughing and playing games at his house when he was a kid. Eager to serve his community, Ligon wanted to continue to spend time with the elderly and began volunteering at The Blake retirement home’s memory care wing. 
“I’ve always had a passion for working with the elderly,” Ligon said. “When I was a sophomore, I decided that I would use that passion to help my community. I started working with the Alzheimer’s’ patients in the memory care of the Blake. I went every Sunday, it’s a really rewarding experience being able to connect and learn from the patients. We play memory games, listen to music, and the patients tell stories about their past. The interesting part is that a lot of the patients can recall some of their past and the music helps jog their memories.”
After beginning his volunteer work, Ligon wanted to share his experience with his classmates. Ligon created “Students for Alzheimer’s” in January 2017 and the group now has 15 members and Sarah Robinson, biology teacher at OHS, is the group’s sponsor. Members of the group now accompany Ligon over to The Blake on weekends to spend time with the patients. Ligon hopes that the organization can inspire more people to join and support their cause.
“It may seem different from the outside looking in but really when you’re there it is a lot of fun. The patients will joke around, they’re always happy to see people coming to visit with them,” Ligon said. “Our organization wants to show people that you can serve your community and serve a help those patients who people may not always think about when it comes to community service.”
The tournament will begin at 8 a.m. and it’s $20 per player with all of the proceeds going to Memory Makers. To register email students4alzheimersoxford@gmail.com or stop Dr. Ligon’s office at 1121 Mimosa Drive. Checks can be made out to Memory Makers. Registration will take place the morning of the event as well. 
“Young and old players and all levels are welcome. A boy could play with his grandmother. A father and daughter could play and so on. It is all about having fun,” Ligon said. “We also welcome any and all sponsors. Businesses are welcome to donate tennis balls, food, water, door prizes, and money!”

Steven Gagliano is the managing editor of HottyToddy.com. He can be reached at steven.gagliano@hottytoddy.com

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