KATE KUP Triples Tournament raises $100K


The Kate Amato Foundation announced it has successfully raised more than $100,000 at the Fifth Annual KATE KUP Triples Tennis Tournament last weekend. All proceeds from the event benefit Kate Amato Foundation (KAF), whose mission is funding innovative pediatric cancer research to develop safer, smarter and more effective treatments for childhood cancer. 

The KATE KUP Triples Tennis Tournament, held April 20, is the only event of its kind in the Jacksonville area and is held annually at The Yards Tennis Center in Sawgrass. The format is a fun, three versus three, fast-paced tennis tournament in which players rotate counterclockwise after every point, and the first team to 21 (by 2 points) is the winner. To add energy to the event, teams dress up in themed costumes. The tournament has become so popular in the community that the 32 team slots sold out within a record breaking 18 hours. 

The family-friendly tournament was open to the public with more than 300 participants and spectators in attendance to enjoy the day and support pediatric cancer research. Several local businesses rallied to support the event and provide refreshments and entertainment for the players and guests including TacoLu, Bearded Pig Barbecue, 1928 Cuban Bistro, Ancient City Brewing Company, Native Sun Natural Foods Market, Green Bean Productions, StretchLab, Happy Faces Ice Cream Truck and SpaceWalk Inflatables. There was also a Kid Zone, which offered face painting, balloon art, a photobooth, inflatables, arts and crafts activities, and games.

The Tournament Champion was awarded to the team “Deez Balls” (Alexis Schuchart, Mike Marrou, Jared Lissauer) and second place was awarded to the team “The Royal Tennisbaums” (Casey Cohen, Megan McGraw, Jude Kinasewitz). The Best Team Costume was awarded to the team “Volley Parton” (Sarah-Lynn Le Roux, Franzi Herman, Joey Whelan).  The Kate’s Kindness Award, given for good sportsmanship and kindness on the court, was awarded to the “Net Ninjas” (Meg Spears, Bre Young, Rebecca Parmelee). The Top Fundraising trophy went to the “The Royal Tennisbaums” (Casey Cohen, Megan McGraw, Jude Kinasewitz) for raising $13,945 for the cause.

As part of their mission, KAF awards grant funding to cutting-edge pediatric cancer research projects at some of the leading immunotherapy and cancer genomics research labs in the country, including Duke University, Texas Children’s Cancer Center/Baylor College of Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), and Dana-Farber Cancer Institute/Harvard Medical School.

The foundation has funded $575,000 in grants to support groundbreaking pediatric cancer research projects. These grants are predominantly funded by KATE Signature events: KATE KUP Triples Tennis Tournament, KATE KLASSIC Golf Tournament, and KATE KOMBO Golf and Pickleball Tournament. Additional foundation programs include KATE’S KINDNESS PROJECT, which provides immediate direct support to local children hospitalized with cancer, and KATE KLUB, a school-based program where children can get involved with fundraising events and activities. 

The foundation would like to extend a special thanks to the KATE KUP Sponsors for being strong supporters of KAF and pediatric cancer research, including ARCO Design Build, Cosmetic Surgery Affiliates, Lockett Law, JET Home Loans, Hen House Marketing, Stellar Energy, Tina Webster Realty, DF Luxury Homes, Chic Booth, Golden Dog Title & Trust, Choose Your Way Therapy, Doro and KYDS Children’s Boutique.

Several families also rallied to support this year’s KATE KUP, including the Esposito family, the Wubker family, the Silverman family, the Burke family and the Devine family.  

Kate’s parents, Jeff and Lisa Amato, were happy with the success of the event, sharing: “We’re overwhelmed by our community’s continued commitment to honor Kate’s life by helping other children. It’s a beautiful testament to the kindness and connection of our Beaches community. Our favorite part of this tournament is the outpouring of love in the participants’ bright smiles, warm hugs and infectious joy all day, because it shows us that Kate’s spirit is alive and well within all of us.”

The foundation is now actively preparing for the second annual KATE KOMBO, which will also be held at The Yards in Sawgrass on Oct. 11. The event is a simultaneous golf and pickleball tournament and is expected to sell out. Registration for the event opens in June.