Giving - Office of Development and Alumni Relations

Local high schooler’s youth tennis tournament scores gift for USF Health ALS Clinic

A senior at East Lake High School, Jack Noll has been playing tennis for nine years.

It was when a close friend’s youth leader was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis that Noll first witnessed the devastating effects of the disease, more commonly referred to as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.

Jack Noll sitting at a table at the tennis tournament

Noll working at his tennis tournament supporting the USF Health ALS Clinic

As he researched the high costs and rigorous treatments associated with relieving ALS symptoms, Noll was inspired to combine his passion for tennis with his desire to help others by setting up a charity tennis tournament to give back to the USF Health ALS Clinic.

“It was really tough on my friend, and I realized how much I didn’t know about ALS,” said Noll. “If other people don’t have a lot of information about the disease, I thought a tennis tournament would be a great way to spread awareness.”

He was drawn to the clinic for their high level of involvement in ALS research and community outreach, as well as their friendly staff.

As a member of East Lake Country Club, he noticed that charity events rarely included high schoolers and other youth. To involve local youth in giving back, Noll decided that a charity tennis tournament at the country club would attract support from all ages, which would in turn help the ALS Clinic to continue treating patients affected by this disease.

“I feel like a lot of these charities are targeting more of the thirties, forties and fifties demographic,” he said. “I thought it would be perfect to include the youth so we can really raise awareness for kids and introduce them to different ways they can help.”

Noll presents a check to the ALS Clinic

Noll presents a check to the ALS Clinic

More than 50 people attended the tournament, which required a $35 fee for entry. There were no other charges, but those attending the tournament and even locals visiting the club made additional generous donations to support the cause.

“I was very moved by their generosity,” said Noll. “Even if people hadn’t heard of ALS, they were still willing to give to help fight this disease.”

The venue allowed Noll to educate attendees about ALS and the work USF Health is doing to help. He also sent attendees home with commemorative gift bags to keep them thinking about ways to give back after the event was over.

“Overall, I think it was a major success,” said Noll. “I think it was a great way to get the word out there and I love working with USF ALS Clinic. They were so easy to work with.”

The tournament was his first steppingstone into future philanthropic endeavors. Donating to USF Health ALS Clinic inspired him to organize future charity events not only to support those with ALS, but other diseases and disorders as well.

A strong believer in the power of medical advancements and research, Noll plans to pursue a degree in biotechnology after high school.

“I love the idea of using innovation to help people,” said Noll. “Discovering and refining ways to make the medical system better really interests me.”

To support the USF Health ALS Clinic, please click here or contact

Story by Siham Kharfan, USF Advancement Communications and Marketing.