About the Cause

Thirty years ago, Pam and Ken Sumrow started a tradition of philanthropy that is still going strong.  Each September, the Sumrow family, in partnership with Children’s Health, put on the Red Balloon Children Helping Children Tennis Tournament to raise money for the Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Health℠. In total, and with the help of many volunteers, the event has raised $3.4 million for pediatric cancer research and programs.

Unfortunately, current health considerations surrounding COVID-19 make it impossible to deliver a high-quality tennis tournament experience while guaranteeing the safety of our youth tennis players, volunteers and staff. We are left with no responsible choice but to reimagine the 2020 Red Balloon Children Helping Children Tennis Tournament as a virtual fundraising event.

The Sumrow’s started the tournament 30 years ago in honor of their son, Clint, who was successfully treated at Children’s Health for cancer when he was only five years old. The idea of a tournament to raise funds for Children’s Health was a perfect way to combine the family’s love of tennis with their desire to help other families facing the challenge of caring for a child with cancer. 

Three decades later, Clint Sumrow, now serves as event volunteer co-chair along with his sisters, Christy Sumrow Byerly and Lauren Sumrow Frey. What started as a grassroots effort to give back to Children's Health grew into a United States Tennis Association-sanctioned event, taking place each September, Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

The event serves as a chance for young athletes to see firsthand how they can help make life better for children.

The Pauline Allen Gill Center

The Pauline Allen Gill Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Children’s Medical Center is a world-class pediatric treatment center recognized nationally for exceptional clinical care, leadership in pediatric cancer research and academic excellence. With 24 pediatric hematologists and oncologists, all of whom are faculty members at UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Gill Center cares for more than 1,000 new patients each year, making it the largest childhood cancer and blood center in the region.