Some balls would just get away. Packs of 50 balls would be purchased, then lost, a cycle that would continue.
It was a nuisance.
“I like playing tennis a lot,” Micah said. “We’re just tired of chasing the balls. I’m not learning properly, chasing balls all the time.”
Then, the proverbial light bulb went off.
Micah, along with her mother, Mirella Escamilla Davis, set out to get a fence put up around the tennis court at Pawnee ISD.
Even with her accolades — being a part of the National Junior Honor Society and the Gone Country 4-H Club — the 11-year-old faced her toughest challenge yet: bringing it before the Pawnee school board.
“I was very nervous,” Micah said.
But, her nerves didn’t get to her. The soft-spoken Micah was set on making this project come to life.
“I just took it all away with me,” Micah said, “and they agreed with me and everything I needed to do.
“I told them what I was going to do, and I knew that it would take time to raise all the money, so I was telling them I would take it part-by-part, do community services and raise funds.”
Then came the verdict.
The school board loved it and is behind her 100 percent, and the trustees have received a few bids, according to Mirella.
“So, we’re waiting for the bids to come in to see how much of a challenge we have before us,” Mirella said. “She needs to start somewhere, so we’re starting with this fundraiser that we’re having on Saturday.”
The fundraising project has been dubbed “Team Micah,” and they are holding a two-fold event from 9 a.m. to noon this Saturday at the Pawnee school pavilion. Pink fliers, Micah’s favorite color, have been posted all over Beeville, Pettus and Kenedy.
The fundraiser will feature a rabies clinic, offering rabies shots to cats and dogs for $7. There will also be plates of barbecue brisket, potato salad, rice and beans in the cafeteria. They’re hoping to sell at least 100 plates.
“She should generate $1,400 right off the bat, and she’s already received donations from the Mineral Baptist Church,” Mirella said. “So, I bet she’ll top $2,000; that’s what we’re hoping.”
They hope that putting the fence up will help further develop the kids into better athletes by cutting down the time to retrieve the balls.
They also hope to make it a safer environment.
“Like us, after work, we’re part of the community. Now everybody could go out and play because we’ll have the proper fencing and not have to chase balls,” Mirella said.
“It’s also good for the school, because it’s right there by Highway 673, a very populated road with oil and gas (traffic). With the fencing, should the kid hit a ball and it go across the street, this can deter. It’s safety issue as well.”
Micah will be going into the sixth grade this upcoming school year. They hope to have it up by the time she starts seventh grade, in hopes of being able to enjoy it before she leaves for high school.
“We’re giving ourselves a goal to try and raise it in one year, whatever the bid may be, so they get to enjoy it,” Mirella said.
Over the next year, Micah will continue to raise funds. She said she’s looking to do some bake sales in the future, and she’s going to ask for donations, with her eyeing Pioneer Natural Resources.
Micah has only been playing tennis for two years. By the time she leaves Pawnee ISD, she may be remembered for being a rising tennis player.
But she’ll always be remembered for being the girl who got the fence set up around the tennis court, and that alone is an amazing feeling for her.
“I’m kind of happy too, so the community can come and play as well,” Micah said, “and they have a nice fence.”
Mackey Torres is the regional editor at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 343-5219, or at regional@mySouTex.com.