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It can be easy to sweep difficult topics under the rug. But the family and friends of Chuck Reiney, who died by suicide in February 2023, chose instead to shed light on the importance of mental health and destigmatize mental illness by founding a nonprofit in his honor.

Reiney was a lifelong tennis player, competing on Furman University’s men’s team, and he continued to compete at Olde Providence Racquet Club in Charlotte, N.C., and played in tournaments throughout the country. The sport was a family affair, as two of his siblings also played NCAA Division I tennis, and he would often play father-son national tournaments with his middle son. Reiney was a fixture in the Charlotte tennis community, and as a result, his friends and family thought “Ace the Stigma” was a fitting name for the new nonprofit organization and its primary fundraising event—a tennis tournament at Olde Providence.

The original idea was a small tournament just for Reiney’s friends where everyone chipped in a little bit of money to donate to a mental health charity, but shortly after his friends invited Reiney’s siblings to participate, including his older brother Mike Reiney, their little way of honoring Chuck’s memory became so much bigger.

A little over a year later, on the first weekend of May, more than 100 people took to the courts of Olde Providence Racquet Club to raise money for local mental health-focused organizations.

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