The inaugural Coast Classic Tennis Tournament took place at the Suncoast Racquet Club this past weekend, welcoming players from the Coast, the Lower Mainland, the Okanagan and as far away as Florida. Spani Developments stepped up as the key sponsor for the event. (A full list of sponsors and contributors will be published in an upcoming edition of Coast Reporter.)
Tournament co-chairs Sandra Stoddart-Hansen and Cindy Ross report that feedback from the event has been extremely positive. “Despite the rainy weather on Friday night, we had over 100 people come to the club throughout the evening to watch tennis and enjoy a burger and a drink,” Ross said. “There was great tennis action and fans were lined up five deep in the spectator gallery to watch the play and cheer on the competitors.”
In addition to the tennis, the event included some fundraising activities, all in support of the Sunshine Coast Hospice Society.
Play continued during the day on Saturday followed by a gala banquet at the Blue Ocean Golf Club emceed by Global medical commentator Dr. Art Hister. Ed Hill provided his time and talents to auction off everything from a $20 bill to a three-day ski holiday at Big White to the crowd of over 100.
Tournament winners were the Middlepoint Tennis Club captained by Marian Shoemaker. Runners up were a team sponsored by Suncoast Racquet Club member Ricardo Sosa.
“The entire event netted over $30,000 for Hospice and we welcome anyone who would still like to contribute to send their donations directly to Hospice here on the Coast,” said committee member Dave Rush. Rush, a member of the tennis club, has also served on the board of Hospice and was the catalyst between the two organizations to make the tournament a reality.
The Sunshine Coast Hospice Society provides hospice and other end of life support services for the Sunshine Coast, including hospice beds located in Shorncliffe, palliative support, bereavement services, advance care planning and public education and outreach.
The need for services provided by the Society has grown significantly. “The Society has to turn away approximately three individuals every month who would benefit from the hospice rooms,” said Hospice Society chair Denis Fafard. “The Society relies entirely on annual donations to cover its operating costs of $250,000 per year. See www.coasthospice.com for more information or to donate.
– Submitted by Sandra Stoddart-Hansen, tournament co-chair