Held Sept. 10-11, the 10th Annual Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund Tennis Tournament raised over $18,500.
The Steven A Hunter Hope Fund was established January 2006 in memory of Steven A Hunter. Steven was a local graduate of Portsmouth High School, and a tennis enthusiast. After his passing, his parents, Mark and Virgie Hunter, established the Hope Fund to assist those in need, hoping to continue their son’s legacy of loving the community and those within it.
The goal of the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund is to provide goods, services, and funds for the benefit of students with financial needs. The fund currently provides over 200,000 meals a year to over 1,000 students in 17 school districts, including all of Scioto County and parts of Adams and Pike counties.
The meals are distributed through ‘Power Packs,’ packaged boxes of food for a child in need to take home with them over the weekend. The concept was based off the idea that some kids might not get enough to eat over the course of the weekend, when they are not in school.
Local Jim Daehler is the co-coordinator of the event and the scorekeeper. His son Jay and daughter in-law Robin, also help to keep the tournament running smoothly. He reflected on the success, saying it has grown into something he never expected.
“I remember our first year, when we only made $1,500 and we were so happy and excited for just that,” Daehler recalled. “It has grown into something so much more and I am grateful to be a part of it.”
This years winners include:
Mens 2.5 Divison Champions, Mitchell Blevins and Steve Sarver with Runners Up Michael Purdy and John Bartlett. The score was 6-1/6-1/6-4.
Mens 3.5 Division Champions, Rick Porter and Trevor Miller with Runners Up Jeff Burke and Jim Morton. The score was 7-6/6-3/7-4.
The Mens 4.0 Division Champions were Darren Litz and Bobby Blanton with Runners Up Kyler and Jason Smith. The score was 6-2/6-3/6-3.
Womens 4.0 Division Champions, Judy Bayes and Sharon Adkins with Runners Up Jamie McCorkle and Paige Missler. The score was 6-3/6-4.
And lastly, Mixed Division Champions, Jennifer and Nick Johnson along with Runners Up, Don Mortiz and Jill Davis. Their score was 6-1/6-1.
Hunter says the event is the largest fundraiser of the year, providing a good portion of the funds for the ever-growing organization. He and wife Virgie, were thrilled with the success of this year’s matches, saying that the money raised will go towards purchasing 6,160 Power Packs, roughly 24,660 meals.
“We’re beyond blessed that people come out to participate year after year,” Mark said. “It’s amazing to see how he was loved, and yes, some people participate because they just like to play tennis, but others do it just to support us. Thanks to their support, our program has continued to grow and we’ve been able to provide for more schools and more kids in need. We have a lot of faithful sponsors and supporters and we can never say enough about how thankful we are.”
For more information about the Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund, you can go online to their website at www.stevenshopefund.org, or by searching “Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund,” on Facebook.
Reach Ciara Conley at 740-981-6977, Facebook “Ciara Conley - Daily Times,” and Twitter @PDT_Ciara.