Tennis tournament to benefit three charities

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Columbine Country Club to host event

By Chelsy Woods Klein

The mission of any good business is to fill a need with its goods or services. The mission of a great business is not only to fill a need but to bolster the community that supports it.

The Columbine Country Club will be supporting three charities Sept. 7-9 when it hosts the inaugural Columbine Country Club Invitational.

Partnering with the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation, Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime Foundation, and the YESS Institute, Columbine aims to give back to the greater Denver community.

“We have hosted an event in the past called Tennis With the Stars which benefited CYTF and the YESS Institute,” said Andy Zodin with the Columbine Country Club.

Zodin said the club had planned to host two separate events — Tennis With the Stars and another event to benefit the Wish of a Lifetime Foundation — but the idea morphed into “one super event.”

“This is a great way to give back to our community,” said Zodin. “These are great organizations, and we are happy that we can support all that they do.”

The club regularly works with CYTF, whose mission is to provide grants and scholarships that encourage kids to develop an interest in tennis.

“CYTF provides tennis opportunities to kids because we believe that the skills kids learn on the tennis court are actually life skills that they can take off the court and into their lives,” said Lisa Schaefer, director of the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation. “Being part of this event allows us to raise (money) that gives us the ability to do more in the community.”

The YESS Institute, which focuses on teen empowerment through “peer mentoring, school engagement, and the curriculum (of) emotional intelligence,” will also benefit. Currently the mentoring program operates in Lincoln, North, and West high schools in Denver.

The event will bring in elite tennis players, including Olympic gold medalists Bob and Mike Bryan, who have won 80 doubles titles, including 11 Grand Slams; and Brian Battistone, whose unique racket and serve are a draw for tennis aficionados.

“People will get to see world-class tennis when they come,” said Zodin. “It’s going to be really exciting.”

The invitational will also offer pro-led tennis clinics and a tournament for local players of all ages and ability levels, after which there will be an awards dinner and banquet where WOL founder, two-time Olympic gold medal winner and former CU football player Jeremy Bloom will speak and present awards.

“We’re excited about this opportunity to be a part of Columbine Country Club’s … event,” Bloom said. “(They) understand our mission to create a cultural change that promotes a society which loves, honors and cherishes the elderly.” 

WOL recently granted a wish to Idledale resident Mary McKenry, 67, who wanted to see a musical production at the Sight and Sound Theatre in Branson, Mo. WOL sent McKenry and her husband, Jack, to see “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” in May.

Reflecting on her wish come true, McKenry said: “It was so amazing that they wanted to see this happen for us. They were very persistent, even when I kept putting the trip off because of Jack’s health issues. We are very blessed that there are people who care like Jeremy Bloom’s foundation.”

“Each of these charitable organizations has so much to offer the community,” Zodin said. “We are happy that we can help them do what they do.”

For information or to sign up, contact event director Andy Zodin at 303-794-6128 or azodin@columbinecountryclub.org.

To register for the invitational, visit www.efficienttickets.com/wts12.


Columbine Country Club Invitational 

Sept.7-9 at the Columbine Country Club,17 Fairway Lane; 303-794-2674.

All events are open to the public; pre-registration and advanced ticket purchase are encouraged.

Charities involved:

• YESS Institute — http://yessinstitute.org/

• Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation — http://www.coloradotennis.com/

• Jeremy Bloom Wish of a Lifetime — http://www.seniorwish.org/