Tournament hits one for children’s hospital
Erik Hoaglund of Elmhurst, keeps his hat on as he returns a shot. | Jon Langham~for Sun-Times Media
Attendees volleyed, lobbed and hit the sweet spot at the eighth annual Hit for the Hospital fundraiser at Oak Brook Racquet and Fitness Club on June 8.
The junior tournament attracted 70 players and raised more than $10,000 for the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Jack Hennessy of Oak Brook, a recent York High School graduate, has run and organized the competition for kids in middle school through college for the past seven years.
Activities included tennis matches, rallies, prizes, pizza and plenty of fun.
But fun and fundraising trumped competitive play.
“This tournament is definitely more for fun than competition,” Hennessy said. “Many people have never played before although we did have a number of actual tennis players. It’s just fun for everyone.”
To shake it up a bit, this year Hennessy encouraged costumes. Players donned pirate costumes, tie-dyed outfits and graduation gowns before hitting the courts.
The Hennessy family conceived the idea of the benefit eight years ago when Jack’s uncle, Patrick Kuehnle, decided to raise funds for the then-named Children’s Memorial Hospital. His brother, Jimmy, as a child had been diagnosed with a life-threatening brain tumor and received immediate surgery and care at the hospital, which ultimately saved his vision and his life.
Jack is headed to Stanford University in the fall but plans to hand the reins over to his younger sisters, Callie and Alex.
“We definitely plan to keep it going,” he said. “We all love tennis and want to keep the momentum of the fundraiser going.”
Donations are still being accepted and can be mailed to Oak Brook Racquet & Fitness Club, Attention: Dawn Siebenhaar, 650 Westmont Drive, Westmont, IL 60559. Checks should be payable to Children’s Memorial Foundation. Cash and credit cards are also accepted.
For more information, contact Dawn Siebenhaar at (630) 654-2442 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.