The 6th annual Tennis with the Stars event was held last Saturday, August 24th at Columbine Country Club. Tennis pros and local celebrities played alongside “Average Joes” and aspiring youths at the top of their tennis game.
The event featured instructional drills, competitive games and “beat the pro” courts served alongside fine country club fare and refreshing summer drinks – including adult beverages like margaritas and strawberry daiquiris.
Headlining the event were former Association of Tennis Players (ATP) top 10 player Bill Scanlon and former Bryan Brothers Coach, Philip Farmer. Also making appearances were tennis greats Randy Crawford, Jeff Salzenstein, Chris Christman. The former pros, directors and coaches engaged with top youths, helping them in tennis drills and showing the crowd how it’s done in the exhibitions.
Columbine Country Club Director of Tennis, Andy Zodin was also the man of the hour and with help from his event committee, he was able to land these noted tennis greats while giving back to the community and getting people together for the love of tennis. “We have the most players we’ve ever had in the event with over 120 players this year and we have two great causes, so this a great way to end the summer with a big extravagant tennis party in Colorado,” he said.
Classy and lively, the event was filled with music, drinks, vendors and an auction. Proceeds from Tennis with the Stars benefit two organizations: Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime (helping seniors fulfill their lifelong dreams) and the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation (helping skilled youth afford to participate in tennis programs through a scholarship fund).
Columbine Country Club hosted the Littleton tournament, entertaining the roughly 200+ guests throughout the day into the evening. Food, drinks, smoothies and more were readily available for guests to enjoy and imbibe. Music was tastefully loud and energizing and the many courts provided multiple ways for fans to immerse themselves in the spectacle. The club even featured a clay court for experienced players seeking rougher terrain.
The event concluded with an auction, photos and autographs as well as awards for the stars of the day, including the Sascha Franzel STAR OF STARS Award. As a warm-up act for the US Open and the Colorado State Open, this was an event not to be missed. The opportunity for youths and amateurs to rub shoulders and get tips from the pros was priceless.
The event benefits two organizations: Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime, which helps seniors make their dreams come true, and the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation, which helps kids dreams come true by helping them gain access to the sport of tennis by way of their scholarships.
Jeremy Bloom’s Wish of a Lifetime was created to inspire people of all generations to know that “growing older doesn’t mean you have to stop dreaming and living a life of purpose.” Their mission reads: ” By granting lifelong wishes to seniors who have overcome tremendous challenges in their own lives, our foundation is able to spread its inspirational stories of hope.”
Also benefiting from this event is the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation which makes tennis dreams come true for talented youths regardless of their socio-economic background. This event is very special in that it helps fund the generous scholarships they provide. Their missions is to “provide financial assistance to juniors and junior programs, giving youngsters the opportunity to learn and play the lifetime sport of tennis.”
The Tennis with the Stars event was founded in part by LoAn Vo who began this mission six years ago. She wanted to give back and focus around a sport, but seeing so many golfing events, she wanted something different. “My friends and I play tennis and, in the tennis community, there’s not a lot of events,” she says. And so, Vo created “Tennis with the Stars,” a lower-cost tournament where just about anyone can come learn and play with the pros – while doing good and giving back the community.