On a particularly chilly night perfectly suited for paddle tennis, the District 39 Educational Foundation held its first ever Paddle Classic on Saturday, March 12th, from 7-10 pm at the Wilmette Platform Tennis Club. This was the first in-person event sponsored by the foundation since the start of the pandemic and it was a great success! After two years of virtual events, it was a joy to mingle with fellow district parents while supporting the foundation’s mission.
The college theme of the Paddle Classic permeated throughout the evening. Twenty-four pairs, decked out in their finest college gear, competed in a lighthearted tournament that combined racquet skills with fun, music, and great prizes. All players, from beginner to the most advanced, had a chance to show off their moves on the courts while playing with new and old friends across the district. The paddle hut itself was a perfect venue for socializing, made even better with a walking taco bar, a roaring fireplace, giant Jenga, desserts, beer and wine, and even a signature college drink.
Co-chairs Carla Benigni, Megan Gemp, Stephanie Adam, and Carmel Glynn planned the inaugural paddle event flawlessly with much attention to detail. “This was the paddle dream team,” said the Foundation’s Event Committee Chair, Nancy Schumacher. “The event was a big hit and everyone who I spoke with during the evening commented about how great it was to be together again and how much they enjoyed the college theme.”
Overall, the Paddle Classic raised over $4,000 to support the District 39 Educational Foundation and plans are underway to turn this fun event into an annual tradition. In the meantime, the Foundation’s Events Committee is busy organizing its next in-person event, “Cheers and Beers”, on Friday, April 29th. Taking place at Evanston’s newest gathering spot, Double Clutch Brewing Company, this evening party will feature live music, a silent auction, raffle tickets, drinks, and hors d’oeuvres. Opportunities to purchase tickets coming soon!
All net proceeds from the Paddle Classic and other Foundation events benefit the district’s six schools (Central Elementary, Harper Elementary, McKenzie Elementary, Romona Elementary, Highcrest Middle School, and Wilmette Junior High School) by sponsoring Gripp Grants. These grants provide funds for innovative educational programs, experiences, and technologies that expand, enrich, and complement the schools’ curricula. The District 39 Educational Foundation has been incorporated as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization since 1993. The Foundation’s Board of Trustees is an independent volunteer group, which receives no financial compensation and is solely responsible for raising and granting funds for projects that expand, enrich, and complement educational opportunities for the students, staff, and community in District 39.