Portland, OR. The fourth annual Tennis Ball to benefit Portland Tennis & Education (PT&E) was a “smashing” success. On November 2nd over 365 education advocates, philanthropists, business leaders, tennis players, and other supporters packed the Melody Event Center in Southeast Portland. They raised $250,000 which is a record for PT&E and will be earmarked for afterschool programs that feature academic support and tennis coaching for low-income students. (Photo credit, Matt Banner)

Scholar athlete Leilani shares the story of her 10 years in the PT&E program.

At the event, board members Susie Hunt Moran, Executive Director Jorge Fuenmayor and board member Harry Aldrich pose for a photo.

Guests gathered around tables decorated with vintage wooden tennis racquets for cocktails, dinner, and live and silent auctions and had the opportunity to hear from two longtime PT&E students who shared their stories and the impact the program has made in their lives.

From Portland Tennis & Education:

Portland Tennis & Education (PT&E) is dedicated to the academic success and lifelong health of Portland’s underserved youth and their families. PT&E students, known within the organization as scholar-athletes, participate in a year-round, tuition-free program that includes academic tutoring, project-based learning, fitness, outdoor education, science and music clubs, and tennis. Students enter the program as young as kindergarten and often stay until they graduate high school, meaning they receive consistent, ongoing support to help them succeed. Life skills are taught at every stage of the program, ranging from eye contact and a firm handshake to writing a resume and preparing for a job interview. 100% of PT&E Scholar Athletes have graduated high school on-time and continued on to college or professional careers.