The Steven A. Hunter Power Packs have generated enough money at a recent event to provide of 250,000 meals to hungry children in the area.
Steven Hunter Memorial Tennis Tournament Director Jay Daehler, who was one of Hunter’s friends said he is excited to announce they have reached the point where they can feed so many children. “It’s an amazing number,” Daehler said. He said praise needs to be given to the parents of Hunter, Mark and Virgie Hunter, who he says works tirelessly for the program his son had started prior to his death.
The program has been ongoing for 13 years, with 60 percent of the corporate sponsors staying on for the entire 13 year period. “Their loyalty is awesome,” Daehler said. “They know the need and the benefit.”
Daehler said every dollar that is generated goes directly into the purchase of more Power packs which are distributed to low income children in the schools that may not have a meal on the weekend had it not been for the program. He noted the administration costs are paid out of the pockets of those involved, including the Hunters whom he continued to give high praise for their contribution.
Daehler said to increase teams for the tournament next year they are considering a Pickleball tournament as well.
Mark Hunter said the tennis tournament is the largest fundraiser of the year for Steven’s Power Packs. Hunter said this year looked to be the “best year yet as far as fundraising,” being able to reach that 250,000 mark. Hunter said that amounts to about $26,000.
The tournament consisted of 20 teams playing at the courts at Portsmouth High School named in honor of Steven Hunter, as well as the courts at Shawnee State University.
“Virgie and I are just so thrilled and blessed,” Hunter said. “Since 2007…we’ve raised enough money over that 13 years period to provide over” a quarter of a million meals for local hungry children.”
Hunter said five of Steven’s best friends have been involved in the tournament this year. He said his son loved tennis and was “very competitive” in the sport.
“It means a lot to me and Virgie,” Hunter said of his son’s friends helping keep his son’s dream of helping hungry children alive. “We’re so grateful from all the support from the community,” Hunter said. He noted this year there were 66 sponsors for the event. Hunter said the entry fees for the players pretty much covers the cost of the tournament, saying the sponsor money is what purchases the meals.
“It’s just very gratifying for us,” Hunter said. “We’re very blessed.”