Zepf Center serves up tennis event on March 22Written by Jay Hathaway | | firstname.lastname@example.org
A Toledo mental health clinic is set to host a fundraising event that mixes tennis with philanthropy.
The Zepf Center will have its sixth annual “Serve up an Ace” charity event 7-11 p.m. March 22 at Laurel Hill Swim and Tennis Club, 2222 Cass Road. Admission is $30 per person and $50 per couple.
The nonprofit provides behavioral health and vocational services to youth and adults with severe and persistent mental illness. This includes therapy services, career development and résumé building. The Zepf Center features a medical department as well.
The evening’s festivities include tennis competitions and skill sessions, as well as hors d’oeuvres, a cash bar, astrology readings by Janet Amid, raffles and door prizes.
According to Zepf Center’s Chief Operations Officer Brittany Barhite, the original idea for the event came from Mark Faber, tennis pro at Laurel Hill, and Zepf’s Chief Executive Officer Jennifer Moses.
“They just started talking and came up with the event, and since then it’s grown,” Barhite said.
Barhite added that while the theme of “Serve up an Ace” is tennis, one does not have to be a tennis enthusiast to enjoy the night.
“Some people don’t like to play tennis, but there will be lots of stuff to do if [they] don’t,” she said.
Raffle prizes include $2,500 cash, a 64GB iPad Mini and a 16MP Nikon digital camera. Attendees also have a chance to win door prizes, like a 32-inch flat-screen TV.
Another feature of the night is a silent auction, with items and services offered from various local businesses. Possible items up for bid include a stay at a Florida condominium, U.S. Open tickets, tennis packages with rackets and outfits, haircuts, salon services, puppy-care packages, movie tickets, glass art and beer baskets. Many local businesses sponsored the event.
“We had a lot of local places step up and donate, and a lot of local tennis pros are donating their time to teach the tennis that night,” Barhite said.
Tennis competitions will take place on all of the different courts at Laurel Hill, with pairs separated by skill level. Those new to tennis are invited to play.
“We’ll do everything from point play to fun games,” Barhite said. “After the groups play for an hour, we’ll have competitions like fastest serve, with prizes for best male and female. Then, at 9:30 [p.m.], the courts will be free for open play the rest of the night.”
Health Home provider
Last year, the event raised $30,000. In 2010, “Serve up an Ace” was named the United States Tennis Association’s (USTA) Midwest Charity Event of the Year. Part of the proceeds from this year’s event will go toward building a fitness center, which is part of a new initiative at the Zepf Center.
“As of Oct. 1, we are one of the clinics selected to become a Health Home provider,” Barhite said. “We are looking at a holistic approach to taking care of our clients.”
The Health Home system is part of the Affordable Care Act of 2010. It is designed for people with Medicaid who have chronic conditions, and encourages treatment centers to operate under a “whole-person” philosophy.
“Along with our therapy services we also want to help them with other physical [needs], because if you don’t feel good physically, you’re not going to feel good mentally,” Barhite said. “In addition to therapy, we ask them, ‘When was your last checkup? When was your last dental visit?’ We also want to offer more yoga classes.”
Barhite explained that because many of Zepf’s clients do not have a lot of disposable income, they are probably not going to be buying gym memberships.
She added that some may not feel safe walking around in their neighborhoods, which also prohibits physical activity.
“There are a lot of studies that show that just 30 minutes of physical activity can improve your mood,” Barhite said. “Also, a lot of people with persistent mental illnesses die on an average of 25 to 30 years sooner than other individuals. That is usually because of cardiac issues like heart disease, being overweight and diabetes. If we provide some wellness education, we can help them. Also, a lot of them are underserved, and so they might not have learned the proper way to eat or have access to nutritious food.”
Barhite encouraged those who are interested in attending the tennis event to order tickets in advance, though she noted that some walk-ins will be accepted that night.
For more information or to order tickets, visit www.zepfcenter.org.
Tags: Zepf Center