By: By Frank Lewis
September 8, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
The Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund’s Tennis Tournament at Portsmouth High School and Shawnee State University has continued to grow since its inception seven years ago.
“I’m very happy to tell everybody that we have raised $18,000 this year,” Tournament Chairman Jim Daehler said. “We also have the most player’s we’ve ever had. So we keep growing, and I want to say thank you to our loyal sponsors and our loyal players. They get what Mark and Virgie (Hunter) are doing with the Hope Fund, and we’re helping so many of our needy children in our community, and we’re just thrilled that we have this kind of turnout. We’ve been blessed with beautiful weather.”
The Steven A. Hunter Hope Fund was established in memory of Steven Hunter in January of 2006. Steven was a 2003 graduate of Portsmouth High School, attended Shawnee State University and Milligan College. Daehler said Steven’s enthusiasm was contagious and his compassion inspires a lot of people in the area. Steven also had a strong conviction to help those in need, rooted in his strong faith. The Hunters established the fund to help children who may have financial needs but also may have slipped through the cracks and off some radar screens.
“The Power Pack program has grown so much,” Daehler said. “The need is so vast in our community. There are so many at risk children that look forward to that Power Pack that they get on Friday night to take home over the weekend. And hopefully them having some nutritious food keeps them from slipping through the cracks.”
Steven’s Power Pack now serves approximately 500 hungry children every weekend during the school year in nine different school districts in Scioto County, including Portsmouth Elementary, East Portsmouth Elementary, New Boston Oak Intermediate and Stanton Primary, Northwest Elementary, Valley Elementary, West Portsmouth Elementary, Green Elementary, Clay Elementary, Bloom-Vernon Elementary, and Minford Elementary.
“It has just blossomed and grown so much. Mark and Virgie have done a wonderful job and devoted a tremendous amount of their own time and energy into the Hope Fund,” Daehler said. “Steven was such a special young man.”
Daehler said something new was added to this year’s tennis tournament.
“In our efforts to grow the tournament we have added a junior division and Billy and Emily Levi of the Portsmouth Tennis Academy are riding herd on that,” Daehler said. “And I know that will continue to grow and it will make that blossom over the next few years.”
Daehler said the tournament began Friday night on the campus at SSU, and continued Saturday at both locations. The adults played doubles while the juniors played singles.
Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 252, or at firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Frank on Twitter @FrankLewisPDT.