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home : sports / outdoors : sports/outdoors Thursday, July 20, 2017

2/24/2016 3:57:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
St. Paul Urban Tennis

Amy Doeun

Vang Yang from Midas presents a check to kids from the SPUT program.
Each year St. Paul Urban Tennis (SPUT) offers youth development programs for over 3,000 young people. The program which offers one on one classes, clinics, summer camps and tournaments strives for a goal of, "No child is turned away for an inability to pay; all kids get some kind of scholarship support."

In order to cover some of the expenses of this program they hold the White Bear Pro-Am annual fundraiser. This year it was held on February 6th at Lifetime Fitness in White Bear Lake. Laura Fedock of SPUT said, "Local tennis pros are matched with amateur players for a round robin competition against other Pro-Am teams. The event also includes a Silent Auction with items donated by individuals and local businesses to support SPUT's work for St. Paul youth." Food was also donated by area restaurants - Lancer Catering, Mad Jacks, Toppers Pizza, and Bread and Chocolate.

Warrior Leadership Academy (another one of SPUT's programs for High Schoolers ) then emceed the evenings event and shared the mission of the organization with guests.

In order to be part of the Warrior Leadership Academy students learn not just tennis but leadership. It includes leadership workshops (financial literacy, public speaking, college admission, leadership) and a 40-hour service requirement.

SPUT is about more than just tennis, Fedock added, "SPUT's mission is to use tennis to help kids develop leadership and life skills. Besides the on-court instruction, SPUT also offers a reading program for younger children, and life lessons centered around 'SPUT SPIRIT' - Service, Perseverance, Integrity, Responsibility, Imagination and Teamwork."

The evening's festivities also included a donation of $500 from Midas. Vang Yang works at the University Avenue Midas location and was in attendance to present the check. When asked what prompted the company's decision to donate Vang said, "A lot of our customers are Hmong, this is our way of giving back."

SPUT offers programming at more than 30 area sites throughout St. Paul. Fedock said that it is important to offer them right in the neighborhood so students have easy access. Harding High School is one of the sites. Many Hmong students participate at this site and others.

Vang attended the Pro-Am fundraiser and said, "I noticed that the kids are really appreciative." And now after more than 25 years of SPUT, more than 60% of their coaches grew up in the program. Midas' donation to SPUT helps not only the program, but the youth that SPUT serves.

Images courtesy Joe Stranik, Midas.




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