All Night Paddle Marathon Supports the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Region VII News

DECEMBER 4, 2009
WINSTON-SALEM, NC

For 37 hours, starting at 9:00 am Friday, November 20th and ending at 10:00 pm Saturday, November 21st, 81 players in Winston-Salem, NC participated in the First Annual Wellsy Open Paddle Marathon to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Perry Clark's Photos of the Event

The event was inspired by 9 year old Wells Clark, son of Perry and Kelli Clark, who was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis (CF) at two weeks of age. Cystic Fibrosis is a life-threatening genetic disease that affects the lungs and digestive systems of approximately 30,000 children and adults in the United States.

2009 Wellsy OpenAccordint to Jim Galloway, event organizer, “We have planned a great event to help raise money for research for Cystic Fibrosis.  The Wellsy Open, our First Annual Paddle Marathon!  We are going to attempt to break a new world record (we have applied with The Guinness Book of World Records) by playing 37 consecutive hours of paddle.”

“Why 37 hours?  The average life expectancy for someone with Cystic Fibrosis is currently 37 years old.  We need to help extend the average by supporting this cause.  Hopefully, next year we will be playing for 38 hours as they continue to make great strides with this disease.”

“We need to fill 25 1½ hour time slots to hit our 37 hours.  Obviously, there will be some extra fun time slots from midnight until 6:00 am that would be perfect for many of you diehards to fill!  The adjacent court will also be available for your family to join in the fun.”

The event was a great success, followed by personal thanks from Perry and Kelli Clark.

“Wow- what a great 37 hours!”

Wells“We have been so blessed to have such special people in this community to rally around an event like this and make it so special. We made new friends, hung out with old friends and re-acquainted with friends we have not seen in years. We had paddlers come out who have never played (or heard of) ‘Paddle Tennis,’ people who have not played in 20 years, people who filled multiple time slots to keep the marathon going, and of course the regulars who could play every day! We had the diehard 3rd shift crew (12am-7:30am) who not only played their time slots but also greeted O’Neil Crouch as he started his day at 6:00am and munched on Lee Ross’ awesome beef stew. Can you believe that out of 81 people who signed up to play we did not have one no show or a last minute cancellation? You folks were amazing!”

“Your generosity raised $7,200 and more donations are still coming in. This is outstanding! I can promise all of you that you have made a difference not only in Wells’ life, but also in the lives of others who suffer from this life-threatening disease. Wells was truly overwhelmed by the support from all of you.”

“As we continue our fight against this disease, we do this with great hope and rely on Wells’ words, ‘There is a cure you know. They just haven’t found it yet.’

The event was covered by the Winston-Salem Journal. Full Article

The Wellsy Open Paddle Marathon is another example of the generous spirit of platform tennis players across the country. Hundreds of thousands of dollars have been raised over the years, for many causes, by energetic and enthusiastic players dedicated to using the sport they love to support the causes that move them.

2009 Wellsy Open

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