Mike Yuval Tennis Classic A Huge Success!
The Mike Yuval Maccabi Canada Tennis Classic began 12 years ago with the vision of having a marquee fundraiser in Quebec. The event has emerged as a mainstay on the Quebec calendar of events and the Nun’s Island Tennis club has been its home through the generosity of Mike Yuval. “The means to participate in sports, from when I was a youth to today, is still difficult. I feel it is important to give back to the community to help those that are in need and I support Maccabi Canada as they fundraise to provide these means for athletes. I hope to send the message that I did it will inspire others to consider helping, on any level, so that our youth can continue to participate in sports” shared Mr. Yuval.
On November 2, sixty players tightened the strings on their rackets to partake in the 2014 Mike Yuval Maccabi Canada Tennis Classic. Raising nearly $50,000, the 2014 edition has presided as the most successful yet. All monies raised will directly benefit the Adopt an Athlete program, which helps to subsidize the costs for open athletes whom earn the right to participate in the Maccabiah Games.
The success of this year’s event is directly attributed to the supreme efforts of co-chairs Brahm Faber and Chuck Spector. What makes these two chairs very special is that Brahm Faber and Chuck Spector both participated in their first Maccabiah Games in 2013 as Master Tennis players. “It’s all about the co-chairs. This year we were so very fortunate to have two gentlemen who participated in the 19th Maccabiah, enjoyed the experience, believe in the organization and want to help perpetuate it” noted Teddy Miller, a committee member and a long standing leader of Maccabi Canada.
For the 81-year-old Faber, in addition to capturing a Gold medal, the 19th Maccabiah marked his first visit to Israel. “I was never able to take off work nor could I really afford the trip. Also I was not aware of Maccabi or what it was all about. While playing in a Tennis Canada tournament Irwin Tobias, Head Coach of the 2013 Maccabiah Tennis Team, suggested I participate in The Games. As I had never visited Israel here was an excellent time to go and also play Tennis for Canada.”
For Chuck “Participating in the Maccabiah Games was something I had always wanted to do; finding the time was the challenge. After hearing about the wonderful experiences that many of my friends had at prior Games, I finally decided that if the possibility of being part of the team for 2013 was available, I would take it”.
Chuck’s experience in fundraising brought vision and organization to the tournament committee. With his solid reputation in the community he was able to secure major sponsorships to elevate the event to the next level and ensure its success.
“Being part of the Mike Yuval Tennis Classic committee was difficult to turn down. While the Canadian delegation was waiting to be called to march together into the Stadium for the 2013 Opening Ceremonies, I remember seeing how excited many of the younger athletes were to be a part of it all. I knew that some of them would not have made it to Israel unless they had financial support and, for many of them, it was their first time in Israel having missed other opportunities such as March of the Living or Birthright because they were busy with their sports. I also had a chance to talk to many athletes towards the end of the Games and it was incredible to see how deeply touched they were about their visit to Israel and their pride in being Jewish. I thought that one of the ways I could give back was to get involved in the Adopt-an-Athlete program for the 2017 Maccabiah Games” he added.
As for the action on the court, the event featured doubles tennis across three categories, crowning the duos of Mike Ghazal and Barry Steinberg (Division 1), brothers Robert Kugler and Stuart Kugler (Division 2) and Stephanie Myles and Lauren Rudolph (Women’s) as champions respectively.
Off the court, participants were treated to a wonderful array of food and drink as well as had the opportunity to participate in a raffle and a silent auction, featuring amazing items such as a Eugenie Bouchard signed racket and signed gloves by Alexandre Bilodeau.
“This year’s Mike Yuval Tennis Classic was a culmination of several months of the collective efforts of many people, from each one of the committee members, our sponsors, donors and suppliers. The skill level of players who showed up was very high and the level of play at the tournament was extremely competitive” Chuck concludes, “The outpouring of support from the community was amazing and the impact will truly be felt in two years when we’re able to support a number of athletes in realizing their Maccabi dreams”
Here’s looking forward to 2015!