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Chobani Tennis Events Raise $23,000 for Pathfinder Scholarships

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COOPERSTOWN, NEW YORK, September 13, 2017 …The competition was keen at the annual CHOBANI FOUNDATION TENNIS CLASSIC and the JUNIORS TENNIS CLASSIC held on Saturday, September 9, at the Cooperstown Country Club. In all, 16 adults and 20 youth players took to the lakeside courts in charity events in support of scholarships at Pathfinder Village, Edmeston, an internationally respected open-access community that provides people living with Down syndrome and other developmental disabilities an independent and fulfilling lifestyle.

“Saturday was a great day for area tennis, and it was exciting for the adult players to see the great matches of the student athletes in the morning.  We are encouraged that these events - and the mission of Pathfinder Village - are becoming better known throughout Central New York,” said Pat Hanft, co-chair for Tennis Classic Steering Committee.  “All the money raised goes for Pathfinder Village Scholarships; we are grateful to the Chobani Foundation for again coming through with prizes and promotional support as our Title Sponsor, and to the Cooperstown Country Club for providing a wonderful venue for the events.”

Play opened early Saturday with two flights for youth players, ages 7-18, from the Cooperstown, Utica and Binghamton regions.  After highly competitive opening rounds, the Morning Flight was won by David Fenner of New Hartford over John Kelley of Fly Creek (7-6, 10-3); the Late Morning Flight was won by Gunter Weldon over Aidan Spencer (6-3), both of Cooperstown.  The Juniors Tennis Classic is now in its third year, and provides matches for novice and experienced players with a focus on building friendships, developing game etiquette, and encouraging youngsters to support human service agencies.

The Tennis Classic, now in its eighth year, had been postponed from earlier in the week due to weather; Saturday’s event featured two flights of eight players each.  After a hard-fought Flight A finals, Charlie Kieler and John Leon, both of Cooperstown, won the tournament (8-3) over runners-up Jon Hansen, Oneonta, and Paul Landers, Pathfinder Village’s Chief Executive Officer.  Flight B winners were Cindy Draper of Richfield Springs and Patrick Kinley of Cooperstown, (10-7), over runners-up Bob Poulson, Cooperstown, and newcomer Dan Slosek, Bridgewater, who is employed as a Security Coordinator at Chobani’s New Berlin manufacturing facility.

Play for the Tennis Classic was organized by a volunteer committee led by co-chairs Bob and Pat Hanft of Cooperstown; Charlie Kieler and Jeanette Weldon organized the Juniors Tennis Classic.  This year, the tennis events reached a cumulative total of $128,000 since 2010; the proceeds provide direct financial assistance to residents and students who receive services at Pathfinder Village.

Along with the Chobani Foundation as Title Sponsor, the Tennis Classic had key support from the Cooperstown Country Club, the Dairy Farmers of America, Syracuse, Bob and Pat Hanft, and Strategic Financial Services, Utica.  The Junior’s event was co-sponsored by the Cooperstown Country Club, Cooperstown Tennis, Bob and Pat Hanft, the Hellenthal Family, the van der Riet Family, the Weldon Family, the Sokolik Family, the Sohns Family, the Gunter Smith Family, and Hughson & Benson Associates of Oneonta.

Along with the Hanfts, Mrs. Weldon, and Mr. Kieler, the Pathfinder Village Foundation’s Tennis Committees includes Patrick Kinley, Chris Hulse, and Mary Margaret Sohns, all of Cooperstown, and Cassandra Treen and Don Brown of the Chobani Foundation.  For more information about the benefit tournament, please contact the Development Staff at Pathfinder Village Foundation at tennis@pathfindervillage.org or (607) 965-8377, ext. 116.

Pathfinder Village which opened in 1980, provides quality supports for individuals living with intellectual disabilities, including highly successful educational, residential, pre-vocational and outreach programs.  To learn more, visit pathfindervillage.org, or visit our fan page on the popular social networking site, Facebook.

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Youth tennis players from throughout the Central New York region competed at the Chobani Foundation’s Juniors Tennis Classic on Saturday, September 9, to help raise funds in support of Pathfinder Village scholarships.  David Fenner of New Hartford and John Kelley of Fly Creek placed after the Morning Flight of matches; Gunter Weldon and Aidan Spencer, both of Cooperstown, placed following the Late Morning Flight. The Juniors Tennis Classic focuses on building friendships, developing game mastery and etiquette, and encouraging children to support human service agencies.

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Area tennis enthusiasts ‘raised a racket’ in support of Pathfinder Village scholarships recently at the eighth annual Chobani Foundation Tennis Classic, held at the Cooperstown Country Club.  Finalists from Flight A included Charlie Kieler and John Leon, and Jon Hansen and Paul Landers.  Finalists in Flight B included Cindy Draper and Patrick Kinley, and Bob Poulson, and Chobani employee Dan Slosek. (Photos courtesy of Pathfinder Village).

“Pathfinder Village helps people find their
way in life to independence, success, and
maturity — all the things you want for your family.”
Marian Mullet | Founder of Pathfinder Village