Paddle Players Making a Difference
Submitted by Dave Arthur, Proud Member of Morristown Field Club, Northern Lake George Paddle and The APTA Umpires Committee
October 1st was a perfect day for the 5th Annual Tom Dillon Memorial Paddle Tournament. What started out as a way to remember a good friend and ardent paddle player has grown to mean so much more. What a tribute this has become by allowing a bunch of knuckhead paddle players a chance to have a great time playing paddle while raising more than $30,000 for the Boys and Girls Club of Newark over the years.
Tom was a man that didn’t just talk the talk…he walked the walk. He was President of the Board of Trustees for 3 years. When his tenure as Board of Trustees President expired, he became Board Chairman. He also chaired our Property and Facilities Committee. Picking a charity for the event was an easy task. By helping children that are making positive choices in their lives we send a message that there are people that care and want to help.
Cynthia Banks, Vice President of Operations for the BGCN recalled that “Tom was not just a person to sit back and give directives or to challenge. He was an individual who rolled up his sleeves and got involved in whatever task or activity that he felt the Boys & Girls Club of Newark should engage in. The Boys & Girls Club was an organization that Mr. Dillon held in high standards. Along with his commitment and involvement with the organization, he also got his sons and daughter involved. Whenever his children had a break and during the summer months they would take the train down to Newark to come to one of our BGCN sites to volunteer. They embraced the same commitment and passion for the organization as their Dad. Mr. Dillon taught them the importance of giving back.”
This year marked a change for the date of the event. It was moved from April to October and we have found a real home. Most of the players said the same thing…”what a great way to kick-off the paddle season.” John Milbank, Racquets Pro at Morris County Golf Club put it all in perspective, “Everyone is looking for a way to tune up their game and if they can raise money for the kids at the same time it makes this a no brainer.”
We had 28 teams competed with the Mike Atkinson and Todd Tripucka coming out on top as 2017 Champions. The event was held between the Morristown Field Club and Spring Brook Country Club…both in Morristown, NJ. We were also joined by 3 generations of Dillon’s for the day. It was great to have Tom’s wife Patty, his son Tom, daughter Sarah with granddaughter Sidney.
Many thanks to everyone that played or donated and volunteered to make this year’s event such a success. Submitted by DAVE ARTHUR.