McDonald’s Family Classic hopes to raise money for prep tennis teams

Alex Proietti, left, and her brother Max celebrate after winning a point in last year’s McDonald’s Family Classic. The tournament begins today.

The family events at the annual Taco Bell Western Slope Open have always been popular.

Recognizing that, the Elliott family created a family-only doubles tournament last year.

The second McDonald’s Family Classic takes place today through Sunday at the Elliott Tennis Center on the campus of Colorado Mesa University.

The Elliott family hopes to raise money for School District 51 high school boys and girls tennis programs after the school district cut the athletics budget. Money left over after the expenses — tennis balls, hats, trophies, etc. — will be donated to the three School District 51 boys and girls tennis programs.

“What we’re trying to raise money for is some of our day trips,” Grand Junction coach Carol Elliott said. “We don’t have enough money for our gas trips, like Aspen or Montrose. Every little bit of extra money will help, not only for meals, but for gas. We have to (raise money to) pay for two of our trips.”

Last year, the entry fee, along with the McDonald’s sponsorship paid for T-shirts for all of the participants, trophies and tennis balls.

There are 30 doubles teams registered for the tournament this year, about double the number who participated last year.

“(The number of participants) is much better, so we’re excited about that,” Tournament Director Kathy Elliott said. “We’re still questioning about doing it over the July Fourth weekend.”

Kathy Elliott, who coaches the Central High School programs with her brother, David, said it looks like they will have $600 from the entry fees to split between the six programs, but they are hoping for more.

They plan to sell leftover hats and possibly athletic gear to raise more money.

“We’re trying real hard,” Elliott said. “Our hope is to earn $1,000.”

The tennis club and Elliott family will take donations from the public to give to the high school programs.

There are eight divisions this year, including a family mixed-doubles event with a parent and a child under age 12 in place of the Father/Son, Father/Daughter, Mother/Son, Mother/Daughter 11-under brackets. The Mother/Son 18-under doubles event has two entries.

Three draws are round-robin brackets. The father/son 16-under draw has three teams. The father/daughter 18-under draw has four teams, and the brother/sister draw has three teams.


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