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Dueling racket champs promise ‘Chaos on the Courts’

By Staff | Oct 2, 2019

PHOTO PROVIDED Lily & Co. Jewelers co-owner Dan Schuyler referees dueling pickleball and tennis professionals Christie Bradley and Toni Halski.

Celebrity tennis players will face off against national pickleball champions in hotly contested head-to-head matches on Nov. 16 to benefit affordable housing on Sanibel.

Dubbed Chaos on the Courts, the duels will go down at the Beachview Tennis Club, highlighting a full day of tennis clinics, round-robin tournaments and court-side games with prizes from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. to benefit Community Housing and Resources. The non-profit organization provides affordable housing for 150 people on Sanibel, with 74 rental homes and 14 limited equity homes.

“The longstanding and dominant game of tennis has been challenged by the upstart pickleball paddle sport and it’s time to settle this – on the court, for fun and for a worthy cause,” tournament sponsor and organizer Dan Schuyler, co-owner of Lily & Co. Jewelers with Karen Bell, said.

Tennis and pickleball stars vying for court supremacy will include Nick Bollettieri, legendary tennis coach and founder of IMG Academy; Simone Jardim, U.S. Open champion and co-director of the Peak Performance Pickleball Academy; pickleball champions Kyle Yates, Christie Bradley, Martina Kochli and Jonny Pickleball; and Scott “Golden Boy” Golden, a top-rated pickleball player and instructor who will stream the event on Facebook Live.

The dueling stars will face off from 11 a.m. until noon during a champagne lunch, provided by title sponsor Sanibel Catering Company by Bailey’s. In the morning and afternoon, 32 tennis players and 32 pickleball players will enjoy round-robin tournaments, clinics with the pros, paddle demonstrations from sponsor Paddletek, and courtside games with prizes and raffles. Cost is $100 per player and $50 for guests, including lunch and an ice cream sundae bar provided by Joey’s Custard. The proceeds from the Swing for Hope benefit will go directly to CHR.

To register or make a donation, contact Toni Halski at 239-472-9099.

Platinum sponsors include Bank of the Islands and Duane Chaney of Arch Capital; and gold sponsors include Rich Venchey of Wrigley’s Tennis, Betsy and Marcel Ventura of YOLO Watersports, Ed Bolter of Lamar Advertising, and Walsh Landscaping.

“Bringing together stars of racket sports couldn’t happen without our amazing sponsors and we’re thrilled that our organization is the beneficiary of this signature event to be livestreamed on Facebook,” CHR Executive Director Melissa Rice said. “Chaos on the Courts will bring hope to many families who otherwise couldn’t afford to live on Sanibel.”