At Petco Park
Aug. 18th
Discounted tickets are available thru: Jeff Gould (619) 795-5382

Many of you have seen our group of Wounded Warriors getting tennis lessons at Balboa Tennis Club a couple days a month courtesy of our dedicated volunteer instructors including Geoff Griffin, Steve Kappes, M. A. Hillier, Spike Lowndes, Stan Backovsky, Suella Steel, James Felder, and Jay Foronda.  Other volunteers who help out when their schedule allows include: Bob Johnson, Greg Hasterok Sr., Shelley Susman, Don Dudley, Vaughan Anders, Ruth Nutt, Gerry Bishoff, Nancy Sanchez, Lynne Beerle, Dennis Stojewa, and Mary Lou Harris.

These injured service members are patients at Balboa Naval Medical Center and members of all four branches of the military.  Most are returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with a wide range of injuries including amputations, post traumatic stress disorder, traumatic brain injuries, and a variety of other physical impairments.  Despite these challenges, all the patients have shown remarkable determination and positive attitudes during the clinics, which are filled with a lot of cheering, encouragement and laughter from the players, pros, and volunteers alike.  Some of these courageous men and women played tennis before their injury and a lot of them have never picked up a tennis racket before starting this program.  The bi-monthly tennis clinics have been going on since January and we have seen tremendous growth in the number of participants.  The pros and volunteers are great with the patients, giving them a sense of success and accomplishment.

We have seen a considerable improvement in all the participants, whether it’s their skill levels, ability to get from a wheelchair to a standing position, or feeling more at ease with other participants and the volunteers.  They are getting more comfortable playing tennis with their prosthetics and gaining more confidence every session.  The tennis clinics have helped to improve the day to day functioning and coping skills of the participants.

Following tennis the wounded warriors and volunteers are treated to lunch.  Lunch is provided courtesy of donations from individuals such as yourself.  The participants, pros, and volunteers really enjoy these lunches as it gives them an opportunity to socialize off the court and get to know each other.  These lunches are in jeopardy of being discontinued because of a lack of funds.

If you know of any caterers who would like to cater one of the lunches for free to a total of approximately 20-25 people, or you would like to make a donation yourself, please contact Marla Knox at 619-532-7764 or

You can also mail your donations to Mary Alice Hillier, 15411 El Capitan Real Lane, El Cajon, CA 92021.  Checks can be made out to Armed Services YMCA-Rec. Therapy.  All donations are 100% tax deductible.

Help us continue this tradition of serving lunch to our patients and showing our appreciation to our volunteers for all their hard work!


Submitted by
M. A. Hillier