Posted by: Ken Wheatley | February 19, 2010

Save The Date: Sheila A. Wheatley Tennis Classic

Saturday, September 18, 2010. Noon to 5pm. La Costa Resort and Spa. Site of the first Sheila A. Wheatley Tennis Classic.

I promised Sheila that I’d do it, so with the help of many we will get this done.

As many of you know, Sheila loved tennis, gardening, and anything to do with the outdoors. So while I haven’t figured out the gardening angle yet, I thought it only fitting that I establish what will hopefully be an annual charity event in her name, with the proceeds going to the Lung Cancer Alliance for continued clinical and drug research, education, and advocacy.

The La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, California has agreed to allow me to hold the event at their tennis center. All proceeds collected from the competitor entry fees and any donations from the general public will be given to the Lung Cancer Alliance. We’re hoping to have a total of 80 competitors in Women’s Doubles, Men’s Doubles, and Mixed Doubles.

As some of you may know, the Resort hosted the Acura Tennis Classic for many years. The Classic is one of the premier tennis events on the worldwide Sony Ericsson Women’s Tennis Association Tour. It returns this year to La Costa, rebranded as the Southern California Open, one month before the first Sheila A. Wheatley Tennis Classic.

I’ve contacted the head of the local chapter of the USPTA (U.S. Professional Tennis Association) to hopefully get competitors.

I’ll cover the costs of hosting the event – rental for 10 courts (including their beautiful center court), tournament management by the Director of Tennis at La Costa, Mike Casey, and awards for the 6 Champions and 6 Finalists. I’m sure there will be other costs that I’m not aware of so I’ll cross that bridge when it comes. Sony may provide support as well. Still in discussions. Hopefully through our efforts, others will follow suit.

I’ve not put on an event of this type, so I’m learning as I go. Of course I’ll need local volunteers (or anyone needing an escape from another part of the country) to help with advertising and marketing (print, tv, web, flyer production, event signage, t-shirts, etc.), sponsorship outreach, photographers, videographers, (to post on the blog, your blog, or wherever we may need it for future use), door prizes, flyer distribution to tennis pro shops around town, light food and beverage on the day of the event for the players, etc., etc., etc.

Some who read my blog are business owners as well, so if you’re interested in sponsoring through in-kind services to produce the event, or products to raffled off, etc. and having your business advertised on the signage/competitor t-shirts, let me know. Or if you know of a business that would be interested, please let me know that as well. Again, all proceeds will go to the Lung Cancer Alliance.

I hope you’ll join me in some way to make it a fun event and a successful one for Sheila. I’m positive that she’ll be smiling down on us that day, seeing so many people out enjoying the event while also helping others.



  1. awesome..and hugs to you!!!

  2. Great to see you making Sheilas dreams come true…I wish you every success with the tournament 🙂

  3. Great plan, I wish you great success!
    You are right, Sheila will be smiling down that day, and she is also smiling down on you today.

    Hugs from Maja

  4. sheila would be so proud!!!

  5. Hmmmm. Sounds like you might need a professional event planner who would be willing to volunteer to help an old friend.

    call me 858 674-1664

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