2019 marked our 15 annual tournament, it was our best year to date. Lot of players, games, great weather, and a lot of support from our sponsors. We expanded our scholarship awards to include two scholarships to Allentown School District. We defined our values, finalized our by-laws for the board. Our mission statement continues to guide us on our efforts. We are very grateful for all the support that we have been fortunate to experience.
2020 is a year we will not readily forget. For everyone it presented challenges, required changes in how we navigate our environment, and some of us suffered personal losses.
We were forced to make a decision we hoped we would never have to make – canceling the Justin Sheftel Tournament three times, we did stay hopeful as long as we could. Finally in September we determined that we could not safely and responsibly hold the event. Our Foundation’s values are focused on friendship, teamwork, service and family and our decision to cancel was driven by those values and unanimously supported by our Board.
We started our planning for the 2021 Tournament with our fingers crossed and with clear understanding of the protocols to ensure safety for the attendees. We continue to strive to fulfill our mission “To celebrate Justin by supporting athletic programs and provide scholarships for underserved youth in our Lehigh Valley community”.
The proceeds from the Tournament are used to cover any and all operational expenses we incur during the year and on the day of the Tournament. We focus on using our sponsorship dollars for the scholarship awards to Parkland and Allentown School District students and for contributions to local organizations that focus on providing athletic programs to our underserved youth in the greater Lehigh Valley.
Due to the continuing support in 2020 in spite of the cancellation we were able to support the scholarships and continue our level of donations to the non profits.
2021 YES we were able to hold the tournament, enjoy the day and the games. We also continued our support within the community. We awarded three scholarship winners, 2 from the Allentown School District and one from Parkland. We are supporting the Miracle League of LV, Bike Works, First Tee and the “Drive” program for the ASD middle schools.
It was an off year, coming back after a year of the pandemic. We were able to rally and continue with the games. We also had a great turnout for the Sports Clinic co-sponsored with St. Luke’s. Mocktail was put on hold and we hope to have it back in 2022. Lawn games became the focus for activities this year, some we hope to continue into 2022.