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  • Writer's pictureNeal Hagberg

I See It

Summer camps end today.  I could say, “Where does the time go?” but after 36 years of this, I have a pretty good idea.

This is what I see that I could not see 36 years ago:

I see a Tennis & Life Camps that will thrive long after I am dead.  I do not have another 36 years of camp in me, though I do hope to be alive and kicking still at 94.  Whether I am or not, I believe TLC will be.

I see an expansion of the mission to include so many more people who could not otherwise afford to attend camp.

I see the Three Crowns philosophy of Positive Attitude, Full Effort, and Good Sportsmanship on and off the court catching on in places we cannot even yet imagine (but will) and changing many more lives than the 60,000 campers we have had come through these doors.

I see a camp aware of the inequities some of our staff and campers face simply because of the color of their skin, or who they love, or the gender they claim, or how they choose to worship or not worship.  And I see a camp that is courageous enough to speak up, stand together, to listen to those who are being silenced and raise our voice with them.  I see TLC as being a sports leader, not a follower, when it comes to stepping outside our comfort zone to compassionately, but steadfastly, address these inequities.

I see smiles on faces as campers hit brand new serves.

I see someone else giving high fives and smiles.  Singing.  Teaching. Who?  Who knows?   But someone will step into those roles, because everyone is important, but no one is indispensable when it comes to a wide and inclusive vision.

I see smiley-faced rackets populating the planet.  🙂

I see people accepting what they cannot change (others) and changing what they can (themselves).  And finally having the wisdom to quit trying to change things that a

re out of their control so they can focus on what is in their control.  And, in doing so, changing the world for the better.

I see something I did not see 36 years ago:  The big picture.

We are waves on the ocean.  When a wave disappears, it is not gone, it just becomes a different part of the ocean.  And another wave, equally as beautiful and unique, has the chance to take that place.  It is nothing to be feared, but celebrated.

BUT HOW do I see this taking place?

Frankly, with many of you helping.

Are you ready?  Here comes the pitch.

This is for the future, for the kids and families we will never meet who, because of our generosity, will whisper a thank you to us for setting the foundation forever.

We are a third of the way into our 40 LOVE campaign called 40 LOVE: 40 Years.  40 Months.  $4 Million.  We are raising $4 Million.  That is a lot of money.  And we are currently at $1.4 Million.  Which means we only have $2.6 Million to go!

If you have $2.6 Million to contribute, please email me.  Immediately.  I will drop my vacation plans.

If you have something more than a dollar and less than $2.6 Million and want to hear more about the amazing things these funds will do, please email me.  Immediately.  We will talk about what best fits your vision.  The possibilities are endless.

Together we will make this happen so 200 campers each year will be able to come to TLC on full scholarship in perpetuity; so we have the excellent facilities to keep making this vision a reality; so the Three Crowns have a home for generations.

We can make this happen.  And we will make this happen.

And the operative word is we.

This is bigger than ourselves.

I see it.


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