In 1984, a group of women from the Toronto Lawn Tennis Club organized a small tennis tournament, raised a small amount of money and donated that money to charity. Over the past almost 30 years, this tournament has grown into the Philpott Ladies’ Doubles Invitational Tournament and Banquet, which now is held annually at the end of January and attended by over 250 women from more than 40 teams from the greater Toronto area.
While the Tournament was first hosted by the Toronto Lawn, where Doug Philpott was an active member, over time a number of other private tennis clubs stepped up to host the event and today, the hosting is shared by The Toronto Lawn, The Badminton & Racquet Club, The Boulevard Club, The Granite Club and the Toronto Cricket and Skating Club. The Toronto Lawn will be hosting the 30th annual tournament in 2014.
The Annual Tournament is a collaborative event. Participating clubs donate court time to the event and each participant pays an entry fee, most of which goes directly to the Doug Philpott Inner City Children’s Tennis Fund. The hosting club amasses a crew of volunteers to organize the Banquet and the end of the tournament, which usually includes a Silent Auction, raffles and other fundraising.
Over the past 5 years, the Philpott Ladies’ Doubles Invitational Tournament and Banquet has raised over $250,000 for Philpott’s children’s tennis camps, or an average of $50,000 per year. This represents one-third of Philpott’s annual operating budget.
The proceeds from this event have enabled Philpott to grow from a single camp site in 1991, to 16 camps in Toronto’s high priority needs communities. Philpott camps operate in downtown locations, midtown, in Scarborough and in the Jane/Finch area. In 2013, they expect to teach tennis to over 7,000 children!