The Fred Lewis Foundation in partnership with the American Heart Association undertook a mega-event at the Tucson Racquet Club on May 3 and 4, 2013. The event was called Handball for Healthy Hearts. The purpose of the event was to raise money for both organizations and make people aware of how exercise and good nutrition can help prevent heart disease.
Over 50 players ranging in age from 10 to 78 participated in the event. Beginning at 5PM on May 3 and ending at 5PM on May 4, a set of participants entered the exhibition court every hour on the hour to play either singles or doubles. They received monetary pledges in support of their efforts from various donors.
American Heart Association representatives were on hand to help jump start the event by providing t-shirts and wrist bands for the participants. In addition they gave a presentation to all of the kids in attendance on healthy heart practices. They spoke about how blood circulates throughout the body and what happens as it transfers from chamber to chamber within the heart itself. A demonstration was given on how to apply CPR to a person in need. Afterwards all the kids were given free blood pressure screenings. Needless to say there appears to be very little stress bottled up inside these kids.
Foundation Advisory Board Member Jeremy Sharpe was instrumental in having television station KOLD Channel 13 cover the event. Their cameraman did a live feed for their 10PM newscast. (See video).
Many thanks to all who participated, especially a group led by Head Coach Abraham Montijo. The group included coaches Richie Estrella, Angel Estrella, Luis Estrella, Fonzie Romero, Jose Maldonado Sr. as well as Benette Valdillez, John Henry Beckman and Jeremy Sharpe. They very ably covered the Midnight to 5AM time slots. Montijo set an unofficial world record by scoring 161 points against an unnamed opponent in a one hour time period. Although the group suffered from sleep deprivation, after taking Sunday off they were back on the courts for Monday evening practice.
Foundation Vice President and Head Coach Abraham Montijo has been accepted as a corps member of Teach For America. This is a very prestigious accomplishment as Teach For America is a growing movement of leaders who work to ensure that kids growing up in poverty get an excellent education.
Abraham will spend about six weeks in Phoenix this summer learning the essentials of teaching. Coursework will include curricula and lesson planning skills while building relationships within school and community. He will be guided by experienced teachers who will observe and coach him as he gains experience teaching summer classes. He expects to develop a foundation of knowledge, skills, and mindsets that will be needed in order to become an effective teacher.
All of us associated with the Foundation, kids, parents, advisory board members and coaches, are extremely proud of Abraham and wish him continued success with all of his endeavors.
The third year of the annual junior 1-Wall tournament was the best to date. It featured current and former students of the Montessori school, as well as several players from part of the Team Tucson Handball Program in conjunction with the Fred Lewis Foundation.
The match that stole the show and had people talking later was that of current Khalsa Montessori student, Esteban Camacho, and young superstar Jose Maldonado from Saint Ambrose Catholic School. The two split the first two games with very close scores and extraordinary action. The steady Esteban was able to build a 10-7 lead with consistent play and great kill shots. His one-wall experience showed but Jose showed tremendous guts as he earned a side out followed by a hand-error, a kill shot, and a pass-shot to even the score at 10-10. Parents, players, and spectators were on the edge of their seat and jumped out of their seats as Jose served and hit the flattest rollout of his life as he stroked the shot with tremendous power down the left. “I can’t believe what I just saw!!” said head coach Abraham Montijo. Unbelievable game and it’s too bad that someone had to lose. Estaban, always the good sport, said “that was a fun match. I just wanted to have fun and I did.” Great play by both players but there was plenty of fun action throughout the day.
The other winners were:
Open Singles : Abraham Montijo def. Steve Natalie
A Singles: Angel Estrella def. Jesus Avila
B Singles: Jose Maldonado def. Jorge Pimentel
C Singles: John Franks def. Cesar Pimentel
D Singles: Jacob Kraft def. Diego Paramo
Girls B Singles: Kena Byrd def. Marisol Maldonado
Girls C Singles: Belisa Camacho def. Sophia Romero
We had plenty of helping hands that helped to make this event run smoothly and successfully but special thanks to the coaches Alfonso Romero, Angel Estrella, Fred Lewis, and Richie Estrella who have put in the time and effort to prepare the participants for performance and Alan Cheng who was unable to play because of injury but was there to help run matches and volunteer his time.