SquashDrive Raises More Than 70k For College Prep Program

SquashDrive, the official charity of the 2017 Oracle NetSuite Open, raised a total of $70,500 towards funding a new college prep program for the urban squash program.

Throughout the week, generous fans, patrons and sponsors raised the money on site during the glass court matches. In addition to the on site fundraising, players taking part in the SquashDrive corporate challenge contributed to the fundraising. In this year’s SquashDrive corporate challenge, J.P. Morgan’s Verdi DeSesa defeated Latitude 38’s Tony BrettKelly Saturday night before the men’s and women’s finals.

Tournament director John Nimick presents SquashDrive executive director Lauren Patrizio with a check for $70,500.

SquashDrive students enjoyed Saturday afternoon on the Oracle NetSuite Challenge Court where they received lessons from Laura Massaro and James and Malcolm Willstrop.

SquashDrive is an intensive after school, weekend and summer program that uses the unique combination of squash instruction, academic tutoring and community service to help Bay Area public school students reach their full potential. Started in 2010 by Oracle NetSuite Open Associate Director, Lauren Patrizio Xaba, SquashDrive is modeled after other successful urban squash and education non-profits across the country who have seen 97 percent of their students go on to college.

SquashDrive’s oldest students, who started at the program as fourth and fifth graders in 2010, are now tenth and eleventh graders in high school, and in the midst of their college search process. Squash plays a big role in college admissions for some students. Among high school graduates of National Urban Squash and Education Association (NUSEA) programs across the country, 23 percent go on to play college squash. The $70,500 will help the program’s first generation of students matriculate from high school into college.

“On behalf of SquashDrive, the team and our students, I would like to thank everyone for their generous support this week,” Patrizio Xaba said. “For SquashDrive this is such an uplifting week–there are so many friends and supporters. We are appreciative for all of your support, and with your help will continue to build our program.”

For more information visit www.squashdrive.org.

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