One of the world’s most famous and popular tennis tournaments — the US Open — ended earlier this week. But one of the most impactful events you’ll ever see will begin Wednesday in Paoli.
The $50,000 Waynesborough Invitational begins this week at Waynesborough Country Club, bringing together touring pros and high-level players from around the world for five days of competition and charity. Qualifying begins Wednesday night (Sept. 10), with main draw action (16 singles, eight doubles) taking place Thursday-Sunday.
All proceeds from the event will benefit Libby Judge, a local tennis player who experienced a traumatic car accident in March. The accident left Libby with a C5, C6 spinal cord injury, paralyzing her from the chest down and allowing just minor movement in her shoulders, biceps, triceps and wrists only.
The tournament at Waynesborough (Libby is a longtime member and major tennis supporter at the club) is a way to help raise money, and bring awareness to the situation.
Players competing this week include former world No. 33 Alex Bogomolov, former NCAA All-American Jamere Jenkins, and other high-level players with various backgrounds. The tournament will provide multiple ways to support Libby, including a silent auction, donation opportunities and more.
Ahead of Libby is a long and difficult recovery at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, along with a heavy financial strain. The CDC estimates that an individual living with a spinal cord injury will have between $500,000 and $3 million of expenses in a lifetime.
“A lot of people are coming together to help,” said Susan Barnes, a close friend of Libby’s who is helping to organize the tournament. “We met 23 years ago on the tennis courts and she loves tennis. She’s been a supporter, a player and a coach for a long time. This will be a great event.”
Putting on such a strong tournament required help from a lot of people and Barnes said it wouldn’t have been possible without the financial support of The Graham Group, a local business with close ties to the local community. The Graham Group donated the $50,000 of prize money for the tournament and an additional $30,000 to help cover Libby’s medial bills. A group of Libby’s friends, led by Barnes and her husband, David, helped match that money by gathering donations from friends around the community. Others joined in the effort as well, including Pamela and Fred Jacobs, among many more.
Starting on Wednesday, the tournament action will start each night at 5 p.m. at Waynesborough. It is free to the public. Saturday will feature a pro-am from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., and a wheelchair expo from 4-5 p.m. The singles final will take place at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
For those who can’t make the tournament but still want to help, donations can be made online to Libby’s fundraising campaign, or by calling 800.642.8399. Checks can also be mailed “in honor of Libby Judge” to HelpHOPELive: 2 Radnor Corporate Ctr., 100 Matsonford Rd., Suite 100, Radnor, PA 19087.