Tennis event at Four Seasons will aid local charity

A day-into-evening tennis event with a flexible array of options — a clinic, competitive play, an exhibition match, and a cocktail reception — will raise funds for Ability Beyond, a local charity that annually helps more than 2,300 people with disabilities live fuller, more independent lives.

The Ability Beyond Mercedes-Benz Tennis Event will be held at the Four Seasons Racquet Club in Wilton on Saturday, Aug. 16, starting with a clinic at 9:30 a.m. and closing in the evening with cocktails and an exhibition match featuring a Stanford University player and a former touring pro.

Sponsored by Mercedes-Benz of Danbury, the event benefits Ability Beyond, which is based in Bethel and Mt. Kisco, N.Y. The organization provides group homes, job training, job placement, and transportation for people with physical and mental disabilities.

Ability Beyond helps more than 1,200 people a year with employment and also operates group homes in Connecticut and New York State — including two in Ridgefield and another in Georgetown. The group is working with the town to open another group home in Ridgefield on Prospect Ridge.

The tennis event starts with the social tennis in the morning. Check-in will be at 9 a.m. for an instructional clinic taught by the Four Seasons professional staff from 9:30 to 11:30. Men and women of all levels are welcome to sign up.

Participants share a light lunch at the end of the morning session.

The competitive tennis begins with check in at 1 p.m. for a doubles round robin, from 1:30 to 4:30, followed by a light dinner at 5.

From 5 to 7 is the evening cocktail reception, raffle, silent auction and the exhibition match featuring Nolan Paige from Fairfield, a current Division I player at Stanford University, and Todd Paul of Stamford, a former Division 1 player at Wake Forest who turned professional after college and achieved a ranking in the 300s on the ATP tour.

The afternoon’s competitive tennis is for men and women at a 3.5 to 4.5 USTA rating level. Players can register as a doubles team, or individually, and be grouped for the event.

The donation for the day-into-evening event is $175 per person, and includes a choice of instructional clinic in the morning or the competitive tennis in the afternoon.

Both groups attend the cocktail reception and exhibition match. All participants will also receive a Mercedes-Benz gift package.

If guests choose to attend only the cocktail reception, raffle, silent auction and featured exhibition tennis match, the event fee is $75.

Those interested need to pre-register for the event. Printable entry forms are available online at 4seasonstennis.com and at abilitybeyond.org. For more information or sponsorship opportunities, contact Saurin Shah at 203-912-7623 or via email at shah_saurin@yahoo.com.