For more than three years, the Philadelphia-area charity Squash Strokes has created awareness about pediatric stroke and raised thousands of dollars for research and treatment at CHOP’s Pediatric Stroke Program.
The charity was created by Jake Waldman, a student and squash player (hence the name “Squash Strokes”) whose older sister, Ashley, has been a patient in the Program.
According to Jake, who was initially just attempting to satisfy an educational community-service requirement, “I didn’t want to just show up and work for a few hours at an existing charity that I didn’t really have a connection to. Seeing how much the doctors at CHOP have helped my sister, I thought that it would be more worthwhile if I could start something that relates my interests, could get my friends involved, and supports a good cause which makes a difference in people’s lives.”
Jake designed the logo, signage and t-shirts, built the website, and helps out with as much of the administration as possible.
In the fall, Squash Strokes holds a tournament for junior squash players in the Philadelphia area. Germantown Cricket Club hosts the event, and its Director of Squash, Doug Whittaker, has graciously made court space available and helped to organize the playing schedule.
Hundreds of games of squash have been played at this event, and each year there is a raffle featuring prizes such as squash equipment, professional sports memorabilia, college team gear, and other great items.
Generous support has also come from sponsors, including U.S. Squash, Harrow Sports, Dunlop Sports, K’NEX, Fox & Roach Charities, The Iron Shop, Reger, Rizzo & Darnall LLP, Fisher & Phillips LLP, Kline & Specter P.C., Stevens & Lee, P.C., the Philadelphia Phillies, The Philadelphia Flyers, Franklin Institute, Villanova Basketball, Penn Squash, Harvard Squash and Trinity Squash.
This past April, Squash Strokes was honored to be selected as the Not Your Average Cause by the Not Your Average Joe’s restaurant in Suburban Square in Ardmore, PA. Every Tuesday for the entire month, Not Your Average Joe’s donated a portion of the dining checks from Squash Strokes supporters to CHOP’s Pediatric Stroke Program