The Paddle Platoon Plays for the USO

Jim Michael
January 5, 2012
Wilmette, Illinois

USO-of-Illinois-LogoOver the past five years, members of the Westmoreland Country Club in Wilmette, Illinois have braved Midwest winter weather to take part in an annual Paddle Marathon held each February.  Despite snow, ice, and frigid temperatures, these Chicago-area paddle players are motivated to participate not only by their love of competition, but by a desire to remember our military service members serving far from home.  This “Paddle Platoon” has raised nearly $48,000 for the USO of Illinois since 2007, and this year, they are hoping you will help expand this event to other clubs throughout the Midwest and beyond.

The event at Westmoreland is a simple one; players donate $50 an hour to participate in doubles matches, held all day and ending at 7:00 PM.  Immediately following the end of the marathon, a dinner and cocktail hour is held at the paddle hut, which is supported by the Westmoreland Country Club.

All proceeds are donated to the USO, which has provided hundreds of programs and services to service members from the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard since 1941.  (Many veterans or frequent airport travelers may be familiar with USO facilities, which provide a “Home Away from Home” for active-duty military and offer reading libraries, free Wi-Fi access, lounge facilities, computers, phone, snacks and TV/DVD/video games.)

Because our event has been wildly successful, we would like to invite all paddle clubs and players to take part in USO Paddle Day on February 4th, 2012.  The Westmoreland event would be easy to reproduce at your own club. If you would like more details about how the “Paddle Platoon” runs their event, contact Director of Development Jim Michael @

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