Editorial: Refreshing Philanthropy

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In a day and age where children have the whole world thrown at them through the screens of their phones, an unrelenting 24–hour news cycle and the ever-present possibility of social media pulling them in awkward directions, it was refreshing this week to hear about the ground breaking of a new tennis court at the Bridgehampton Child Care and Recreation Center, which will be financed entirely through the fundraising efforts of eighth-grader Jack Louchheim, a Sagaponack resident who attends the Pierson Middle-High School. The project began late last week and will be completed in June in time for the coming summer season.

When Louchheim talks about the sport of tennis he does so with reverence for the game and what it has done for him both physically and emotionally. He said the sport has provided an outlet through which he can clear his mind of the inherent stresses that come with being a teenager, which translates to increased focus at school and when dealing with other pressing matters that go far beyond high school athletics.

The new court at the Bridgehampton Child Care Center will cost approximately $40,000 to build and will provide children an opportunity to play a sport often reserved for private clubs, to say nothing about the instruction Louchheim, who plays second singles on the East Hampton varsity team, and a few of his friends plan to provide free of charge to campers at the center this summer.

The efforts made by Louchheim and his friends and family should be commended, and his peers would do well to also take notice of things they can do to improve or help the immediate world around them. Even here in the tony Hamptons there are huge communities of people —including many students who fill our schools alongside their more privileged peers — who could truly use a helping hand. Even something as simple as playing tennis with a child who might never have played the game otherwise could go a long way to making a big difference.

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