Vital Life Foundation
Dreams come true at Marquis 72-year-old Marquis resident, as part of the company?s New Chapters Events program, takes a trip of a lifetime and meets tennis legend Pete Sampras.

In her younger days, Helen Fukasawa was an avid tennis player.  When asked if she played competitively or just for fun, she replied, “Oh, always competitively…even it if was just for fun.”  Helen played in the Portland/Metro City League; winning numerous singles and doubles titles.  She also taught tennis to kids for the Portland Parks and Recreation in the 70s and 80s.  For as long as she can remember, tennis had always been something she was passionate about.

Helen, a 72-year-old resident of Marquis Care at Mt. Tabor, was flown down to San Jose, California, along with a companion.  As part of the Marquis’ New Chapters Events program, she attended the 44th Annual SAP Open, Pete Sampras vs. Tommy Haas, at the HP Pavilion.

Marquis’ New Chapters Events program was created to celebrate the lives of their residents who aspire to accomplish a dream they have not yet been able to achieve.  The concept is something similar to the Make-a-Wish foundation for their residents.

Helen was seated in courtside seats, and couldn’t have been more thrilled to watch Sampras in action.  They even snapped a few shots of his serve at 127 miles per hour.  Following the match Helen replied with, “Boy! I love to watch tennis.”

To make the trip even more amazing, Helen was given a surprise “meet and greet” with Sampras.  When she was told the news, she immediately donned an ear-to-ear grin.  Getting to watch Sampras play was something she had always hoped to do, but never in her wildest dreams had she imagined getting to meet the 14 grand slam singles title holder, seven time Wimbledon winner and five time US Open champion.

When she met him, Sampras shook her hand and said, “Hi Helen, I’m Pete Sampras,” and Helen replied with “Hi Pete.  Nice match!”

By: Kym Wells, Administrator, Marquis Care at Mt. Tabor

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