Tennis and Life Camps at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter have received a $1 million gift from Boy and Betty Toy of Mounds View.
Officials say the commitment serves as a cornerstone gift of Tennis and Life Camps’ (TLC) ambitious 40-Love Campaign, which seeks to raise $4 million over the course of 40 months to celebrate the 40th anniversary of one of the nation’s preeminent summer tennis camps.
“Boy and Betty come from harrowing beginnings, barely escaping World War II China with their lives,” said Camp Director Neal Hagberg. “When you see people as kind as they are who believe in their depths about giving back, and that it is a privilege to help others, it makes us reevaluate our own beliefs and opens up more generosity in us toward others.”
The couple’s gift will establish the Boy and Betty Toy Endowment Fund to support the Wilkinson Legacy Endowment, which seeks to fulfill the dream of late Tennis and Life Camps founder and former Gustavus Men’s Tennis Coach Steve Wilkinson to continually upgrade the College’s first-class tennis facilities by providing for court maintenance, improvements, and expansion.
The gift will also provide funding to support the Swanson Tennis Center renovation project and supplement the Boy and Betty Toy Tennis and Life Camps Staff Programming and Development Endowment Fund, which the couple created in 2015.
“Our first attendance at camp gave us unbelievable mental and physical changes in our daily living. The bottom line is we not only learned how to play better tennis but also how to be better people in life and to control the things we can control, accept the things we cannot, and the wisdom to know the difference,” the Toys said. “Steve and Barb [Wilkinson] are both wonderful and generous individuals who gave so much of their lives to create TLC so others can become better tennis players and more importantly better citizens of our country. We have a deep desire for continuous support of the organization.”