August 11, 2020
Children’s Minnesota Physician Dr. Kris Ann Schultz Appointed Inaugural Holder of Pine Tree Apple Tennis Classic Endowed Chair in Cancer and Blood Disorders Research
Children’s Minnesota and Pine Tree Apple Classic Fund (PTACF) have announced the appointment of Dr. Kris Ann Schultz as the inaugural holder of the Pine Tree Apple Tennis Classic Endowed Chair in Cancer and Blood Disorders Research. Children’s Minnesota has the largest pediatric cancer and blood disorders program in the Upper Midwest, caring for more than 58 percent of children diagnosed with cancer or blood disorders in Minnesota.
Since 1986, the Pine Tree Apple Tennis Classic has raised almost $6 million for childhood cancer research at Children’s Minnesota. Through these efforts, Children’s Minnesota has become internationally recognized for collaborative rare tumor and supportive care research which has increased survival rates and improved quality of life for children with cancer in Minnesota and around the world.
“Congratulations to Dr. Schultz on this distinguished honor which will provide consistent financial support for her research and transform the lives of our patients and patients around the world,” said Dr. Marc Gorelick, president and CEO of Children’s Minnesota. “We are grateful to Pine Tree Apple Classic Fund for their long-standing support. Their generosity helps accelerate Dr. Schultz’ research to pursue breakthrough treatments and care for patients.”
“This work has been a remarkable partnership between very inspiring kids with childhood cancer, their families who have so generously shared their journey and this amazing group of dedicated volunteers and donors,” said Dr. Schultz. “This partnership is the key to Pine Tree’s mission—to lessen the suffering caused by childhood cancer. I feel so honored and grateful to be a part of the amazing stories of these children and this remarkable organization.”
Dr. Schultz is the first Endowed Chair holder in the Cancer and Blood Disorders program of Children’s Minnesota. She is the Principal Investigator for the International Pleuropulmonary BlastomaDICER1 Registry and the Principal Investigator and founder of the International Ovarian and Testicular Stromal Tumor Registry. Both Registries are based at Children’s Minnesota. Pleuropulmonary blastoma (PPB) is a rare lung cancer that occurs in young children. Research from Children’s Minnesota and other collaborating institutions has shown that PPB is linked to changes in a gene called DICER1, which serves as a dimmer switch for cell proliferation. Dr. Schultz leads a global team to discover how to best treat the three main types of PPB and other DICER1-related cancers in children and adults with the goal of developing treatment plans tailored to the individual needs of patients. This work has also led to the development of surveillance guidelines with the ultimate goal of detecting DICER1-related cancers in their earliest and most curable form. Dr. Schultz is the principal investigator of an R01 grant funded by the National Cancer Institute/National Institutes of Health focused on the role of circulating tumor DNA in management of PPB.
“Pine Tree Apple Classic Fund is proud to fund an Endowed Chair in Cancer and Blood Disorders Research at Children's Minnesota and could not be more excited by the appointment of Dr. Schultz for the Chair position,” said Kevin Werwie, President of Pine Tree Apple Classic Fund. “Dr. Schultz is a talented clinician, researcher, collaborator and leader and so deserving of this honor. This Endowed Chair ensures the targeted research we have supported through our Pine Tree donor community over the past 35 years continues for many years to come."
The Pine Tree Apple Tennis Classic was created in 1986 by Ron and Mary Ann Peterson when their 12-year-old daughter Julieann was diagnosed with leukemia. Julieann was treated at Children’s Minnesota and survived. Grateful for the care their daughter received at Children’s Minnesota, the Peterson’s established the mixed doubles tennis tournament with a mission to raise funds and support research to lessen the suffering caused by pediatric cancer. The Jacobson family of the Pine Tree Apple Orchard stepped in to provide the funds to establish the event.
“I remain so inspired by this dedicated group of volunteers, tennis players and donors whose generosity and hard work has led to groundbreaking discoveries for children and adults with cancer including DICER1 related cancers. It’s exciting to think of the amazing advancements yet to come, thanks to this incredible partnership,” said Dr. Schultz.
Open - Lexi Nelson & Tobias Wernet
Masters - Meghan Kimber/Kevin Werwie
Grand Masters - Leslie Gale & Bryan Biever
August 9, 2020
2020 Pine Tree Apple Tennis Classic Results: Nelson/Wernet Win First Open Title
Congratulations to third-seeded Tobias Wernet and Lexi Nelson, who took home their first Pine Tree Apple Tennis Classic Open Division title with a stunning 6-7(2), 6-3, 7-5 comeback victory over top seeds and defending champions Tooli Wilkins and Julian Dehn at Life Time White Bear. Wernet/Nelson were down 5-2 in the third set, before stringing together five straight games and winning the championship.
In the Masters Division, Meghan Kimber and Kevin Werwie won their third straight title with a 6-3, 6-2 win over #3 seed Amy Dale and Justen Seim. After winning the first set and up 2-1 in the second set, the skies opened up causing the matches to be moved from Bethel University to Life Time White Bear. Once arriving at Life Time WBL, Kimber/Werwie won four of the next five games in claiming the championship.
In the Grand Masters, Leslie Gale and Bryan Biever won their first-ever Pine Tree championship with a 6-1, 6-2 win over defending champions Kathy Bjornson and Bob Marolt.
This year's event, which adopted a new format following guidance from federal and state health agencies regarding the COVID-19 pandemic was held over a three-week period with first and second round matches played at a local park or club of the players’ choosing before playing the semifinals and finals at Bethel University on August 8-9.
Although it was a different format, the tournament still benefited a great cause - pediatric oncology research at Children's Minnesota! So far in 2020, the tournament has raised over $244,000. There is still time to donate by visiting www.ptacf.org.
To see all of the incredible photos from the event, please visit our Facebook or Instagram pages (Keyword: PTACForg).
January 7, 2020
Pine Tree Apple Classic Fund Supports Children’s Cancer Research With $220,000 Gift To Children’s Minnesota
On Wednesday, December 4, 2019, the Pine Tree Apple Classic Fund (PTACF) Board presented Children’s Minnesota staff with a check for $220,000 from funds raised at the 2019 PTATC tournament
We’re grateful to the players, sponsors, donors and volunteers that make the PTATC so successful. Because of them, we are able to support targeted research programs at Children’s Minnesota that are benefiting children here in Minnesota and around the world,” said Kevin Werwie, Pine Tree Apple Classic Fund president.
Dr. Kris Ann Schultz, Medical Research Representative at Children’s Minnesota said, “Children who undergo treatment for cancer deserve to not only survive their disease, but also to thrive both during and after treatment. Pine Tree funded research supports both of these critical goals. We are so grateful.”
Since its inception, the PTATC has raised over $5.7 million for cancer research at Children’s Minnesota. This year’s tournament will take place August 6-9, 2020 at Life Time in White Bear Lake. All are welcome to attend and celebrate 35 years of playing for a cure. Details can be found at ptacf.org.
December 18, 2018
Pine Tree Apple Classic Fund gives $260,000 to Children’s Minnesota for Childhood Cancer Research
Each August, over 110 of the area’s top men’s and women’s tennis players take to the courts at Life Time in White Bear Lake, Minnesota to participate in the Pine Tree Apple Tennis Classic (PTATC), an annual, mixed-doubles tennis tournament that raises funds for childhood cancer research at Children’s Minnesota.
On Thursday, December 13, 2018, the Pine Tree Apple Classic Fund (PTACF) Board presented Children’s Minnesota staff with a check for $260,000 from funds raised at this year’s PTATC. “In this 33rd year of the PTATC and first operating as our own non-profit organization, we’re thrilled to make this contribution to Children’s Minnesota on behalf of our PTATC 2018 players, sponsors and donors,” said Kevin Werwie, PTACF President. “This is the second largest fundraising year in our event’s history.”
Funds raised by the PTATC support research to find better ways to treat children with cancer and to keep them active and strong during and after their treatment.
Dr. Kris Ann Schultz, Medical Research Representative at Children’s Minnesota explained, “Children's cancer research isn't only what happens in the lab. Real advances happen when we all pull together-- tennis players, sponsors, donors, researchers, coordinators, children and their families. When we all work together, we really can improve outcomes for kids with cancer. Pine Tree is a wonderful example of that-- so many advances made possible by this inspiring group,”
Since its inception in 1986, the PTATC has raised over $5.5 million for cancer research at Children’s Minnesota.