The Joal T. Stanfield Memorial MHS Tennis Endowment Fund
This fund was started in June of 2015. The purpose of the fund is to provide annual grants to support the purchase of uniforms, defray the costs of participating in tournaments, provide support for the purchase of training equipment such as a ball machine, and to provide support for the maintenance and enhancement of the MHS tennis facility.
Morton - Joal Thomas Stanfield, 35, of Morton, passed away and stepped into his eternal life in heaven at 6:28 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014, at UnityPoint Health-Methodist in Peoria, after suffering a medical trauma five days earlier. Those who love him most and will anxiously await being reunited with him in heaven someday are his wife, Kiyle of Morton and their three adoring children, Samdon (7), Adah (5) and Finch (22 months); his parents, Gary and Gloria Stanfield of Morton; his siblings, April (Joe) Hengst of Tremont, Brice (Jackie) Stanfield of Bloomington, Jill (Eric) Larson of Muscatine, Iowa, and Joni (Eric) Stevenson of Lafayette, Ind.; his grandmother, Madelyn Stanfield of Joliet; his father-in-law, William Lopotko (Cheryl Vahling); his sisters-in-law, Kedra (Bill) Smith, Shae (Scott) Harris; and his brother-in-law, Seth (Kelly) Lopotko.
Joal Stanfield loved his town. Born and raised in Morton, IL, he was a pillar in his small home town. Not only was Joal a pillar in his community, but a strong pillar of faith as well. Joal was a huge inspiration to his family and friends and often to those individuals that he just met. Joal had a passion for sharing his love with others and a gift of sharing his faith amongst all those in his presence. Joal cared so much about everyone. After spending very little time with Joal, you realized this was a person with whom you wanted to spend more time. Joal made it easy to learn and to soak up as much advice and lessons and faith as humanly possible. He cared so much for every person; he wanted each individual to see the same potential in themselves that he saw in them.
Joal was an elementary teacher for 12 years. He was the head tennis coach for MHS for 10 years. He also created, led and managed his own summer tennis program for many years inspiring youth from Morton and surrounding communities to learn the game of tennis. This program was called ACE for Attitude, Character and Effort. He taught students not only to be great athletes, but taught them strong lessons of working hard, to never give up, and be the best person they absolutely could be, inside and out. Many more lessons came from Joal’s coaching. All the lessons Joal was teaching his students, on and off the courts, soon shaped into what would become his motto of “Character Before Victory”. Joal loved to win, but he loved his students and players more. He always wanted the very best of each of his students and players and was proud when they strived for their best, even if that meant not winning the match. Joal possessed a unique ability to make each student and player feel important because to Joal each student was equally important. Seeing his players exhibit qualities of “Character Before Victory” made him very proud. We have all been blessed, encouraged and challenged to see how Joal worked hard at using his gifts in every area of his life. And, in true Joal fashion, we have a challenge for you, as he loved to challenge and encourage others. How can you best use your gifts right where you are?
Joal dreamed of a new complex for the tennis program for many, many years. He talked about it often to family and friends. You could see his passion and excitement as he talked about how many kids over the years would benefit from such a place. Joal drew the plans that have become The Joal Stanfield Tennis Complex at Morton High School.
This endowment fund is to benefit the Morton Tennis Program. Donations can be made to the fund by anyone at any time in support of the tennis program. Current funds, as well as all future donations to the fund will be invested, and the proceeds from those investments will be used to provide annual grants to the MHS Tennis program. Decisions on how the annual grants can best serve the tennis program will be made by the MHS Head Tennis Coach, with the help of the Assistant Coach(es), in conjunction with the oversight of the Athletic Director.
If you would like to make a tax deductible donation to this endowment fund, please click the button below for online donations. Or, you can mail a check to 105 E. Jefferson Street, Morton, IL 61550.