The band Leopard Girls performs during a community gathering at the Harpswell Neck Physical Education Association on July 23. (REBECCA NORDEN-BRIGHT PHOTO)

A recent community gathering at the Harpswell Neck Physical Education Association raised more than $5,000 toward the replacement of HNPEA’s tennis courts, as families enjoyed ice cream and live music.

The band Leopard Girls performed, fellow nonprofits shared information, and kids made slime at a craft booth during the July 23 event.

With $5,244 from the event, HNPEA now has $92,044 of the $144,029 it needs to replace the deteriorating courts. A donor has offered to give the last $10,000.

Program Director Deborah Cornish hopes HNPEA will be able to finish the campaign next year. The campaign began in October 2018 and HNPEA has hosted similar gatherings each year since, except for 2020.

This year, the event was designed to be more of a community gathering than just a fundraiser. In Cornish’s view, this is in line with the purpose of the tennis courts, which are open for public use.

“This is what the courts are for,” Cornish said. “This is what we’re doing this for, is for the community. We’ve got a mission — we’ve been established since 1965, and the mission back then was to enhance the quality of life by providing safe and well-maintained courts and opportunities to help strengthen the bonds in the community. And we keep doing it.”

HNPEA is looking forward to coming up with new ways to bring the community together and make its final push toward the replacement project. To donate or learn more, visit