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2004 USA Tennis Florida Awards - COMMUNITY DIVISION

December 22, 2004 07:51 AM

Outstanding CTA Volunteer of the Year (1 of 2)
This award is given to the Community Tennis Association volunteers who have made generous contributions that have resulted in the growth of tennis in their local community.

Judith Foster of Clearwater
“The Harder I Work, the More I Live”

In her role as president of the Suncoast Tennis Foundation in Dunedin, Judy Foster has established herself as a volunteer dynamo that can always be counted on to turn ornery obstacles into resounding results. Over the years, Judy has increased the foundation’s board of directors from six to 15 volunteer members, thus increasing the presence and effectiveness of the CTA within the community. In 2003, she chaired the foundation’s Tournament of Champions, which resulted in net income of over $4,000 that could be used to fund critical programs. Judy also formed an alliance with a local tennis shop that resulted in the donation of 85 used racquets that were distributed to the First Serve and USA Team Tennis youth and adult programs. Her fervent devotion to the foundation is also exemplified by her tireless efforts to raise additional funds, which Judy accomplished by successfully obtaining a $5,000 USA Tennis Community grant and significantly increasing the number of USTA organizational members in District 12.

Outstanding CTA Volunteer of the Year (2 of 2)

Bob Jones of Yulee
 “It is Better to Serve Than Receive”

When it comes to technology issues, Bob Jones is the man people turn to for assistance. In his role as a District 3 Technology Committee member and as webmaster for the First Coast Tennis Foundation, Bob has earned both sectional and national recognition for First Coast’s exceptional website, which is regarded as one of the best maintained, informative, and up-to-date community tennis association websites in Florida. According to USA Tennis Florida statistics, First Coast website hits far surpass those of any other CTA site in Florida. To maintain this standard of excellence, Bob spends countless volunteer hours keeping the site updated and accurate. Rather than getting frustrated with all the information that needs to be posted or changed, he actually welcomes the workload. In fact, during slow periods, he actually goes out and looks for things to post. For example, he compiled a list of all local junior and adult players who had sectional and national rankings and wrote an article about it for the website. It’s dedication such as this that illustrates why Bob Jones was selected as this year’s CTA Volunteer of the Year.

USA School Tennis Volunteer of the Year (1 of 2)
This award is given to the persons who through their efforts, willingness, cooperation and participation worked for the betterment and furtherance of the USA School Tennis Program in Florida.

Susan Allshouse of Delray Beach
“I’m Just a Girl, But…”

According to one of her many admirers, “Susan Allshouse is one of those volunteers you wish you could clone 50 times over. She has pretty much single-handedly worked the schools throughout Palm Beach County in terms of marketing and developing tennis in physical education classes, SACC after-school programs, and safe school middle school programs.” That’s pretty lofty praise for a woman whose myriad accomplishments include serving as a clinician at events like the Palm Beach County District Physical Education Teacher In-Service Training and the Palm Beach County Youth Sports and Tennis Festival. Susan, who mentors a number of after-school programs throughout the area, also coordinates six-week USA Team Tennis (y) programs and works with physical education teachers and after-school directors that want to learn how to effectively teach children to play the lifetime sport of tennis. “Every time she goes to do another program,” said Susan’s secret admirer,  “I receive another phone call from someone at that school saying how wonderful she is and how they want her to come back again.” With testimonials like that, it’s safe to say that Susan’s selection as USA School Tennis Volunteer of the Year is a well-earned honor.

USA School Tennis Volunteer of the Year (2 of 2)

Nancy Kirsten-Barnes of Tarpon Springs
“Champions Win on a Bad Day”

Based on her success as a USA School Tennis coordinator, it’s readily evident that Nancy Kirsten-Barnes hasn’t suffered too many bad days in her volunteer career. During her 29 years as a USPTA pro, which has included teaching players ranging in age from four to 88, Nancy has always sought to instill a championship mentality in all the players she has coached—including those she works with through the USA School Tennis program. In addition to coordinating a number of Rallyball teams, she consistently establishes ways to assess a student’s playing ability each year by holding a tennis carnival prior to the summer league season. She also outreaches to local elementary school students by coordinating assessment stations during Tennis Fun Day each year.

USA Tennis NJTL Chapter Leader of the Year
This award is given to the chapter leader within USA Tennis Florida who has demonstrated a high degree of organizational ability and success in serving the junior players in the area.

Joe Smith of St. Petersburg
“Copping a Winning Attitude”

Working with children is something Joe Smith has become quite adept at in his job as a community police officer in the St. Petersburg Police Department. So it’s not surprising to learn that Joe translated his love of children into a rewarding position as director of a local summer youth program called the National Youth Sports Program at Eckerd College. Thanks to Joe’s diligence, the program—which provides a no-cost opportunity for economically disadvantaged children to benefit from increased exposure to sports—has become a resounding success. Since the program’s establishment in 1998, Joe made sure tennis was integrated into the program by launching an instructional course. Response was so great that an alliance to provide additional instruction was formed by referring interested youngsters to the Saint Petersburg Tennis Center and getting them involved in the facility’s First Serve program. As a result of Joe’s compassionate efforts, countless numbers of at-risk children are now benefiting from their rewarding exposure to the lifetime sport of tennis.

USA Team Tennis (Youth) ALC of the Year
This award is given to the Area League Commissioner (ALC) who has made generous contributions to the growth and development of the USA Team Tennis (youth) program in Florida.

Diana Gardner of Jacksonville Beach

When Diana Gardner was asked to select a song title or slogan that personified her approach to life, she selected the timeless Barbra Streisand song “People” because of all the collaborative partnerships that enhance USA Team Tennis play in her area. Those collaborations with all types of “people” have helped Diana—who has been an area league commissioner since the summer of 2003—ensure success for the Jacksonville Beach programs. During this past summer and fall, Diana trained over 50 coaches and parent-captains to use the TennisLink system. She also modified an already successful youth team tennis program to include a 10-and-under novice division that brought over 100 youngsters into the program and organized an end-of-season Play Day that broke all previous attendance records. In addition, Diana added a 12-and-under division in 2004 comprising seven teams and 40 competitors, which brought total summer participation figures to 225 players.

USA Team Tennis College Campus Coordinator of the Year
This award is given to the campus coordinator who has made generous contributions to the growth and development of the USA Team Tennis College Campus program in Florida.

Brent Boostrom of Orlando
“College Tennis Gets Boost from Boostrom”

Can there be any question that Brent Boostrom is a man who knows how to get results? In his role as area league commissioner at the University of Central Florida, Brent enhanced the USA Team Tennis College Campus Program at the University of Central Florida from 75 players in the spring of 2002 to over 250 participants by the fall of 2003. An aggressive recruiting campaign and excellent word-of-mouth played a pivotal part in the program’s success, as did a redesigned website. Brent, who joined the section’s Recreational Tennis Council in the fall of 2004, also helped boost participation by implementing weekly lessons for beginners and a round-robin doubles format. Brent also devotes a portion of his spare time to the First Serve program in Eatonville, as do many of the players in his USA Team Tennis College Campus Program. “I love tennis, and I enjoy getting other people to love the game like I do,” he explained. “Volunteering takes a lot of time, but I wouldn’t give it up for anything.”

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