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2004 USA Tennis Florida Awards - ADULT SERVICE AWARDS

December 22, 2004 08:06 AM

Committee Volunteer of the Year
This award is given to a volunteer who has made generous contributions that have resulted in the betterment and growth of tennis in Florida.

Larry Jaben of Jacksonville
“Doing it Right the First Time”

In the early 1990s, when Larry Jaben was first approached to assist the USA League Tennis coordinator from the Jacksonville area, not even he could have foreseen just how involved a volunteer he would become. Over the past 12 years, Larry has served as a local league coordinator for every imaginable division, including men’s and women’s adult, mixed doubles, seniors, super seniors, and super 70s. However, he has also served in a number of other volunteer capacities, including a six-year stint as a district director and as a member of the USA Tennis Florida Board of Directors. In addition, Larry has contributed his time and energy to an array of sectional committees that includes tenures on the Resource Council, Grievance Committee, Adult League Council, Professional Events Committee, and Leagues Council. According to Jacqui Brunton, who serves as USA Tennis Florida’s director of leagues, “Larry continues to be an exceptional and well-respected volunteer for the organization. He is a go-getter who constantly makes himself readily available to assist with any assignment or event that is requested of him. Having worked with Larry for so many years, I continue to admire and respect not just the volunteer, but also the upstanding person that he is.”

Tennis Family of the Year
This award honors the family who has contributed the most by promoting tennis at all levels of participation.  Each family member must be a USTA member and be active in Florida tennis.

The Paul Puleo Family of Cocoa Beach
“There is No”I” in Team”

Tennis is indeed a team effort for the Puleo family, which includes parents Cheryl and Paul and children Alysha, 17, and Jonathan, 12. Since 1997, Cheryl has been a loyal USA Team Tennis (y) advocate in District 17. In fact, because both of her children currently participate in the grassroots program, Cheryl decided to become an area league commissioner in 2003. During her first year as an ALC, she registered 346 players for the program—including 156 new participants. However, husband Paul also does his part to support his family’s tennis interests by delivering tennis balls, T-shirts, and applications to the participating area tennis facilities and helping convince other parents to get involved in the team tennis process. Thanks to tennis and all its inherently healthy attributes, the Puelo family is reaping numerous rewards from their affectionate affiliation with the sport. “Spending quality time together is my family’s biggest accomplishment,” said Cheryl, who frequently recruits her children to assist with various team tennis tasks. “My husband and children never complain. They simply pushed my soapbox out for me and helped me climb up on it so we could let other families know that tennis is a lifetime sport.”

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