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June VOM – Karen Vogter

June 1, 2007 09:47 AM

Karen Vogter, USTA life member, is being recognized as USTA Florida’s June Volunteer of the Month because she literally dedicates her life to this “lifetime” sport.  She is currently the tournament director for the USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger held at Forestmeadows Tennis Center.  She has her hands in every aspect of the tournament, from community events to scheduling players and everything in between.

The Tallahassee Tennis Challenger is unique because it is the only non-profit, volunteer run Challenger in the country!  Proceeds raised at the tournament assist patients at the D. Mark Vogter Neuro Intensive Care Unit at Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare (TMH) who suffer from neurological trauma and life threatening illnesses, such as head injuries, strokes, brain tumors and aneurysms.
 

This year, the tournament completed its third Challenger and over the past seven years, has risen close to $200,000 for the Vogter Neuro-Intensive Care Unit and $20,000 for the Sharon E. Walker Breast Health Center.

“I believe strongly in volunteerism and our tournament is a model for all Challengers everywhere,” said Karen.  “If you believe strongly in something then you will find a way to accomplish your goals.”

A great group of volunteers work together with Karen to put the tournament on each year for tennis enthusiasts in the Panhandle.  With ten FREE community events in conjunction with the Challenger , a wheelchair exhibition and Special Olympics Carnival of 300 , one can see why help from dedicated individuals is a necessity.

“I like seeing other people enjoy watching or participating in tennis and knowing that because of what we do, many people will be inspired to pick up a racquet and play tennis.  And hopefully, it will become their sport for a lifetime as well.”    

Although Karen learned to play tennis at 37 years old, her love of the game is stronger than oak.  She hopes she will be playing tennis long into her senior years, just like the senior groups she sees play at Forestmeadows. 

“I think tennis is such a great sport for everyone,” she said.  “I have made so many wonderful friends through tennis and these friendships have helped me survive some pretty tough times.”

Thanks Karen for your continued dedication to tennis, incontestable energy and love of the game!

 

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