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January Volunteer of the Month – Sharon Hepburn

January 2, 2008 08:44 AM

Birthplace: A farmhouse in upstate New York.
Family Members Include: My husband, Bill, who also enjoys tennis and our 2 daughters.
Favorite Movie: White Nights - watching Baryshnikov and Gregory Hines dance.
Favorite Food: Whatever someone else cooks.
Favorite Travel Spot: America's National Parks - I think they are a real treasure.
Favorite Tennis Stroke/Shot: Most anything at the net

Sharon Hepburn of Palm Coast can be described as friendly, positive, creative, active, and most importantly, an advocate of tennis.  She serves as secretary and program chair for Friends of Tennis of Palm Coast, a community tennis association and advocacy group with a mission to build affordable tennis courts and promote local tennis programs in Flagler County.  At a time in Florida where advocacy to save and build new tennis facilities is more important than ever, Sharon Hepburn is a great example of determination and an advocate in action. 

It’s fitting to recognize Sharon Hepburn as January Volunteer of the Month because her spirited efforts are the kind USTA Florida hopes to emulate and continue in 2008. Through the influence of Friends of Tennis, which was developed in August 2005, Flagler County has revitalized tennis in its community.  Volunteers from the CTA, including Sharon, have introduced Ralleyball to local elementary school children, taught bi-weekly tennis to kids at a 21st Century Community Learning Center in Bunnell, introduced weekly tennis sessions during summer camp at the Flagler Teen Center and presented tennis lessons to high school students during P.E. sessions.

As program chair, it was Sharon’s job to contact and organize fellow tennis players who wished to volunteer.

“Having been a teacher, I still enjoy working with children, especially young children,” said Hepburn, who is now retired.  “The challenge of getting them interested, keeping them involved and creating a grin of joy [while they play tennis] is what keeps me volunteering.”

Sharon not only advocates the benefits of tennis, but she and her husband Bill are walking examples of the benefits of the sport.  Asked one reason why she likes to volunteer in tennis, Hepburn answered, “Working with volunteers.  Their willingness to be involved motivates me to extend my time and energy.  My time spent with the children and my fellow volunteers always makes the day special, no matter how tired we all are when we finish.”

More fun facts about Sharon:

My earliest tennis memory was…trying to play with my younger sister and chasing more balls than I hit.  
If I could play tennis with three people, they would be…Yvonne Goolagong, Martina Navratilova and Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario.    
When I am not playing tennis I am…practicing Tai Chi, taking a walk, art work, helping the after school kids with tennis, scheduling volunteers for tennis, doing secretarial work for Friends of Tennis, and once in awhile, I sneak in a Sudoku puzzle!      

My best ever tennis memory was…tennis camp at The Colony resort with 16 tennis friends.






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