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Tennis Charity Event Nets More Than $15,000 in Hillsborough Co., Fla.

November 24, 2009 06:00 PM

HCTA President Sharon Belmudez (left) and Cheryl Kaiser,
HCTA board volunteer


 Pre-tennis party attendees

The Hillsborough County Tennis Association's charity tournament, held Oct. 16-17, 2009, featured hundreds of tennis players and community volunteers, helping raise nearly $21,000, before expenses. After expenses, the event netted a total of $15,421, approximately 50% more than the tennis group cleared in its first charity tournament in 2008, says Marisol Casablanca, who chaired the tournament.

"We are so grateful to more than 150 women tennis players and the three tennis clubs that supported our tournament," says Casablanca, the HCTA incoming president. "We broke every record from last year. I am thrilled!"

The money will help fund three very worthwhile causes, including Susan G. Komen for the Cure, a foundation for breast cancer research. The proceeds will also fund HCTA tennis scholarships for underprivileged children and provide funding for the new HCTA website.

The 2nd Annual "HCTA Komen Rally for the Cure" kicked off Oct. 16 with two pre-tournament parties at Tampa Palms Country Club and Emerald Greens Golf & Country Club. The Friday night party at both clubs attracted over 280 for dinner, dancing to music by the Full Circle band, a silent auction, and other fundraising activities.

Women's first-round doubles matches were held Saturday on claycourts at three Hillsborough County Clubs: Hunter's Green in New Tampa, Emerald Greens in West Hillsborough County, and Buckhorn Springs in East Hillsborough. Each site hosted a post-play luncheon with an honorary chairperson and fundraising efforts included 50/50 raffles and auctions.

"There was some excellent tennis, and all the clubs worked very hard with our volunteers to make sure events ran smoothly," Casablanca said. Winning teams included: Hunter's Green - Margueritte Greenhalgh/Ann Carlson (4.0); Tracy Green/Jeanne Mathews (3.5); and Gigi Rojas/Jody Schreiber (3.0). Emerald Greens - Lisa Haidermota/Lisa Balsera (4.5); Char Turk/Terry Rizzo (4.0); Martha Nadar/Janet Schweitzer (3.5); and Katy Rudie/Christa Moody (3.0). Buckhorn Springs - Marcie Rooks/Sue Kendall (4.0); and Marilynn Madson/Paulette Harris (3.5).

The championship matches were held Saturday afternoon. The championship 4.5 match was held at Emerald Greens, and the winners were Lisa Haidermota/Lisa Balsera (4.5); the winners at the Championship held at Hunter's Green were Char Turk/Terry Rizzo (4.0), Martha Nadar/Janet Schweitzer (3.5), and Katy Rudie/Christa Moody (3.0).

"We are already making plans for the 2010 HCTA/Komen Tournament," Casablanca said. "And I'm sure that Hillsborough's women tennis players will continue to display the terrific generosity that makes our tournament a success."

The Hillsborough County Tennis Association (www.tampatennis.org) is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization; donations to HCTA are tax deductible. The HCTA was founded in 2007 with a mission to promote and develop tennis locally. The HCTA, which has grown to almost 300 members, works closely with the United States Tennis Association and USTA Florida.

Besides charity tournaments, the HCTA operated its initial USTA Junior Team Tennis League for kids early in 2009. HCTA organizes workshops for tennis teaching pros and tennis enthusiasts, holds tennis social events, and runs a yearly USTA Rookie Tournaments and the Block Party event in Hillsborough County.

Susan G. Komen for the Cure (www.komen.org) is the world's largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists. The organization has invested more than $1 billion since its inception in 1982.






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