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Gulf Harbour C.C. Records Record-Breaking Tennis Fundraiser

March 11, 2010 06:00 PM
Gulf Harbour Golf & Country Club and USTA Florida Serve Together for Charity: Gulf Harbour Tennis Members and USTA Florida Collaborate on Record-Breaking Fundraising Effort in Region 8

by T.A. Niles

In part due to significant contributions from USTA Florida, Gulf Harbour Golf & Country Club raised a record amount for charity during its Memorial Foundation's Tennis Events in February 2010. Each year the Foundation raises funds for a number of local charities, combining efforts from all components of the Gulf Harbour Golf & Country Club to produce a total charitable contribution.

This year's fundraising activities, themed "Up, Up and Away," sought to push the Foundation's historic fundraising efforts over the $1 million mark, and although the final tally hasn't been published for the overall effort, the efforts of the club's tennis members generated upwards of $17,000 for the cause. This year's proceeds will go to Lee Memorial Cardiac Care, United Veterans of Lee County, and CCMI, Inc., which supplies meals to some of the less fortunate populations in Lee County.

The largest, single fundraising event of the tennis effort was the live auction with philanthropist Bill Wright at the microphone. Auction items such as an airplane ride donated by Bill and Darlene Cole; boat rides offered by Bill and Ann Wright and Tom and Linda VanWyk; lunch at Rumrunners and another cruise courtesy of Bill and Nancy Merriam; box seats to the US Open courtesy of USTA Florida; and weekend getaways from Ed Bonkowski and USTA Florida, generated over $6,500 for the Foundation's causes.

USTA Florida's contributions actually did double duty, as they had already contributed to fundraising efforts at the USTA Florida Annual Meeting in December of 2009. M.J. Noone had won the US Open Box Seats and Weekend getaway to Vera Bradley's Inn by the Sea during fundraising efforts at the annual meeting, and subsequently received permission from Lynne Salus and Doug Booth of USTA Florida to donate the items for auction to raise additional funds for the local Fort Myers charities.

In an economy where so many are struggling, it is great that Gulf Harbour's tennis members and our state's official tennis sanctioning body can make such tangible contributions to the lives of those in need. Once again, tennis and the people who are involved in the game demonstrate that "Love" is more than a term used for scoring.






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