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USTA Florida Volunteer of the Month -- Judy Foster

May 12, 2010 07:00 PM
Each May, when you see approximately 600 adult and junior tennis players participate in Clearwater's USTA Tennis Block Party, featuring live reporting via a local morning TV show, you get a small glimpse of the big part Judy Foster plays in the region's tennis scene.

As the Executive Director of the Suncoast Tennis Foundation (STF), the region's official USTA Florida CTA (Community Tennis Association), Foster is a one-woman dynamo in organizing tennis events and rallying community support. The Clearwater Tennis Block Party, a partnership between the STF, the City of Clearwater and various other entities, has been dubbed the largest Tennis Block Party in the U.S.

"The Tennis Block Party is successful in every way," Bob Carpenter, supervisor of youth sports for the City of Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department, says of past events. "The McMullen Tennis Complex obtained over $2,500 in one day in memberships and youth summer camp fees. Even more important is the fact that over one-half of these people were brand new to tennis. That's what growing the game is all about."

Growing the game, and growing partnerships.

"When putting together an event like a Tennis Block Party, which involves so many components, it's important to have the right partnerships and the right people in place," Foster said. "Everyone involved is so passionate about tennis, and the success of these parties shows that."

As well as her work in front of the tennis public and television cameras, Foster does some of her best work behind closed doors, volunteering on the councils and committees at both the USTA Florida Section level and USTA National that keep recreational tennis moving forward. Her volunteer positions during more than 11 years of service have included serving on the USTA Florida Section Board of Directors, the USTA Florida Section Foundation Board of Directors, the USTA National Community Council, the USTA National Advocacy Committee, and as the USTA National Jr. Team Tennis Liaison for the Advocacy Committee, among others.

But some of her proudest achievements include local-level events in the Clearwater area.

"In January 2010, I served as the chair for the 8th Annual Suncoast Tennis Foundation Tournament of Champions, the primary fundraising event for the Suncoast Tennis Foundation. I have served as the chair for this event for all eight years," Foster says. "Even in today's economy, I am very proud that the tournament netted over $12,000 to help the STF maintain its junior and adult programs and continue to provide grants and scholarships to deserving organizations and individuals. Obviously I did not do this alone and I am also proud to have served as a motivational force in getting STF's board members to be very active in this effort and become outstanding fundraisers."

As co-chair of the committee from East Lake Country Club for the Les Grandes Dames Spring Cup this past February, her committee's involvement resulted in the Les Grandes Dames Spring Cup being nominated as USTA Florida Section Tournament of the Year.

USTA Florida congratulates Judy Foster and appreciates her endless energy as a volunteer in promoting the game of tennis in the Clearwater/Tampa bay area.

"Volunteering in tennis, whether it be on a committee, board, teaching youth or adults or any number of tennis-related activities, makes me smile from within and warms my heart," Foster says. "To know that I have helped even one person learn to play and love tennis and enrich their lives makes me feel that I have succeeded."

Los Angeles, Calif.
Family Members: my husband, Nic; two cats (litter mates) Onyx and Oliver
Favorite Movie: The Lion King
Favorite Food: Maine lobster
Favorite Travel Spot: Aruba
Favorite Shot: one-handed backhand volley

My earliest tennis memory was...starting to play tennis when I was 32 and five months pregnant with my daughter. I took my first lesson on Key Biscayne along with some of former President Nixon's staff as Nixon was at his residence on Key Biscayne.

If I could play tennis with three people, they would be...Andre Agassi, Luke Jensen and Melanie Oudin.

When I am not playing tennis I am...either reading a good book or communing with Mother Nature and working in the garden...sometimes I even clean our house and cook!

Best-ever tennis memory...is spending several hours at a tennis event with both Luke and Murphy Jensen. My stomach hurt from laughing so much! Plus I got some great tennis tips!






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