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Lee County partnership benefits community

June 27, 2006 03:14 PM

A wonderful Lee County partnership between USPTA professionals,USTA Florida, the Lee County CTA, the Lee County School System and the Lee County Parks and Recreation Department ensured a two-day school carnival for fifth graders.

The events were held May 5 and May 12 at the Rutenberg Park in Fort Myers for more than 600 students!  USTA Florida community coordinator Susie Bessire put the event together with the help of many:

  • Terry See who organized the USPTA pros
  • USTA Florida regional director Bob Nelson
  • Lee County CTA board members and volunteers
  • PE Specialist Suzy Corace of the Lee County School System
  • Volunteer coordinator Marie Dinon of the Lee County School System
  • Lee County Parks and Recreation Department
  • Rutenberg Park offered its site as well as some staff
  • Local volunteers

This event that has been held for the past couple years is a great opportunity to introduce children to tennis and allow all involved to give something back to their community.

Local USPTA pros gave instructions and played games with the children; the kids played on the park courts and in the parking lot.  Ten mini tennis courts were set up and music was blasting as the kids competed in a Ralleyball round robin.

Winners were announced every hour, and teamwork was key as the results were tallied and scores were combined!  Susie thought the event was perfect for Lee County kids, PE teachers, local volunteers and employees.

“This was a wonderful opportunity for the children to experience the fun of competing and playing tennis as well as receive some professional instruction,” she said.  “The PE teachers left with lots of new ideas; they learned that USTA Florida can help them bring tennis into their schools through in-school and after-school programs!”

USTA Florida provided a Tennis in the Parks grant for the Lee County Parks and Recreation Department for all the min-nets that were utilized.  The nets will be used in 2006-2007after-school programs.






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