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The Kiwanis Club of Little Havana’s Tenth Annual Carnival on the Mile

March 12, 2008 03:53 PM

It was nothing short of pure entertainment for thousands and thousands of people who attended the Tenth Annual Carnival on the Mile in Coral Gables, March 7-9, 2008. Over 11 city blocks of Coral Gables’ most renowned street, Miracle Mile, welcomed both young and old to a FREE family day full of jazz, art, fine foods and fun – all with a Latin flare!

USTA Florida was one of the many exhibitors involved in the weekend festivities. The weekend offered USTA Florida an opportunity to promote tennis programs in the Miami community and expand its outreach to the Hispanic and Latin population. Approximately one hundred fifty thousand people attended Carnival on the Mile - twice as many as last year - with over 1,200 trying their hand at tennis on the mini tennis court.

“This number did not include the thousands of other people who watched or stopped by the USTA Florida Booth to gather tennis information for themselves and their children,” said Cathy Nordlund, USTA Florida South Region 8 Community Coordinator. “Our portable tennis court including mini nets, junior racquets and foam balls were set up for everyone young and old to play tennis, and those who did play absolutely loved it.”

USTA Florida handed out over 1,000 coupons for a FREE Tennis Clinics offered by area tennis facilities, including Biltmore, Salvadore, Crandon Park, Dante Fascell, YMCA South Dade and Alper JCC.

“The goal in providing the coupons was to make sure we could get the players back to their area tennis facilities to participate in tennis programs,” said Cathy. “I think it should be very successful.”

USTA Florida Diversity Staff Liaison, Shelly Licorish, coordinated the USTA’s participation in Carnival on the Mile for the past two years. The carnival is part of a series of events hosted by the Kiwanis of Little Havana that ultimately ends with Calle Ocho, one of the biggest Latin festivals in the world, on March 16.

USTA Florida sold a total of 28 junior memberships, which included a promotional FREE Wilson junior tennis racquet and foam ball right there at the booth.

“Parents loved the fact that after watching their kids play tennis, they could go home with their own racquet, ball and junior membership,” said Cathy.

Additionally, as appreciation for each person that played tennis, USTA Florida handed out FREE sunglasses with Play Tennis and USTA Florida.com written on the side.

“It takes a great team to make this all work,” said Cathy. “Our volunteers, tennis pros and staff at the event made a positive impact on the children and parents who attended, and I want to thank everyone who helped.”

*Special thanks to volunteers Ray and Terry Smith, Cyndi Johnston and her USTA Jr. Team Tennis kids, Susan Ricke, Donna Kass, Paul Johnston from Helping Hands, and tennis pros Michelle Streit, Daniel Spatz, Robert Gomez and Av Papo.

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