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Clermont's Berglin Named USTA Florida June Volunteer of the Month

June 25, 2012 10:05 AM
dee
Berglin with a teddy bear the Lake County Tennis Association mailed to the troops in Afghanistan
Dee Berglin, a latecomer to tennis, is along with her fellow Lake County Tennis Association (LCTA) board members moving tennis to the forefront in the picturesque region of Lake County, Fla., located just west of Orlando.

Residing in Clermont, Fla., which is nestled between Lake Minneola and Lake Minnehaha, Berglin's beginnings in tennis were less than auspicious.

"My earliest tennis memory was 1991 and I was 45 years old," Berglin said. "A friend asked if I would like to play tennis on a women's USTA League. I didn't have the slightest idea of what I was doing so I decided I should take a lesson so I wouldn't look like a novice out on the courts. I walked onto the court with my wooden Chris Evert racquet. How embarrassing..."

Since then Berglin has upgraded her equipment, and her volunteerism in the Lake County region.

She was one of the founding board members for the Lake County Tennis Association when it got off the ground in 2010, when one of the board's first mandates was growing tennis in the county for all ages. That included increasing the number of area children playing tennis via the USTA's new kid-friendly 10 and Under Tennis format. Both Clermont and Tavares were two of the first cities to incorporate the 10 and Under Tennis program, and were recent recipients of a "Share the Love" grant through USTA Florida.

The board also set about developing a strategic plan for growing tennis in Lake County. That plan included arranging several social events for players.

"I headed a steering committee from which we planned our first countywide tennis tournament in November 2011 in order to promote tennis in Lake County," said Berglin, noting that each event included a charity drive. "The success of that tournament prompted our second tournament in February 2012. With each event, we sponsored a charity. Our first was with the USTA 'Adopt a Unit' program, and the second was New Beginnings, a local organization helping homeless families. This July, we plan to develop an event for the 10 and Under Tennis program in Lake County."

Dee_BerglinThe LCTA has helped organize a series of 10 and Under Tennis summer programs involving area Lake County towns such as Clermont, Eustis, Fruitland Park, Tavares, Umatilla, and Mount Dora. Seeing new children and adults take to the game keeps Berglin motivated as a volunteer.

"I like to volunteer in tennis because it makes me energized," she said. "I can share the motivation with others and it becomes contagious."

In her seven years since relocating to Florida from Wisconsin, Berglin has not only improved her game, but become an omnipresent figure in local leagues and events.

"I have captained a USTA League [team] each year, including Adult Women's, Mixed Doubles, Combo, and Senior Women's," Berglin said.

USTA Florida congratulates Dee Berglin of Clermont as the USTA Florida Volunteer of the Month for June 2012, living the example of a tennis volunteer on and off the court, and expanding tennis opportunities in Lake County.

ABOUT DEE

Birthplace:
Rockford, Ill.
Family Members: husband Gary; 3 sons -- Chris, Brady, Ryan; and 2 grandchildren -- Odin, 6 yrs., and Olena, 2 yrs.
Favorite Movie: Pretty Woman -- "It makes me smile!"
Favorite Food: Salmon
Favorite Travel: "Riding my Harley with my husband, Gary...where? Anywhere!"
Favorite Shot: overhead

If I could play tennis with three people, they would be..."Pete Sampras, Chris Evert, and my sons."

When I am not playing tennis I am..."quilting, playing bridge, reading, riding my Harley, and enjoying my grandchildren."

Best-ever tennis memory..."It has to be the day after Thanksgiving. My three sons would be home for the holiday and we would always have a tennis challenge at our local tennis club after lunch. It makes me smile just thinking about those days!"

 
 

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