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Florida Tennis Briefs(3): Volunteers Inspire; Awards; Mal Re-brand

August 1, 2013 06:07 PM

Boca Raton, Naples Tennis Win 2013 USTA Outstanding Facility Awards

USTA_2cKOThe Sports Club at Mediterra in Naples and the Boca West Country Club in Boca Raton, Fla., have been announced as recipients of 2013 USTA Outstanding Facility Awards.
The United States Tennis Association’s Outstanding Facility Award Program was established to stimulate high standards in tennis facilities and to recognize those facilities whose efforts make such a positive statement about the vitality of the game.
Official presentations of the awards will be made during the USTA Semi-Annual meeting in New York City at the Grand Hyatt hotel on Sept. 1, 2013.
Facilities will receive a commemorative plaque, an outdoor sign, and a complimentary one-year organizational membership with the USTA.
The USTA evaluates nominations based on:
Facility: quality of each court area and surface, quality of the court enclosure and lighting, overall layout and adaptation to site, accessories and amenities, and evidence of good/green maintenance.
Tennis Program(s): Various USTA programs, 10 and Under Tennis formats, other tennis-related programs, and important contribution to the game of tennis.
"We thank the organizations for their participation in this program, their contributions to the game of tennis are greatly appreciated," said Randy Futty, chairman, USTA Technical Committee.
For more information go to www.usta.com.

New Logo, Name for Re-branded MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation

MWYF-new-2013-logoIn an effort to better match its services to its providers in Jacksonville, Fla., the foundation that began with its after-school TnT (Tennis-n-Tutoring) program founded by former Wimbledon finalist MaliVai Washington has been re-branded the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation.
The name change is coupled with a comprehensive re-branding effort, including a new logo which places more emphasis on academic and personal success.
"When we first started this organization, we only provided tennis programs to elementary-aged youth," said MWYF founder MaliVai Washington. "Our new name and logo identifies the fact that, although tennis will always be a part of our programs, we now place more emphasis on learning and success in life. We also serve youth from kindergarten through young adult program alumni who are now students in college. We hope the change will portray our mission more effectively, especially to those who may not be aware of what we do."
MWYF is a non-profit youth development organization in Jacksonville, Fla., which operates the TnT (Tennis-n-Tutoring) after-school program. The TnT program serves more than 200 at-risk youth in the community and provides free homework assistance, tennis lessons and life skills classes to students five days a week. MWYF also offers competitive tennis programs, a summer camp, community partnerships and outreach programs.
Earlier this year the MWYF announced special guest Andre Agassi for this year’s Merrill Lynch/Bank of America Gala at the Sawgrass Marriott Golf Resort & Spa, Oct. 17, 2013.
For more information go to www.malwashington.com or call (904) 359-5437.

Clayton Feig Memorial Jr. Tennis Tournament, Organizers Inspire

By Cary Bayer, USTA Florida Region 8 (North Gold Coast) Columnist
From left to right: last year's two tournament winners, Clayton's brother, and Ross Dubins
Steve Feig, the 2012 winner of USTA Florida’s Spirit of Tennis Award for 18 years of sponsoring a free junior tournament, wanted to give back to the tennis community and honor his son who died at 18 of epilepsy.
Collaborating with Ross Dubins, manager and head pro at the 13-court San Souci Tennis Center in North Miami, he created the Clayton Feig Memorial Tennis Tournament two months after his son’s death, 19 years ago.
Ross, whose brother is a lifetime epileptic, was Clayton’s tennis teacher.
"Clayton had a real innocence, he loved nature and all of life, and everyone was drawn to him," his teacher said.
"Clayton had an aura about him," said the boy’s father, whose sponsorship of the free tournament "makes sure the legacy of Clayton lives on."
Steve also hopes that other people will be similarly inspired to create free tournaments in the memory of those they love.
The tournament, which usually raises some $600-700 through voluntary contributions annually for the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida-Clayton Feig Fund, is the only free USTA-sanctioned junior tournament in Florida. In the past, it was named "Best Charity Fundraiser" by USTA National’s Tennis in the Parks program. North Miami’s Parks and Recreations Department, under director Jeff Geimer, donates the use of the city-owned facility for the three-day event every August.
Steve, who owns the Hialeah-based Foreign Parts Distributors, distributes a check in excess of $3,000 for t-shirts, referees, trophies, food, etc. to pay for the event. Ross and his wife Veronica spend more than a hundred hours to organize and run the tourney, which has eight categories, and draws about 125 kids, many economically disadvantaged from the inner city.
One year, a 12-year old named Andy Roddick went to the 18-and-under finals before losing to 18-year-old Pedro Caniza, who wound up becoming a teaching pro at San Souci. (I’m not sure how the Roddick kid wound up.)
Ross said of Steve and his wife Donna that, "they’re among the most charitable families you’ll ever meet. They’re so supportive of anything that helps people. I feel blessed to be a part of their event."
According to Steve, blessings also factor largely in Ross Dubins’ life. "Ross is the essence of goodness. He won’t even kill a cockroach. He’s the Mother Theresa of tennis."





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