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Florida Tennis Briefs(6): Win 2013 US Open Trip, More

September 21, 2012 02:07 PM
Support Florida Tennis with the 2013 US Open Experience Fundraiser
The USTA Florida Section Foundation's 2013 US Open Experience Fundraiser is in full swing, raising money for tennis programs that assist youth, special-needs children, and building/renovating tennis courts across Florida -- and sending a lucky winner and their guest to New York and the 2013 US Open.

USTA_FL_Section_Foundation_logoThe Grand Prize is a trip for two to the 2013 US Open, including two (2) tickets to the USTA President's Box, round-trip domestic airfare for two (2) to New York and two (2) nights hotel accommodation, complimentary US Open Bus transportation to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, lunch in the USTA President's Dining Room, hospitality in the President's Suite, and access to courtside seating in Louis Armstrong Stadium, as well as Grandstand and all other courts.

Second Prize is two 2013 courtside seats in Arthur Ashe Stadium, while Third Prize is two 2013 Sony Ericsson Open box seats for the men's or women's final.

Gary Heatwole of Ormond Beach was last year's Grand Prize winner, attending this year's US Open with all the perks.

"I am very happy to have been fortunate enough to have won the raffle," said Heatwole, a long-time tennis teaching pro. "It was truly a wonderful trip. I hadn't had a vacation where you actually go somewhere to do something fun and different since somewhere in the last century."

Tickets are a $20 donation each, and only 500 will be printed.
Proceeds will benefit the USTA Florida Section Foundation's grant programs that assist charitable organizations that provide tennis programs for Florida's youth and special-needs populations, along with building and renovating public tennis courts. The USTA Florida Section Foundation is recognized by the IRS as a 501(c)3 non-profit with a mission to "improve the health and quality of life of Floridians through tennis."
For more information on tickets for the 2013 US Open Experience Fundraiser, please contact Linda Curtis at (386) 671-8934 or curtisL@florida.usta.com, or visit www.USTAFloridaFoundation.com.

Michael Grant Tennis Academy Opens in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

michael_grant_tennis_academy_logoTennis academies are few and far between in North Florida, but this year has seen two debut in the Jacksonville area -- Todd Martin Tennis in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., and now the Michael Grant Tennis Academy, also based in Ponte Vedra Beach, but also serving the City of Jacksonville in various locations.

Michael Grant, a former Jacksonville Beaches resident as a child, recently returned to the beaches area with his twin sister Mischelle to relocate his academy after teaching tennis for 20 years in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"We are acquiring courts throughout Duval and St. Johns County," says Mischelle, who handles the business and public relations side of the academy. "The goal is to eventually build a facility with six to eight courts, with a stadium, pro shop and multi-purpose rooms."

Michael Grant is a beaches native, born at the naval air station. "I grew up in Atlantic Beach and lived very close to Jack Russell Park near Seminole and Plaza Roads," Michael told the Ponte Vedra Recorder. "After being away from the area for such a long time, I felt like it was time to come home. I knew I wanted to establish my business on the First Coast and Ponte Vedra was the perfect place to do it. There are so many tennis players in this community and I wanted to set up shop where the action was, or at least be based here."

Mischelle Grant also has deep Jacksonville roots as the founder of Jacksonville Woman magazine, which published from 1995-2001. She is also currently the managing partner for Avaxis Strategy Group in Ponte Vedra Beach.

The Grant Academy specializes in bringing junior and adult programs to courts throughout Jacksonville and the beaches.

"Our training programs are designed for players at all levels and ages who are committed to learning, improving and enhancing their skills to meet their athletic challenges on and off the court," Michael Grant said. "We mix technical, tactical, mental, and physical training to bring out
the best in every player. Our goal is to help players reach their individual goals. We combine drilling, mental toughness, strength and conditioning to get you ready for your next match."

To learn more about the Michael Grant Tennis Academy, go to www.mgtennisacademy.net.

5th Annual HCTA/FORCE Ladies Tennis Tournament Oct. 19 in Tampa

hcta logoThe Hillsborough Community Tennis Association will host the 5th annual HCTA/FORCE Ladies Tennis Tournament on Oct. 19-21, 2012, at Hunter's Green, Arbor Green, and the Tampa Tennis at Hillsborough Community College sites.

"This tournament has sold out four years in a row," HCTA President Marisol Casablanca. "Join us to celebrate our 5th anniversary. This year we have added the single division. Tournament matches will start with singles-only on Friday evening, continuing on Saturday morning through Sunday with singles and doubles."

Hunter's Green will host the singles and doubles championships on Sunday, along with consolation play.

FORCE promotes research on hereditary cancer and educates people about cancer risk, prevention, detection and treatment. FORCE's Tampa Bay Outreach Group serves the needs of people facing hereditary cancer in the Tampa Bay area.

Funding from the event also goes towards scholarship assistance, county school bus transportation for several schools, assisting multiple public facilities with court equipment, HCTA pros partnered with the HCTA "Share The Love of Tennis" program to conduct tennis programming for elementary-aged school assemblies, and the HCTA Disadvantaged Youth Program to conduct free tennis programming at youth sites.

The HCTA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission to promote and grow the sport of tennis at all ability levels and for all populations in the Greater Tampa area. HCTA supports diversity and participation in local tennis, and is a registered USTA Florida Community Tennis Association (CTA).

For more information on the tournament go to www.tampatennis.org.

Baseline Wheelchair Tennis Foundation to Host Exo at TradeWinds

wheelchair.jpgThe TradeWinds Island Grand Resort in St. Pete Beach, Fla., will host a wheelchair tennis exhibition and cocktail reception on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2012, at 4:30 p.m. at the TradeWinds tennis courts.

The event will also feature a sport auction and door prizes, with the $25 ticket fee going to the host organization, the Baseline Wheelchair Tennis Foundation, a USTA member organization.

The event will feature three accomplished wheelchair players:

Paul Walker -- ranked as high as No. 5 in the U.S., and currently head coach of the U.S. women's national wheelchair tennis team;

Doyle Mann -- founder of the Tampa Rays Wheelchair Softball Team, an affiliate of the MLB Tampa Bay Rays;

Chris Herman -- The No. 1-ranked junior boys' wheelchair player in the U.S.

The event is sponsored by The TradeWinds Island Grand Resort, the Pasadena Yacht and Country Club, and the Bardmoor Golf and Tennis Club. The Baseline Wheelchair Tennis Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization.

For more information contact Bob Waldman at (917) 533-7792.

All-ages Free Family Tennis Festival in Plantation, Fla., Oct. 6

STL-and-Foundation-logos-20A free Family Tennis Festival in celebration of $17,000 in wheelchair tennis and 10 and Under Tennis grants will be held on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012, from 9:30-11:30 a.m. at the Frank Veltri Tennis Center, Plantation, Fla.

The Frank Veltri Tennis Center is celebrating an $11,000 "Share the Love" grant from USTA Florida for sports wheelchairs and 10 and Under Tennis equipment, in addition to a matching grant of $6,000 toward the total cost of the sports wheelchairs from the USTA Florida Section Foundation, the charitable arm of USTA Florida.

The event will include music, face painting, cookie-painting, on-court tennis, wheelchair tennis, and 10 and Under Tennis format play among other activities. 10 and Under Tennis features the right-sized equipment for kids age 10 and under, utilizing smaller, lighter racquets and softer, lower-bouncing balls, and kid-sized nets and court sizes.

Information will also be available about local play opportunities and leagues, and kids age 10 and under who have never been USTA members can take advantage of free first-year membership.

"The Family Tennis Festival is going to be a great morning of fun-filled activities for children and parents alike," says USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis. "Tennis is a sport kids and families can love and play for a lifetime -- any age and any ability. USTA Florida and the USTA Florida Section Foundation are thrilled to be able to collectively provide the needed funding for the six sports wheelchairs and the 10 and Under Tennis equipment at Frank Veltri Tennis Center."

The Frank Veltri Tennis Center is located at 9101 Northwest 2nd Street, Plantation, Fla., (954) 452-2530. For more info contact Laura Bowen at bowen@florida.usta.com.

Brown Named Director of Palm Coast Tennis; Adult Chps. Sept. 29

Dave  Aaron Brown USTA National Senior Father Son Clay Court 3rd Placeweb
Aaron Brown (right) and his father Dave, frequent USTA Father-Son tournament competitors
The Palm Coast Tennis Center will host the Palm Coast Tennis Center Adult Fall Championship on Sept. 29-30, 2012, the first event under the center's new Director of Tennis Aaron Brown.

"This is an invitation to all USTA tennis players looking for a great place to have some fun, exciting competition," Brown says of the NTRP tournament.

Divisions of NTRP-rating play will be singles and doubles, 2.5-4.5 for women, and 3.0-5.0 for men. The deadline to register for the event is Sept. 26, and participants can register online at http://tennislink.usta.com with the tournament code 150018112. The event is open to all USTA members, or players can sign-up for USTA membership on-site.

"We have 10 lighted Har-Tru claycourts right in the heart of the city of Palm Coast," Brown said. "We would love players to check out our 2010 USTA Outstanding Tennis Facility of the Year."

The Palm Coast Tennis Center is located at 1290 Belle Terre Parkway, Palm Coast, and can be reached at (386) 986-2550. For more info e-mail Aaron Brown at abrown@kempersports.com.






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