Each month, USTA North Carolina will celebrate a tennis volunteer who is doing something to promote and develop the growth of tennis. From grass-roots community activists to family volunteers, on-court instructors to behind-the-scenes volunteers, these are the people who make tennis happen. Nominate someone today!
All we need is the volunteer's name, a paragraph or two explaining why they deserve to be recognized and, if possible, a small picture of the volunteer. Send your nominations to firstname.lastname@example.org.
December 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Sheri Sparks -
Sheri Sparks has become the face of tennis in Western North Carolina. Currently serving as the president of the Henderson County Tennis Association Board, Sheri does an outstanding job of organizing and holding regular meetings for the organization. She is also the president of the Western Carolina Tennis Association and a regular volunteer at the Apple Open, held annually in Henderson County. It's easy to see the effort she gives from her notable credentials in the tennis community.
Along with her volunteer work at state tournaments in Western North Carolina, Sheri is on the Budget Review Committee and her local CTA Advisory Committee for USTA North Carolina. She is always a strong supporter of all events related to tennis in her region.
Along with all the work she does off the court, Sheri is a part of several league teams. She plays 3.5 and 4.0 women's doubles, adult 8.0 40s, 6.5 and 7.5 combo, and 7.0 mixed. Sheri continues to play a vital role in all she is a part of in tennis in Western North Carolina.
November 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Susan Geldmeier -
Susan Geldmeier is a long-time member, supporter and contributor to Yonahlossee Racquet Club in Boone. For 2013, Susan was the captain of the Yonahlossee Western NC Ladies Spring League, Tournament Chair for the Gladys Hackworth Adult Tournament and monetary contributor to the improvements of her racquet club. She also assists with the pro shop, answering phones, taking messages and helping the staff when needed. Susan even houses tennis players when they come to play tournaments.
Her contributions to the Gladys Hackworth Adult Tennis tournament continue to stand out. Over the past two years, Susan has worked year-round to make the tournament the best it can be. Every year on the last weekend in July, the tournament brings in over 200 players from all over the East Coast and as far west as Texas. Susan is in charge of organizing two dinner parties, a silent auction and, most importantly, attracting sponsors to support the five-day event. For 2013, with Susan’s efforts, the club was able to raise and donate just over $8,000 to Watuaga Habitat for Humanity, the largest donation in the 21-year tournament history.
Susan has already signed on to chair this tournament again for 2014.
October 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Elizabeth Webb -
Coach Elizabeth Webb has been a true blessing for the Cabarrus County community. Elizabeth is currently the head coach of the Mt. Pleasant Girls' Tennis Team and has been involved with this program since her daughter Allison joined the team her sophomore year. Elizabeth assists in each and every USTA tournament in the area, Play Days and jamborees that are held in Cabarrus County. Her volunteering is vital to the success of USTA events year after year!
She is the mother of three and also serves as a substitute teacher in the Cabarrus County School System.
September 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Charlie Schoderbek -
Charlie Schoderbek has devoted time to growing after school and in-school programs. A few examples of his efforts include delivering equipment, managing inventory between schools that share equipment, and teaching PE teachers how to incorporate tennis into their curriculum.
Charlie has worked with several schools to be at their facility during a time convenient to them and their teachers during school hours. This flexibility and willingness to promote and grow the game is very admirable and just another example of Charlie's willing to do whatever it take to grow the game.
He has met with and developed growing partnerships with county school system administrators, along with USTA tennis leadership to help forge a path in middle and elementary schools to promote competitive match play.
Charlie's energy and dedication are outstanding. He can always be counted on to be available when needed and to promote tennis in the Winston-Salem community. Winston-Salem Tennis Inc. thanks Charlie for all his valuable contributions to date and look for to all he can accomplish to grow the game in the future.
August 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Marianna Bryce -
Marianna Bryce, who was the Greensboro Regional Tennis Association’s Community Coordinator, has been selected as the Volunteer of the Month for August. Here are some highlights with Marianna at the helm:
- 3 on 3 Tennis Challenge: The inaugural 3 on 3 Tennis Challenge was held in Fall 2012 as a fun, new way to compete in a tennis tournament. Three players competed together in matches comprised of 1 singles & 1 doubles court.
- Free Tennis Party w/ Follow-Up Clinic: This was a continuation of previous pre-Spring season events meant to attract adults and children to USTA League tennis. A VERY cost effective six-week follow-up program was offered to all attendees.
- Hit & Seek: The first ever tennis-themed scavenger hunt. The first clue was sent via text and sent participants to Omega before racing around to various tennis facilities around town. But to receive the clue for the next location, they had to jump on court for quick tennis drills and games. Lessons and gift cards were provided to the first and second place teams able to reach the final destination.
- Tennis Night in the Ballpark: As a way of saying thank you to our USTA League captains, Greensboro Grasshopper tickets & ballpark "cash" were offered to all of Greensboro's League captains. Short courts were on-field prior to the game and long-time League captain Arden Thoburn threw the first pitch.
- Court Revitalization: Partnerships with the Greensboro Parks & Recreation Department were developed and efforts have been started to assist in the re-surfacing of several public tennis courts.
July 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Tom Parkes -
Tom Parkes, Head Pro of Pine Valley Country Club in Wilmington, constantly gives back to the tennis community by serving on the GWTA board, writing helpful tennis tips for the bi-monthly GWTA newsletter and assisting with events and tournaments. In addition, he found time to eagerly and passionately help with the Play Tennis NC pilot program this year, which exposed tennis to over 700 adults and children in less than 5 months, many continuing forward with clinics, lessons, and league play. Besides consulting Barbara Morton, PTNC project coordinator, on the tennis aspects of this program, he personally conducted 3 events, donated tennis lesson gift certificates, offered his teaching staff to help at all events, taught the 4 week PTNC beginner clinic and helped format the 6 week Adult Beginner League. In the midst of all this, Tom broke his foot, requiring surgery, but still continued to teach while scooting around the court on one leg!
JUNE 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Kevin Wells -
Kevin Wells organizes tennis socials three times a week at Ft. Bragg. Along with the core group, new players are introduced and given impromptu lessons. This April he launched a Meetup.com site for Ft. Bragg Tennis and already 37 players have joined. Kevin is helping to promote and volunteer for the Thanking the Troops Through Tennis event being held July 2nd with Dick Stockton running free tennis clinics and playing in an exhibition match with three other former touring pros. Kevin also participated in a wheelchair clinic held by Karin Korb and now plans to use that experience to help the Wounded Warrior Transition Unit get soldiers out to play tennis. Earlier this month our local CTA held a free junior tennis festival at a local park and Kevin helped run drills and games. Kevin's enthusiasm for tennis and his willingness to help others has been a blessing for our community!
MAY 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Susan Flanagan -
Susan Flanagan is a creative and inspirational fund raiser. When she heard about the Adaptive Tennis Association of NC, a new 501-C-3 with a mission to provide year-round tennis to intellectually disabled athletes in NC, Susan offered her fund-raising expertise to the organization.
Susan organized and conducted a silent auction at the annual NC Tennis Weekend in Pinehurst, NC. Not only did she solicit and garner prizes, she made beautiful centerpieces for the tables, assisted with set-up and sold "beads". Over $3,000 was raised that evening. Susan's work was pivotal to the success of the event.
"Spring Fling" at North Hills Club, an event entirely created and led by Ms. Flanagan, netted almost $10,000 for ATANC. Susan garnered several event sponsors, organized volunteers, procured baskets for the Silent Auction from league captains, created a round-robin tennis tournament mixing adaptive athletes with area tennis players, arranged for courts, food, drinks, T-shirts and participant goodie-bags. Invitations and advertising were also handled by Ms. Flanagan. Even with having to move to the rain date, over 100 attended: special athletes, supporters/spectators, and and volunteers. The good will and awareness raised by the event are incalculable. The $8,000 raised far exceeded everyone's expectations.
Ms. Flanagan has a gift for taking a germ of an idea and spinning it into gold. The commitment and work involved in making events like the ones she has led for ATANC cannot be explained in a few short paragraphs. Susan's dynamic fund-raising leadership, her passion for tennis and tennis players, and her creative spirit deserve recognition by the tennis community that she so ably serves.
APRIL 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Roberta P. Hadley -
Roberta has worked tirelessly behind the scene as a volunteer in promoting tennis in the Durham and Orange County Communities. Below is a few of the things that she has done while working a full time demanding job and as a graduate student at North Carolina Central University. It's her time, energy and support that she gives effortlessly that serves tennis, especially for youths in our community.
- Co-coordinator of Durham-Orange Community Tennis Association (DOCTA), North East Central Durham (NECD) Youth Tennis Program.
- Assist with the writing of a grant to support the NECD Youth Tennis Program.
- Researching Foundations to find a match to help fund DOCTA’s Tennis initiatives
- Conducted an in-school after school tennis clinic at Southwest and Pearsontown Elementary Schools (third year).
- Volunteer with Jr. Team Tennis Program
- Volunteer for DOCTA Tennis Tournaments
- Volunteer for DOCTA Tennis Carnivals
- Volunteer for Recreational Coaches Workshop (RCW) Tennis Program
- Volunteer for Durham Parks and Recreation (DPR) Department Tennis Programs
- Volunteer for Family Circle Cup Tennis Tournament in Charleston, SC (Fourth year)
- Volunteer for Winton Salem Open Tennis Tournament (Second year)
MARCH 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Marvin Hardy -
Marvin Hardy has been teaching tennis to youth and adults for over 20 years. He recently received the Humanitarian Award as Volunteer of the Year by the City of Greenville for his dedicated volunteer service to the community. Marvin is an avid promoter of tennis and is an active member of Downeast CTA and Greenville Tennis Association. He has also been a member of the Mahogany Tennis Association for 27 years and has been recognized as the player who has won the most matches. Marvin initiated the youth program in the annual Mahogany Tennis Tournament and it has been a great success in involving our future leaders in the game of tennis.
FEBRUARY 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Kim Latta -
Kim has led the Black Mountain Tennis Association's Jr./Adult June Clinic every Tuesday/Thursday evening for the month of June for the past 10 years. For all of those years, he also has organized every adult Crazy Mixed Up Doubles in the spring and Mixed Doubles Round Robin every fall, as well as our Jr. Tennis Camp that runs the last week of July each year! At 75, he is very exuberant and never goes without being there to step up and help Black Mountain Tennis Association become the supportive core for the Swannanoa Valley!!! He is always there to fix a net, paint a backboard, etc. for our association as well as Black Mountain Parks and Recreation for our public courts.
JANUARY 2013 VOLUNTEER OF THE MONTH
- Nathan and Susan Brown -
The Browns are both teachers in Gates County and tennis coaches at the Gates County High School. The Browns have really done a great job promoting tennis in this rural community. In addition to high school coaching duties they run a summer tennis program consisting of junior clinics and quick start classes. We are now in the process of getting bids to resurface the five courts at the high school. The only courts in the whole county. The Browns plan to have a local tennis tournament to promote the new courts this summer. Please join me in thanking Nathan and Susan Brown for all they do to promote the game of tennis in North Eastern NC.
The "Volunteer of the Month" is sponsored by Team Connection and each recipient will receive a $25 gift certificate for their service. The North Carolina Tennis Service Recognition Committee selects recipients the first week of each month.