Thanking Our Troops Through Tennis: Joint Base Andrews
Saturday, September 26, 2015

 

Young Adults Clinic-0021Friday night found the T3 crew out at Annapolis High School to help raise money for their Tennisthon.  The evening started at 6:30 with a doubles exhibition between Dickie and Claudia vs. Freddy and Seth McNair.  Both Seth and Claudia attend the Naval Academy. I hope the event raised lots of $$! The doubles was fun to watch.

 

Can you imagine what it’s like to bump into someone you taught as a Pee Wee Tennis participant when she was 8, seventeen years later?  When I saw Amy Allin I was blown away.  She is now clerking for a DC judge and waiting for her bar scores.  She wants to become a prosecutor.  Really, littlest Amy Chica?  It seems like yesterday that you were playing Sharks and Minnows on my court at T Bar M!  It was so  much fun to have dinner with you as a grown up and to catch up with you.  Stay in touch and let’s not let another 17 years go by! xoxoxo

 

Children's Clinic-0001Saturday morning arrived overcast with chilly winds.  Two years ago, the event at JBA was earmarked with humidity and temperatures in the 90’s.  This year I was lamenting the fact that I didn’t have any sweats!

 

Despite the cool weather, the event was another big success.  It was held on the two courts in the residential community on base and was located in the middle of a beautiful little park. Charles Stevenson is THE Go To Guy.  He is the Deputy Director of Fitness and Sports at the Tactical Fitness Center.  He is an efficient, hard working and funny guy.  Once again, Charles and his crew, Kim, Kendra, Scott and Jacob set us up and broke us down in record time.  This year, not only was he instrumental in making sure the event ran seamlessly, but he was a HUGE help with The Beast.  The F150 had a flat tire and tire pressure issues.  Thank goodness for Charles.  I told him that he can NEVER leave JBA, and if he does, I will find him.

 

Children's Clinic-0029Thank you Charles, you are the BEST.  xoxox  ***Shout out to Sabine Lopez and Kim, you chicas were amazing as well.

 

The first group of volunteers were the coolest chicas ever: thank you Madison Cote, Kelsi Freitas, Tami Parlette, Tammy Parlette and Kendra Munafo.  I’ll also include John O’Rourke and Brandon Sublett to that group of great volunteers, they will be Honorary Chicas.

 

This event set a new T3 record for the youngest participant ever: Little Isaac was only 16 months old and was swinging a racquet AND connecting with a low pressure ball.  When he turns pro one day, I will be able to say that I gave him his first lesson.

 

I’m always touched by the parents who look as if they want to play, yet say they’ve never played or haven’t played in forever….I annoyingly convince them to go home, get their sneakers and get out on the courts.  Who cares if you’re rusty or if you’re a beginner!  That’s what T3 is all about- getting you out there for the first time or bringing you back.  Thank you to all you brave souls who come back and play.  It’s so much fun to see.

 

Children's Clinic-0062I can never get enough of the youngest participants.  They are genuinely enthusiastic and have such a good time.  I’m not sure that they even realize how much they’re learning and that’s a tribute to the incredible pros who so generously volunteer their time.  Thanks so much to: Mark Wirth, John Officer, Damon Austin, Ebonye Jones, Warren Waterman, Kaitlyn Hyun, Tyler Hyun.

 

Thank you Mark Wirth for flying all over the US and still finding time to help us.  We enjoyed meeting your brother Craig, a Marine stationed at the Pentagon, your dad (Yonkers peeps rule!) and your sweet and funny mom.  While we missed the North Carolina Mafia, we loved your family.

 

I am so relieved whenever Steve Contardi is able to come to an event.  He makes everything run so smoothly.  Not only are you a great organizer, but your on court skills are the best too, Coach Steve!  Thank you Steve and Mark Belcik for making the trip.  We are so appreciative of the effort that you always make and the long drives that bring you to us.  (We missed you Mario and the rest of the Contardi Crew!)

 

_GroupVolunteers01Karen Souza and Brittany Brechtlein showed up to help with registration with their 9 week old babies slung in pouches.  They are without a doubt some of the most efficient moms I have ever seen.  They were multi-tasking gurus and their babies were so well-behaved.  A big thank you goes out to their husbands Corey Riley and CJ Brechtlein as well.  They were an enormous help at Registration too!

 

Helen Hyun brought her daughter Kaitlyn last year, after Kaitlyn collected racquets for the Andrews Air Force base recreation center.  Kaitlyn spent an entire year getting racquets donated and helped throughout the day.  This year, Kaitlyn and her brother Tyler helped with the little tennis players, while their mom Helen manned the registration table.  What an incredible family.  Both Kaitlyn and Tyler are talented tennis players as well.  Kaitlyn’s Oakton High School tennis team captured the State title last spring, going undefeated and won the prestigious Wells Fargo Cup with the best overall record on the VHSL state level.  Congratulations to Kaitlyn and her teammates!  Tyler is 13 years old, ranked number 20 in the Mid-Atlantic USTA 14 and Under Division.  Thank you Hyun family- you make going to Andrews feel like homecoming for us!  Good luck in all that you do!

 

_GroupWingCommander01They say that when a door closes, a window opens.  How true.  We were sad that the Waters family would not be at JBA this year, but we were thrilled to meet the Hoaglands.  Colonel Hoagland is the Wing Commander at JBA.  He and his wife Jill, already feel like T3 family.  Thank you for signing up your daughter Carolynn and for letting us play tennis with your son Joseph.  Colonel Hoagland is a good tennis player and is very interested in helping grow tennis on base.  Thank you for a wonderful afternoon and an equally enjoyable dinner at the Golf Club.  We look forward to another possible visit in April, as well as working with you to bring a tennis program to JBA.

 

Last year I held baby Skye Lynn Chan, and thankfully Trevor brought her back this year.  I was able to have dinner with her AND she shared her chicken and fries with me.  I’m not sure what  I enjoyed more, the event or hanging with Skye!  Thank you Trevor Chan for all you do.  Your photography is incredible and your daughter is adorable.

 

Chess-0006We were fortunate enough to once again have the Hauge family, Meg and her son David, along with David Paulina to teach the game of chess to the participants.  How cool is it to see a whole new generation embrace the game of chess?  T3 is so happy to partner with your foundation at JBA every year.  We are so sorry that David H’s foot was not one hundred percent and we hope he’s out of the cast and off the crutches very soon.  Tennis and lunch the following day was a relaxing way to start our long haul back to SoFlo. Thank you Hauge family!  (We missed you John!)

 

Children's Clinic-0003No blog would be complete without profusely thanking the USO.  Thank you to the three lovely ladies who drove the enormous USO truck, served lunch, took pictures and made sure we were all happy.  Renda, Regina and Marilyn, it was a pleasure! The USO has been partners with T3 from the very beginning and we are so grateful.

 

We were also very excited to have Lynn Gertzog from the Mid-Atlantic USTA spend some time with us.  There are so many people who, after being introduced to the game of tennis, ask us how they can continue to play.  With help from organizations like the USTA, these eager future players will have an easy path to connect with local programs and pros.  Thanks for you time, Lynn.  We look forward to growing the tennis program at JBA with your help.

 

We are now getting  ready for our second to the last event at Joint Base Randolph in San Antonio, Texas in mid October.  Thank you for reading this blog, for liking the pictures and supporting T3.  We are grateful, touched and honored by the love and support that you have all given us.  Without your help, T3 wouldn’t exist.

 

See you at Randolph!