June 18th, 2014

Tallahassee Tennis Blog: X-mas in June Raises Charity Dollars for Christmas Connection

Charity participants

Charity participants

The sixth Annual Christmas Connection Tennis Tournament, sponsored by Catholic Charities and the City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Affairs Department, was held on June 14, 2014 in Tallahassee.

The Christmas Connection tournament is one of the largest charity events held in Tallahassee each year. According to Tournament Directors Chuck and Candace Bunker, “The continued success of the tournament is a testimony to the strong support of both the tennis and business communities. The generosity from the players as well as local business owners allow Catholic Charities to continue to administer this vital program. We are very grateful for the partnership we have developed with City of Tallahassee Parks, Recreation, and Neighborhood Affairs Department.”

A round robin format, consisting of six game pro sets with no ad scoring, was used for this increasingly popular one-day doubles tournament. Ninety-five participants, ranging in age from 17 to 70 were given the opportunity to purchase poker chips to allow them the opportunity to play “Let Agains” (one let per game per team), which added to the excitement of the competition.

More than $5,500 was raised for Catholic Charities which well exceeded the tournament goal of $3,500. Catholic Charities seeks to fulfill the wishes and basic needs of hundreds of needy families from all religions, races, and ethnic backgrounds in Northwest Florida during the holiday season.

In addition to donations, sponsorships, and player registration fees, a silent auction was held to raise funds. One of the auction items included a week’s stay at a private beach house at St. Teresa that was donated by one of the tournament players, Dr. Bill Simmons. In addition more than $500 in player prizes was donated by local businesses to help offset tournament costs.

The winners of the tournament included:
Women’s 6.5– Kelley Corbari and Ruth Nettles
Women’s 7.5 – Annie Kelley and Valorie Stevens / Diane Houston and Stacie Chick (co-winners)
Women’s 8.5 – Lauren Dupuis and Paige Nicholson
Men’s 6.5 – Tom Houston and Bill Deanute
Men’s 7.5 – Ted Alfermann and Ken Hovey
Men’s 8.5 – Mark Casteel and Ryan Rodenburg
Mixed 6.5 – Elmer Ignacio and Shannon Sabo
Mixed 7.5 – Kevin and Susan Ragsdale
Mixed 8.5 – Ken Seymore and Eunice Rho

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