Sunday, November 20, 2011

Hope Hospice Tennis Challenge at The Sanctuary

Anything I write in the next week or so will probably carry the Thanksgiving theme (it's my favorite holiday), so bear with me on this.
Complimentary T-Shirt for Participants
I believe sanctuary and hope are two things we can all be thankful for, and last weekend the two came together at the 9th Annual Hope Hospice Tennis Challenge HHTC). If you haven’t had the pleasure of participating in the HHTC, the event is an NTRP tournament hosted by The Sanctuary Golf Club on Sanibel Island and its Director of Tennis & Fitness, Christie Bradley.

The Boelters make it a family outing
 Sixty-two players, in four NTRP divisions, took part in the 2011 event, contributing significantly to the estimated $10,000 that was raised for Hope Hospice this year. Over the nine-year stretch, Bradley estimates that the sponsors and participants have raised an estimated $95,000 for Hope Hospice, a division of Hope Healthcare Services.

Families who are faced with the reality of knowingly losing a loved one in the not-too-distant future have been expressing gratitude for the invaluable gifts Hope Hospice has provided since 1979. The Hope Hospice Tennis Challenge is Christie Bradley's way of expressing her gratitude for what Hope Hospice does.

As with just about any charitable event, the sponsors and participants (in addition to coordinators and volunteers) really make it happen. Title-sponsored by The Sanctuary Golf Club, other area businesses extended charitable hands and contributed to the event’s success as well. Those businesses include
Bank of the Islands, Excel Sportswear, Lily & Co., Luc Century Glass Company and Tween Waters Inn.

Participating in the Napes-Fort Myers Challenge the previous day, I could only make it to Finals Day of the HHTC, but it was a spectacular Sunday morning with family, friends, and Sanctuary club members soaking up the sparkling Sanibel sunshine and scintillating tennis action.

Christie Bradley & Men's 4.5 Finalists

Terry See & Steve Shreiner
Men's 4.5 Champions

Marius Espeleta & Ed Boelter
Men's 4.5

Jane Ranieri & Sarah Ashton
Event Results
The championship match in the highest division played, the Men’s 4.5 Doubles, featured three of the classiest guys I’ve ever met on the tennis court, and another whom I hadn’t met before, but fit right in with the others. When the final ball had been struck, Terry See & Steve Shreiner had outlasted Marius Espeleta & Ed Boelter, 6-2, 3-6, and 10-8 in the third-set super-tiebreak. Helmut Peters & Bob Vinson claimed the 4.5 consolation over Tony Fittipaldi & BJ Halsey.

Deb Fairbanks & Irminguard Markusch 
Women's 4.0 Champions 
In the Women’s 4.5 Doubles, Dulce Doss & Sandy Miller downed Kerry Kendrick & Pam Monahan, 6-3, 6-4, for the top woman’s crown of the event. In Women’s 4.0 Doubles, Debbie Fairbanks & Irminguard Markusch won the championship match against Tanya Hochschild & Mary Jane Vinson, while Barbara Chappell & Lisa Cochrane took the 4.0 consolation, defeating Sara Ashton & Jane Raneri.

Bob MacDonald & Bob Moyle

In Men’s 3.5 Doubles, Bill Rosenberg & Bob Scherer took the title over Bob MacDonald & Bob Moyle, with Peter Cline & Jerry Nichols taking the consolation. 

As I reflect on that day, cruising on the iron horse across the causeway to Sanibel, watching some fun tennis, enjoying the complimentary meal and refreshments provided by the Sanctuary, and chatting with some really cool folks, it really is hard not to be thankful. I’m sure the recipients of the event’s proceeds would agree with me despite their circumstances. Happy Thanksgiving!

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