Monday, December 12, 2016


A memorial, especially a first memorial, is generally a difficult event for members of the family and close friends of the loved one being memorialized. I’m sure that was the case this past Sunday, December 11 at Cypress Lake Country Club (CLCC) as members of the southwest Florida tennis community paid tribute to U.S. Marine Corporal Tommy Jardas’ (1993 – 2016) brief sojourn on planet Earth.

Yet, Cypress Lake Director of Tennis Alex Hermeto
Event collaborators
and Assistant Professional Terry See collaborated with Tommy’s mom Beth Haely and her fiancĂ© Brian Johnson to produce an event that would have made Tommy proud. The event was a success, not simply because it raised a total of $5,550.00 for Tommy’s memorial and scholarship fund, but because of the way the community responded to the call.

Alex reported that he Initially expected a small
group of 20 participants or so, and yet 40
Court Sponsors (see list and links below)
participants and 20 guests contributed to an event that was celebratory rather than mournful. Several local businesses (see list below) combined to contribute $1105 via court sponsorships and revenue derived from Love Boat ice cream purchases during the event.

Richard Crawford of Heritage Palms
Veterans Association
Contributions from round robin participants and guests, who didn’t play but gave, accounted for$1910. The silent auction, with items donated by local businesses and tennis professionals, generated $1265. A 50-50 raffle led to $395 in proceeds, and the Heritage Palms Veterans Association delivered a check of $1000! What a tennis community we have here! 

In addition to completing the fundraising effort to build the Tommy Jardas Memorial at Cypress Lake
Memorial in progress at Cypress Lake High School
High School (CLHS), Tommy’s alma mater, funds raised at CLCC will help seed the Cpl. Tommy Jardas School Spirit Scholarship. According to Beth, “Each Junior Class will nominate 10 Seniors based on, but not limited to, members of JROTC, on Swim Team, Media Center student, Funniest T-Shirt and an essay of their volunteerism, patriotic responsibility and college plans. We hope to award a $500 scholarship on Jan. 14th every year.”

The tennis event at CLCC was Part 1 of a two-part event series scheduled to honor the fallen U. S. Marine. The dedication of the Memorial and raising of
Photo courtesy of Jen H on
the flag will take place on Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 12pm, at Cypress Lake High School. All members of the community are invited to participate in that historic event. In another demonstration of civic goodwill by a local business, Mission BBQ has committed to supplying the Memorial with a new flag every year during the annual celebration of “Tommy's Angelversary” as Beth put it. Nice!

Steph and I plan to be at that event and will provide coverage as representatives of the, then, newly launched website. We hope to see you there. Game, set, match…T. A. & Steph


  1. What an excellent turn out for an incredible young man. I will be at the dedication for sure. God Bless!

    1. Awesome! His memory and his family and friends will be honored by your presence!