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February 24, 2009 06:41 PM

The 1st Annual Charity Tournament to benefit Tennis for Life was held January 9-11 at Eastside Racquet Club in Manlius (outside of Syracuse). Over seventy people participated in a weekend full of fun and excitement. There were singles and doubles divisions for both men and women and several high-level junior players from the area also took part.

The event included a special exhibition match featuring former ATP Tour Professional Luke Jensen, now a TV Commentator and Head Women’s Tennis Coach at Syracuse University, and Dr. Daryl Gross, Syracuse University’s Athletic Director and a big supporter of tennis at SU and in the community. They played against Eastside Tennis Professionals Andre Putyera and Raphael Almeida.

Several local businesses sponsored the Charity Tournament including, P&C, Dunkin Donuts, Wegman's, Bruegger's Bagels, Panera's, Pepsi Bottling Group, Curly Locks Gourmet Jellies, and Wilson Sporting Goods. USTA Eastern’s Western Region also contributed with a grant, and Eastside Racquet Club donated all of the court time for the entire weekend.

Tennis for Life is a not for profit organization working towards improving the lives of underprivileged youth in Central New York. Funds created by this tournament go directly towards this goal. Tennis for Life provides tennis instruction, mentoring, and friendship for children with the goal of helping them achieve their dreams through sports and education. We are already planning our event for next year and if you would like to join us by becoming a sponsor please call Lucy Martin, c/o Eastside Racquet Club, at 315 682-2900. Luke Jensen and Daryl Gross in the Exhibition Match