Over 120 people attended the USCTA Annual Dinner in New York on Friday, November 4th. Jim Wharton, USCTA President, presided over the event which included the presentation of the annual awards. The winners were as follows.
- Most Improved Player – Will Broadbent
Most Improved Junior Player – Alex Rodzianko
Professional of the Year – Mike Gooding
Hughes/Slater Award for Service to the Game – Haven Pell & Fred Prince
Plimpton Award for Literary or Artistic Achievement – Michael Do
Boenning Award for Sportsmanship – Jamie Dodderidge
In addition to the Annual Awards, two individuals – John E. Slater and Jimmy Burke were inducted into the Associations Hall of Fame. Jack Slater, was the 2nd and longest serving president of the USCTA. Unfortunately, he was unable to attend the dinner. Accepting the prize, on his behalf, were his children Gifford and Sarah, and his grandson, John Slater Brauns.
The second inductee, Jimmy Burke, was first introduced to court tennis by a former Racquet Club of Philadelphia professional, Tommy Walsh, at the age of 14. A student at Roman Catholic High, Jimmy began his after school court tennis job under Jimmy Dunn. He moved onto New York, before settling in Boston, where he has been the Head Professional for 22 years. Always the competitor, Jimmy has several US Open Singles & Doubles titles and is a past winner of the US Professional Singles. He became the number 2 ranked player at age 18 and went on to unsuccessfully challenge for the World Championship title. Today, he is considered to be one of the United States most seasoned teaching professionals. And, at age 50, he has a lot of teaching years ahead!
Jimmy was introduced by two former inductees – Ed Noll and Tom Greevy. Interestingly, all three had grown up in East Falls, Pennsylvania and had all graduated from Roman Catholic High. Other East Falls / Roman Catholic High notables include – Rob Whitehouse, John Cashman and Mike Noll!
Following the Awards, the annual USCTA auction, headed by auctioneer, Charlie Johnstone, and his committee of Greg Van Schaack and Brian Owens, was held. Some great auction items, ranging from trips to golf to paintings, contributed to the most successful USCTA auction ever! Special thanks to the donors: David Emil, William McLaughlin, Claudio Guazzoni dei Zanetti, Howard McMorris, Brian Owens, Greg & Lucienne Van Schaack, Charlie Neuhauser, Peter Di Bonaventura, Christian Bullitt, Jesse Sammis, Rob McLane, Charles de Casteja, Sam Abernethy, Peter Pell, Dacre Stoker, Lex Miron, Temple Grassi, Jeremy Wintersteen, Ed Hughes and Morris Clothier. And of course, thanks to the all of the winning bidders!
To see photos from the dinner by Michael Do….