The popular tennis tournament kicks off with the Tennis Ball and Silent Auction on January 25, 2012 at 6 p.m. at the Clubhouse Restaurant of the Boca Grande Club. The seven-week tennis tournament featuring area teaching professionals begins on February 1 at 4 p.m.
Sixty percent or more of the $100 Tennis Ball ticket will benefit the Suncoast Humane Society. Patrons of the Tennis Ball can enjoy the food offerings from the club’s new chef, Greg Foos. Chef Foos is excited about his food stations: French, Asian and Italian. Wine, cocktails and dancing are also included in the evening’s festivities.
A cooking lesson and dinner from Chef Foos is one of the packages up for bids in the Silent Auction. Other dining packages, wine baskets, golf packages and artwork will also be up for bids.
According to Jim Labinski, tennis director at the Boca Grande Club, many of the tournament favorites have already committed to playing in this season’s event. Steve Ethier from the Boca Bay Pass Club will return to defend his title. Scott Harrington from North Fort Myers has won the tournament three times and he will return to challenge Ethier.
Adam Zastempowski, the director of tennis at the Jacaranda West Country Club in Venice, has won the tournament once and he will be in the hunt again. Knocking on the door is Nate Griffin, a perennial finalist from the River Strand Club in Bradenton. Griffin’s assistant, Abdul Adi from Minnesota, is among the new players in this year’s draw.
Shaun Bayliss, the assistant at the Gasparilla Inn; Tucker Lang, assistant at the Boca Grande Club; and Labinski are the other island pros returning to the competition.
The tournament culminates with the finals on Wednesday, March 14 at 4 p.m. A “street party,” complete with burgers, brats and all the fixings follow the final. Tickets for this party are $15 and can be purchased at the Wednesday matches.
Tickets for the Tennis Ball and Silent Auction are available at the Boca Grande Club and at the Suncoast Humane Society.
For more information call the Boca Grande Club at 964-2211.
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