BY JIM LABINSKI - Great prizes and a few new twists abound when animal lovers and tennis fans converge on the Clubhouse Restaurant at the Boca Grande Club on Wednesday, Jan. 25 to celebrate and raise money for the Suncoast Humane Society at the Tennis Ball.
Festivities begin at 6 p.m. Sixty percent or more of the $100 ticket will go to Suncoast. Artwork, photography, wine and jewelry baskets, golf and party packages are among the silent auction items up for bids.
The Silent Auction and Tennis Ball is the opening fundraising event that is part of the fourteenth annual Professional Tennis Exhibition Series.
This year’s Tennis Ball will feature “Tombola.” The Tombola is a unique way for the revelers to get a great prize--guaranteed. For a mere $20, one purchases a tennis ball with a number on it. At the end of the evening, the tennis ball is redeemed for the corresponding prize.
According to Cathy Parkes, one of the club volunteers helping with the Tombola, “It’s a great way for someone to walk away with a great prize, participate in the fundraiser for a small amount of money. And there aren’t any clunkers among the prizes. It’s a great deal.”
Some of the prizes in the Tombola are valued near $200.Tombola, by the way, is a city in Italy, and it is also Italian for lottery.
Speaking of Italian, there will be an Italian food station, as well as a French food station and an Asian food station, too. Cocktails, beer and wine, music and dancing are also included in the price of admission.
Many of the participating tennis pros will be on hand to meet the patrons.
There will be 22 items featured in the silent auction. One new and very intriguing offer is a barbecue dinner for 24, with all the fixings, beer and wine. There is also a three-hour lunch cruise with Captain Doug Stewart. This year’s golf package includes rounds at Riverwood, Coral Creek, Lemon Bay and the Gasparilla Inn & Club. Boca Boats is offering a cocktail cruise for 10 people as well.
Tickets are available at the Suncoast Humane Society and the Boca Grande Club. The Professional Tennis Exhibition Series begins on February 1 at 4 p.m. at the Boca Grande Club. Four area teaching pros will play three sets of doubles with the top two players, in terms of games won, will advance to the semi-finals. The seven-week long tournament concludes with the finals on March 14.
The finale will include a street party and barbecue for $15. For more information call the Boca Grande Club at 964-2211.
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