55 players — mostly Grandezza residents plus those from the general public — made donations to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) to take part in round-robin competition in six separate divisions, according to this article by the Fort Myers News-Press.
They witnessed a doubles exhibition by Zach Tidler, assistant pro at Grandezza; community resident Mike Stevens; John Ramsey, a pro at Kelly Greens in Fort Myers; and outstanding area player Ken Johnson in the tennis component of the fourth annual Grandezza Gives Back program.
“It’s such an excellent cause,” Grandezza resident, Wolf Kraft said.
The community’s thriving tennis program was “one of the main reasons that drew us here” for half-year periods from Minneapolis nine years ago, recalled Wolf.
But his wife Rosie didn’t get the Tennis bug for a while.
“He kept introducing me to players and I figured I was missing out on a lot of fun and fitness,” she said. She now plays in a 2.5 doubles group plus continues getting lessons from director of tennis Lanny Kalpin. “It’s incredible how patient he is.”
Grandezza assistant pro, Tidler savored the experience of hitting with fellow.
“This is as good as it gets,” he said. “The pro community is tightly knit here and getting to interact with the members in this way was special.”
A total of $8,550 was raised for the JDRF, the leading global organization funding diabetes-related research, increasing to nearly $40,000 the amount the program has directly generated in four years with previous beneficiaries being the Corey Kent Family Assistance Fund, United Way of Lee, Hendry and Glades counties and the FGCU tennis program.
“It feels really good to support so many worthy causes and get such great support from the community,” said resident Richard DeSousa, who puts the event on every year.