• GACTA Hosts Successful Fundraiser for Aces in Motion Program

    On Saturday, August 23rd, a morning community tennis event at DB Racquet Club and an Evening Celebration of Tennis were held to support the Gainesville Area Community Tennis Association’s Aces in Motion Tennis Outreach Program for at-risk children. The fundraiser, the The Bryan Shelton Celebration of Gainesville Tennis, Past and Present, was very well received by the Gainesville tennis community. The morning and evening events both sold out, and approximately 200 people attended.

    In a first for Gainesville, Don Blair of DB Racquet Club recruited tennis teaching pros from almost all the tennis clubs in town (including Fort King Tennis Center in Ocala) to come together and teach in the community tennis clinic. The UF Men and Women’s Tennis coaches also participated in the clinic, jumping on court along with tennis players from the community. Thanks to all the teaching pros who gave up their Saturday mornings to provide the “best Gainesville community tennis clinic ever”!

    Following the clinic, an exhibition was held, featuring Roland Thornquist, the UF women’s head coach and Bryan Shelton, the UF men’s head coach, who joined forces to compete against a former UF player, Chris McDonald and Tracey Smith Begley, a former FSU player.  Players from the community were then randomly selected to join in friendly tiebreakers with Bryan and Roland. To end the morning session, Bryan Shelton shared his thoughts with the crowd on the importance of the Aces in Motion program.

    The evening event featured Bryan Shelton, program directors Addison Staples and Chris McDonald, and participants in the organization’s Aces in Motion program, as well as live music and a silent auction. Attendees could also walk through a display of the highlights of Gainesville’s illustrious tennis history. As a part of the event, the Dr. John Ross Pre-Collegiate Scholarship was established, to honor the memory of Dr. Ross, a long-time Gainesville resident, beloved pediatric neurologist, and tennis advocate and enthusiast.



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