A Grand Prize winner will experience the US Open for the first time, and second and third prize winners were also announced by the USTA Florida Section Foundation during the 67th USTA Florida Annual Meeting & Volunteer Celebration, held in November at the Hyatt Regency Grand Cypress in Orlando.
The winners were drawn from donors to the annual USTA Florida Section Foundation’s US Open Tennis Experience Fundraiser.
Marc Rosenthal of Lakewood Ranch won the Grand Prize, which in 2017 includes two tickets to the USTA President’s Box, round trip domestic airfare for two to New York and two nights hotel accommodation, complimentary US Open Bus transportation to USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, lunch in the President’s Dining Room, hospitality in the President’s Suite, and access to courtside seating in Louis Armstrong Stadium as well as Grandstand and all other courts.
“I purchased the tickets while representing Lakewood Ranch Tennis Club at the USTA Florida League Sectionals in Daytona,” Rosenthal said. “I am originally from London…I have been to Wimbledon numerous times, from having a standing ticket on Center Court years ago watching Jimmy Connors, to only a few years ago having a seat in the coaches’ box on Center Court on opening day. I have however never been to the US Open and am very excited about the trip. I am a fan of both [Novak] Djokovic and [Kei] Nishikori and would hope to get a chance to see one or both of them play.”
Second Prize, two 2017 US Open courtside box seat tickets in Arthur Ashe Stadium, went to Traci Thomas of Jacksonville. Third Prize, two 2017 Miami Open box seat tickets for the men’s or women’s finals, went to Sibo Kangwa of Ft. Myers.
“I am beyond excited winning the Miami Open tickets,” said Kangwa, who last year brought a group to the Miami Open Kids’ Day event. “I thank USTA Florida and the volunteers for putting the foundation fundraising events together. I have gone to the Miami Open with my kids for years, but now that they are all in college, I will be able to go with just my husband and enjoy the experience. I am sure this year will be extra special because I will have amazing seats. I will be happy with just seeing Roger [Federer] play, he is my favorite player.”
The US Open Tennis Experience Fundraiser was part of a myriad of activities during the annual meeting that raised approximately $13,000 for the USTA Florida Section Foundation and its grant-giving mission.
“The generosity, work, and good will extended to make the fundraiser a success is amazing,” said USTA Florida Foundation President Celia Rehm. “On behalf of the foundation, we thank our donors with deep gratitude for the contributions received. Happy Holidays to all!”
With a mission of “Changing Lives through Tennis,” the Foundation provides grants for youth tennis programs, adaptive and wheelchair tennis programs for those with special needs, community tennis programs in economically challenged areas and facility assistance for public facilities.