Looking to play college tennis
  | By Danny Burgess
Franklyn Higgs

The 19th Annual USTA Long Island Region Awards Dinner, held May 6 at the Crest Hollow Country Club was the culmination of six months of planning, numerous brainstorming meetings, endless hours of phone calls, messages, e-mails (lots of them, over 50 a day and on some days, more) … yes, text messages (can’t give an exact count), but they were many. More meetings with vendors, mailing list, programs/certificates (Sunny Fishkind,/Steve Haar/Mike Pavlides), trophies and plaques (Scott Axler/Roberta Feldman)…rankings (Ed Wolfarth), leagues (Kathy Miller). Oops … I forgot something, must call Marian Morris (she did a great job on decoration/center pieces/balloons and more).

Scott Axler commissioned the Awards Dinner Committee, including committee members Steve Haar, Roberta Feldman, Sunny Fishkind, Eileen Leonard, Terry Fontana, Herb Harris, Ed Wolfarth, Mike Pavlides, Marian Morris (the event planner), and myself. Together, they envisioned an event that would celebrate the outstanding accomplishments of those in our Long Island tennis community with a gala that would show our appreciation. The Long Island Award Dinner Committee recognized a total of 51 individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions to the Long Island tennis community.

Awardees included top performers from our local high schools; ranked USTA Junior and Adults tournament players; USTA league teams that advanced to the national levels; local merchants, such as Adam Monomarco from Advantage Tennis; teaching and playing professionals; as well as local club owners were also honored.
Mrs. Nancy McShea received the Lifetime Achievement Award for her 30-plus years of service to the USTA/Eastern Section and for Long Island as a writer/editor/photographer for several tennis publications including Tennis Week and Tennis Magazine.

Dick Zausner of the Port Washington Tennis Academy was honored with The Vitas Gerulitis Award for his never-ending dedication and “love” of the game of tennis, providing scholarships, tennis training and tournament fees for those in need.

Jason Harewood was the proud recipient of The Arthur Ashe Award for community service and an ambassador of the game of tennis.

Jill Levine turned the tragic loss of her son into a nationally-recognized campaign to equip baseball fields and tennis facilities with EAD devices that will hopefully save lives.

Also recognized at the event was Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice for her work with local elementary schools in the “Stop Violence” program. And Dan Dwyer was honored for his dedication to teaching tennis to individuals afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis.

The evening started with a music-filled cocktail hour, courtesy of musicians Barbara and Rafeal Picon, and ended with a savory dinner, a raffle of more than 50 items, and an auction that featured the opportunity to play on Center Court at the U.S. Open.

Six-months of preparation had come to an impressive culmination, thanks to the hard work and dedication of your USTA/Long Island Regional Board.

Long Island Regional Vice President Scott Axler and the Regional Board would like to thank USTA/Eastern

President Tim Heath and USTA/Eastern Section COO D.A. Abrams for their support. Teamwork and collaboration contributed to the success of this event. Kudos to all who participated…

Scenes From the 19th Annual USTA Long Island Region Awards Dinner
May 6 at the Crest Hollow Country Club ■ Photo credit: Franklyn Higgs


USTA Long Island Regional Vice President Scott Axler presents Brendan Ruddock with a plaque of recognition on winning the Suffolk County Boy’s Championship









Dan Dwyer (right) accepts the Innovative Tennis Program Introducing Those Afflicted With Multiple Sclerosis to Tennis Award from Scott Axler (left)











Scott Axler with Claudia Ruiz, number one-ranked Eastern Section/Long Island Girl’s 12-Year-Old









Daniel Burgess, vice president of USTA/Long Island, addresses the Annual Awards Dinner audience











Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice takes the podium during the Annual Awards Dinner











A great time was had by all at the 19th Annual USTA Long Island Region Awards Dinner







Aisha Hall with Jared Rada of Sportime/Roslyn, winner of the Nassau County Tennis Club of the Year Award







Scott Axler (far left) and USTA/Eastern Region Executive Director D.A. Abrams (far right) with the Talcott family, winners of the USTA/Long Island Tennis Family of the Year Award







Scott Axler (left) and D.A. Abrams (right) honor Bill Mecca (center), Long Island Tennis Service Representative, with the USTA/Long Island Press Service Award










(Top row): Craig Levine, Ron Dyson, president of the USPTA, Tim Heath, president of the USTA Eastern Section; Scott Axler; D.A. Abrams; Bill Mecca and Daniel Burgess, with (bottom row): Jill Levine, winner of the Charles Karp Memorial Award; Nassau County DA Kathleen Rice; Nancy McShea, winner of the Hy Zausner Lifetime Achievement Award and the Honorable Judge Cynthia Baker of Freeport, gather for a group photo


Danny Burgess

<p>Daniel Burgess may be reached by e-mail at <a href="mailto:amertwist@aim.com">amertwist@aim.com</a>.</p>