Tennis, anyone?

The 14th annual Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame Gala was held on Friday, January 24, 2014. The four inductees: Nicole Leimbach, Rita Price, Gil Roberts and John Whistler were welcomed into the Colorado Tennis Hall of Fame and USTA Colorado, where each was honored with a 2013 Annual Award.  The dedicated tennis players had distinguished themselves through life-long dedication and contributions to the sport.

The gala evening was held at the Marriott Tech Center hotel, where 300 tennis enthusiasts and their families joined to raise funds for the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation. The popular program provides tennis opportunities to youngsters in need. Joining in the fun, the Auction Divas, Shelly St. John and her two sidekick divas, kept the momentum at an anxious pace. The three lovely ladies led the live auction with silly heads or tails games and coaxed higher and higher bids from the supporters for mountain tennis weekends and donated items such as a custom made fly fishing rod. The Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation Friday night was at least $22,000 closer to helping young tennis players enjoy the sport of tennis.

Tennis is big in Colorado – a whopping 85,000 known players in the state. The sport and state have always been like-minded. When the state was formed in 1876, the sport of tennis was right behind it. The USTA was formed in 1881, as a not-for-profit organization devoted to the development of the sport of tennis. It remains the voice of tennis and establishes and maintains rules of play and high standards of amateurism and good sportsmanship.

Emcee Andy Zodin charmed the tennis community with his Broncos’ enthusiasm and his  acknowledged respect for the select group of tennis players who filed onto the stage.  The honored group of 2013 award winners were chosen for their sport skill and tireless support of the tennis community’s goal, which is to promote the physical, emotional and social development of all youth. Tennis has been celebrated throughout the state for 100 years and remains one of the top competitive sports. The inductees and annual award recipients came from all parts of Colorado. Each was chosen for on-court talent, dedication and service benefiting the entire state of Colorado tennis community.