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August 27, 2011 - Tennis With the Stars Shines Again

What: 4th Annual Tennis With the Stars Tournament

Where: Gates Tennis Center

When: Saturday, August 27, 2011

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Ticket Prices: $50-$100

Beneficiary: YESS Institute and the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation

EMCEE: Andy Zodin

Presenting Sponsor(s): Lowrie Foundation

Founders: Loan Vo, Kenton Kuhn, Josh Hanfling

Committee Members: Andy Zodin, Loan Vo, Kenton Kuhn, Yung Vu, Karen Anderson, Ann Slocomb, Mary Kawula, Lisa Schaefer, Fritz Garger

Libations: Orchid Liqueurs

Catering: Sam Taylor's BBQ

Sponsors: Blacktie Colorado, Denver Museum of Nature and Science, AV Specialist, Mile High Sports Radio, WG Nielsen, Al’s Barbershop, Powerade

Attendance: 150

Blacktie Photos by: Sarah Lugo

 Karen Anderson (left), Andy Nemechek, Katherine Nemechek, and Anne Slocomb
Karen Anderson (left), Andy Nemechek, Katherine Nemechek, and Anne Slocomb

If it's the last Saturday in August, it must be "Tennis With the Stars." 

Summer is filled with golf tournaments (by the hundreds).  3 years ago, Loan Vo, Josh Hanfling and Kenton Kuhn got together and thought it might be fun to to have a social tennis tournament that would be a lot of fun and benefit nonprofits.  Each year, more people play and more money is raised.

This year's beneficiaries included the YESS Institute and the Colorado Youth Tennis Foundation.

Event director Andy Zodin did another stellar job of setting up the brackets and inviting top pros into play not only during the tournament but with an exhibition match as well.  This year's exhibition match featured Eliot Teltscher and Jonathan Stark. Stark was a winner at both the French Open and Wimbledon in doubles (men's and mixed respectively).  Teltscher was a top ten player and won the French Open Mixed doubles as well. 

This year featured a new contest, where people could pay to take a serve from a top pro.  For those that would otherwise never get to be on the other side from a top pro or see a serve of 125 miles an hour plus, this was a rare opportunity.  The crowd witnessed lots of whiffs, but a couple of good returns as well.  And a couple of lucky returns in addition.

The main attraction is tennis.  Tennis lovers of all ages and abilities are put on teams of five with similar abilities.  Everyone gets plenty of action with players that are similarly matched.  Throw in players like District Attorney Mitch Morrisey and Opie Gone Bad singer Jake Shroeder and you've got a great mix.  Mini Bar owner Bill Ward plays a little but allows all the players to come for the "after party" at his nearby bar.

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