The construction of the Longboat Key Public Tennis Center was the dream of several residents nearly two decades ago. And, recently, the dream of a new Tennis Center building has come true.
The Tennis Center has morphed from a single shed-like structure to a sturdy, spacious, two-story structure. The new building houses the office, pro shop, restrooms and showers and has a wide balcony with views of six courts. The center now has 10 tennis courts and 400 members.
The Tennis Center received its official dedication Feb. 28.
During the ceremony, the Tennis Center was officially dedicated to Dick and Donna Schlorf and Tennis Center Management Adviser John Mrachek and his wife, Phyllis. Members of the Town Commission unveiled a plaque, which will be placed on the new building, recognizing the couples’ ceaseless efforts, hard work, contributions and love of tennis.
And Mrachek had high praise for his staff — Manager Kay Thayer and tennis pros Dave Sparks and Del Shoenberger, — and for the many volunteers and friends of the Tennis Center who keep it running.
Former Commissioner and Mayor John Redgrave and his son, Martyn, were also recognized for their active support and monetary contributions.
Congressman Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, spoke at the ceremony.
“The Tennis Center is a world-class facility with very special people,” he said.
Following the short dedication program, an exhibition match arranged by Andre Marois took place. Featured on the court were Larry Turville and Lorne Main versus Hugh Thomson and Joe Bachmann. Each player is either a past national or world tennis champion.
The program concluded with a Wilson product demonstration and light refreshments in the new building.
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