The "Tennis with the Stars" event was held at Bath and Racquet Club.
When Nick Bollettieri talks tennis, people listen.
Buddy Up Tennis held its fifth-annual "Tennis with the Stars, Where our Athletes Shine" fundraising event April 26 at Bath and Racquet Club. According to the organization's website, its goal is to "serve individuals with Down syndrome by providing a fun, active, and supportive environment for our athletes to grow both physically and personally by engaging in activities that impact athletic, social, and emotional development."
Bollettieri spoke to the crowd prior to the event, encouraging people to help one another and advising Buddy Up's athletes to keep trying in the face of failure. Bollettieri put his words into practice, offering private lessons as an item in the event's silent auction.
The event featured a chance for guests to learn from local teaching pros, including Nate Griffin, Dave Kozlowski, Michael Brandon, Kieran Killigrew, Michael Moore, Kathy Rosenberg, Tatiana Soldatove, Scott Schrieman, Rachel Rossi, Ben Dabush, and Jason Nadell. The event played out in rotations, allowing guests to try different tennis activities at different stations. Music was provided by DJ Cesar Morales and free temporary tattoos were offered by Face Paint Sarasota (Pixie Painting).
The organization's own athletes and "buddies" also got the chance to show their skills. The event culminated in a doubles showdown between all participants.