Play in May: Party and Tournament

The Norwalk Grassroots Tennis 12th Annual Play in May event, was held May 2-3, 2014.

On Friday evening at the Country Club of Darien, a kick-off cocktail party was MC’d by Jane Pelley, former Dallas reporter, who was later joined at the podium by her husband, Scott Pelley, anchor and managing editor of the CBS Evening News and correspondent for 60 Minutes.

Scott and Jane Pelley
Scott and Jane Pelley

After cocktails and dinner, a brief presentation program was the highlight of the evening. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house, when young Grassroots program alumni Gabriel Paulk took the podium. Poised and open-hearted, Gabriel told his poignant story — as a young boy coming of age, he lost his beloved father to a senseless gang shooting on Christmas Day. This event changed Gabriel’s life in an instant and left him lost, but then there was Coach Kimani, Grassroots Director of Tennis. With encouragement, kindness and snacks Kimani convinced football-loving Gabriel to try tennis. Today Gabriel, 23, is Assistant Teaching Professional at Weston Racquet Club and the rest is history.

Gabriel Paulk
Gabriel Paulk

On Saturday morning, the games began. Spread over several area clubs, men and women competed grouped by various levels of play. The games were played with good sportsmanship and a positive competitive spirit all to benefit the boys and girls of Grassroots.

Rick Swift, Rupali Hall
Rick Swift, Roopali Hall

12th Annual Play in May Results

Men’s “A” Division  
Winners: Mark McEnroe & Mitch Truwit;
Finalists: Will Hall & Tariq Khalifa

Men’s “B” Division                                    
Winners: Frank Gallagher & John Corcoran;

Men’s “55+” Division                                    
Winners: Rick Swift & Chuck Davis;
Finalists: Roy Anderson & Walter Beatty

Women’s “A” Division                                    
Winners: Cynthia Dardis & Abigail Burke;
Finalists: Deirdre McAllister & Roopali Hall

Women’s “B” Division                                    
Winners: Tara Clough & Elizabeth DuPont;
Finalists: Rebecca Todaro & Ellen Schubert

Women’s “C” Division                                    
Winners: Maren Nelson & Stephanie Jordan;
Finalists: Kathy Cramer & Pasqualina Berkowitz

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Norwalk Grassroots Tennis, is an amazing organization that helps kids in need stay on the right path by staying on the courts. Rachel Kilcullen, who attended the event Friday and played Saturday, said “Grassroots and the great work that they do, makes me love tennis even more.”

To find out more about Norwalk Grassroots Tennis visit their website http://norwalkgrassrootstennis.org/