Skin Cancer Research fundraiser sponsored by SaddleBrooke Tennis Club

Jay Clayton Wilson

Skin cancer is the fasting growing skin disease in the world. It is particularly prevalent in Arizona where our love of the outdoors exposes us to harmful sun rays almost daily.

The University of Arizona Skin Cancer Institute (SCI) is nationally recognized for advances in skin cancer research. STC partners with SCI and the University of Arizona Women’s and Men’s Tennis Teams to raise funds for this vital enterprise.

STC sponsored another in its series of fundraisers for SCI. TJ Duffy invited Denise Spartonos, Outreach Coordinator, to chair the event. University of Arizona women’s tennis coach, Vicky Maes and University of Arizona Men’s Tennis Coach Clancy Shields brought 13 members of their tennis teams to SaddleBrooke. Together they produced a grand event that raised over $3,000 for the cause.

Wildcats, sponsors and visitors enjoyed Starbucks coffee while competing with each other in a perfect silent auction. Well, it wasn’t so silent. The bidding was boisterous and robust. Especially in demand was a terrific Wilson racket that carried a retail price tag of $240. It should have been mine. But Keri Davis shadowed all bidders and upped the ante repeatedly. Ultimately she won the racket that should have been mine. Baskets of wine, restaurant coupon, and colorful yard art rounded out the auction. It was fun.

Then the excitement began. STC players bid for the right to partner with University of Arizona players in eight exhibition matches. Those kids are fast and powerful. The kids from University of Arizona, that is. As for the STC players who won the bidding, well, not so much. But the audience was thrilled to watch such exciting tennis in the cool, Arizona sun.

Debbie McGeehan (STC 2016 Member of the Year) expressed her experience playing with and against the Wildcats: “Memorable experience! Loved playing with the University of Arizona coaches and players. Such talented and gracious young men and women. Enjoyed switching to a new court every 20 minutes to play with different University of Arizona players. Can’t wait to do it again next year!” Here are more comments from some of the lucky participants:

* “It was absolutely worth the donation. It gave me a new appreciation for how starting to play at age eight could have resulted.” – Brian Stocks.

* “The University of Arizona tennis players, along with their coaches, are a credit to our community! They are a class act! Loved playing with them here in SaddleBrooke!” – Sharon Gartner

* “It was a great experience playing against a fantastic group of people and truly worthwhile cause. I hope to do it again.” – Bob Johnson

Like most STC events, there was food and libation to lend a party atmosphere to the fundraiser. The club provided well deserved pizza for the University of Arizona team players whose slender waistlines indicated that they had never before eaten anything other than health food.

All of the proceeds from food, auctions, player bidding and donations were given to the Arizona Skin Cancer Institute to support research and treatment of this persistent disease. Everyone in our community and, indeed, throughout the world, benefits from this valiant effort to combat skin cancer. We congratulate and appreciate the many STC members and volunteers who worked so diligently to make the event possible and to present it in University of Arizona cardinal red and navy blue. Thank you.

A special expression of gratitude is due to TJ, Denise Spartonos, Coach Maes and Coach Shields for devoting their time and talent to the STC fundraiser. And here is a shout out to the University of Arizona Wildcats tennis team. Yes!

STC is dedicated to the health and enjoyment of all SaddleBrooke residents. STC is the venue for fun in the outdoors. (Wear sunscreen) To join us, just call Membership Chair Connie Kacer (825-7585) or the STC office (825-0255). It’s that easy. We would love to have you.

Photos by Deanna McCann, Rachel Tack and TJ Duffy