The year 2015 brought new events, projects, visitors and generous donations to the Alex Rovello Memorial Courts at Berkeley Park. The continuous use of the two courts gives us much pleasure in knowing that this renovation was something that would benefit our community. Our goal is to maintain these beautiful courts now and into the future.
With great sadness we remember the loss of Jerome Kersey in February. Jerome’s legacy is not only the accomplishments he had as a championship athlete but also his character, genuine thoughtfulness and compassion. Jerome joined us for the dedication of the Alex Rovello Memorial Courts in July 2014 as an ambassador for the Trail Blazers.
Jerome and his family took the time to learn about our son, the project, and the community involvement that made this memorial a reality. He joined Tony Dungy, Derin Hibbs and Michael Thoeresz for doubles to christen the courts. We are forever grateful to have had him join us. Our hearts go out to his family and friends.
The tennis season began March 2nd for the Cleveland High School Boys’ and Girls’ teams. On March 7th a Kick-Off to the season was held at Berkeley Park. Players from the boys and girls teams joined us for a fun filled afternoon. Both teams alternated practice and match play at Berkeley Park through out the season. The loss of CHS teammate Ben Klatchko left a huge hole in the hearts of teammates, friends and family that cannot be filled. This loss is felt ever so greatly in our community.
Alex Rovello Memorial Men’s Doubles Invitational was a small tournament held Sunday, June 14th at the courts. Many of the men were players from Eastmoreland Racquet Club who had allowed Alex as a teenager to join their men’s group. Thank you to Bart Borosky who organized play for the event. Winners of the event were John and Paul Ezelle who played Luke Bates and Andrew Nilsson in the final.
The July 26th One-year Anniversary event was postponed. Work was still being done with the Parks & Recreation Department on a long-term maintenance plan for the courts, which we had hoped to announce. We are presently getting closer to signing this agreement and look forward to announcing a 2016 summer event.
Alex Rovello Memorial Ladies’ Doubles Invitational was held Sunday, August 9th at the courts. Many of the ladies were players from Eastmoreland Racquet Club. Alex’s coach, Derin Hibbs was here from California to direct play. Thank you to Katy Felton and Nancy Osborne who organized the players and activities.
Winners of the event were Ann Arp and Melissa Matterazzo, who played Betty Kellogg and Kate Leatherbarrow in the final. The players presented us with a most generous donation to the maintenance fund of the Alex Rovello Memorial Courts. We would like to thank all of the ladies, families and friends who joined us to celebrate the game of tennis.
Otto’s Sausage Kitchen, one of Woodstock’s oldest family owned businesses, chose to sponsor The Alex Rovello Memorial at the first-ever “Woodstock Gives Back Day” on Sept. 13th. Otto’s generously donated 40% of outside grill sales to the fund. With the community’s support they were able to give the Alex Rovello Memorial Maintenance Fund $1,500.00. This fund maintains the renovated tennis courts in Berkley Park to provide a safe and professional environment for children and adults, from all walks of life, to learn and play tennis. Thank you Otto’s Sausage Kitchen.
Kids Learn and Play date was held Sept. 19th at The Alex Rovello Memorial Courts. Tennis Pros from the Portland Tennis Center joined us to provide an introduction to thirty-five neighborhood children. Face painting added a bit of fun to the day. We hope to repeat this event in 2016 in addition to having summer programing for children.
We are honored to once again have the support of the Kinsman Foundation. Their $5,000 grant on November 30, 2015 will help to maintain the Alex Rovello Memorial Courts at Berkeley Park, in addition to promoting, developing and enhancing the lifetime sport of tennis.
Alex’s friends and supporters who visited the courts for the first time in 2015:
Raleigh and Joe Cavey of Eldersburg, MD. Raleigh was a long-time friend and fellow collegiate athlete at the U of O.
Piet and Wilma Maasland of Gelddrop, Netherlands, parents of U of O doubles partner Daan Maasland.
Kel, Patti, Nikki and Jaymie Kunitomo of Kailua Kona, HI, members of the Project Backboard Foundation, which so generously donated the park’s backboard, visited in August.
U of O teammates Daan Maasland of Geldrop, Netherlands, Danny Sardu of Sopron, Hungary visited for the first time in November. Long time friends Jonathan Menashe and Pierce Fettig joined Jim and Rasta at the courts.
Projects that were accomplished this year include contracting with Oregon Tree Care to prune the trees surrounding the courts. We were most thankful that this had been accomplished before the winter wind, rain, snow and ice arrived. The purchase of a high-powered leaf blower made the fall leaf clean up more manageable for Jim and reduced the amount of time involved in this frequent task. The torrential rain and sediment in the drains caused a back up of water on the courts in December. Having the drains cleared solved the problem and provided good flow for the continued winter rains.
2015 brought many new players, events and opportunities to The Alex Rovello Memorial Courts. We greatly appreciate all who have joined us in play, supported us in their care and have created their own memories on these memorial courts. We look forward to signing a maintenance agreement with the Parks & Recreation Department, summer events and small tournaments in the year ahead.
Most grateful, Jim and Geri Rovello