Yearly Overview: 2021

As we headed into the second year of the 2019 Covid pandemic, we were also challenged by winter snow and ice and unprecedented heat in the summer. The massive snow and ice storm in February caused significant damage to many trees in Berkeley Park and areas surrounding the courts. The Parks Department did an amazing job clearing the debris, along with removing broken branches lodged in the trees’ canopies. Over the past six years, we have had these trees pruned twice by arborists. This intervention possibly saved the courts from critical damage. 

The Alex Rovello Memorial Courts Landscaping along César E. Chàvez

We planted new flower beds surrounding the tennis court and updated all landscaping, including a large natural stone near the Bybee entrance, that doubles as a bird feeder when rainwater is collected. Additional projects completed this spring included repairing the backboard, along with having the courts professionally power washed. These spring maintenance projects assure that the grounds and courts will be beautiful for all to enjoy. After 8 years of heavy use, the courts are now due for the recommended resurfacing. We look forward to completing this project in the spring of 2022. 

On May 17, 2021, the Alex Rovello Memorial Award to Cleveland’s High School’s Most Outstanding Boy’s Tennis Player, was presented by head coach, Brian Allmer and assistant coach Art Shapiro.  Congratulations to this year’s winner, sophomore Peter Van Vleet. We are looking forward to the addition of a Girl’s Most Outstanding Tennis Player award, which will also be presented in the spring.

The 2021 Alex Rovello Memorial Award Winner, sophomore Peter Van Fleet

For the first time this summer we hosted Young Warrior Day. Coach Allmer organized a day on the courts for junior high students who might be interested in joining the CHS tennis program in the future. With the easing of Covid restrictions, we look forward to adding more tennis events like this to the spring and summer schedule.  

We are thankful again this year for the many donations large and small that ensure our work continues. From lemonade stand profits to foundation contributions, we are touched by the generosity of so many. One neighborhood business we would like to recognize is Otto’s Sausage Kitchen and owners Jerry and Gretchen Eichentopf. Since the early planning stages of the Alex Rovello Memorial, Otto’s has been a constant support for our dreams and mission. Our heartfelt thanks go out to Otto’s as they celebrate their 100th Anniversary.   

Jim & Geri Rovello with Gretchen & Jerry Eichentopf

To keep our circle of support expanding, please encourage friends who may be interested in being part of this effort to include their information in the new friend’s section on the tear-off below.

Your tax-deductible donation to the Alex Rovello Memorial Foundation will help support our mission as we continue to grow this legacy to Alex and his love of tennis. Thank you for being part of our community and supporting us during this past year.

With sincere gratitude and best wishes for a happy, healthy 2022.

Jim & Geri Rovello