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USTA Honors Jaime Kaplan of Macon, GA with 2007 USTA Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award

January 23, 2008 02:25 PM

The USTA announced that Jaime Kaplan of Macon, Ga., was selected as a 2007 USTA Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award recipient. Kaplan will be honored along with three other recipients at an awards banquet, before more than 600 community tennis leaders at the annual USTA Community Tennis Development Workshop held on February 23, 2008 at the Flamingo in Las Vegas, Nev. The USTA bestows the Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award upon individuals who perpetuate his/her selfless mission to bring the game of tennis to anyone who wants to play.

Kaplan is being recognized for her dedication to growing and supporting tennis in her community. After sustaining a career ending injury after playing professional doubles for six years, Jamie still wanted to be involved in the sport so put all her efforts back in to her community by writing a tennis column for The Macon Telegraph to increase community exposure to the sport. To maintain tennis’ momentum in Macon, she organized a “US Open Live” viewing party downtown in 2005. Last year 300 spectators attended. In 2006, she spearheaded the renovation of the local John Drew Smith Tennis Center by gathering substantial support from the City of Macon, Bibb County, the USTA, and local donors. Her efforts have brought thousands of people into the world of tennis and millions of dollars into the Macon economy. Her service isn’t limited to tennis, either. Kaplan has also worked closely with the Association of Retarded Citizens and the Macon Rescue Mission, a battered women’s and homeless men’s shelter.

"Eve Kraft was a dedicated community tennis pioneer who was the original architect of how to grow the game at the grassroots level, making tennis accessible for anyone who wants to play," said Kurt Kamperman, Chief Executive, Community Tennis, USTA. "Jamie Kaplan is a passionate, hands on volunteer, she’s cut from the same cloth as Eve and we are proud to honor her with this award.”

Kaplan is one of four honorees this year including: Suzanne Jollensten of Albuquerque, N.M.; Nancy Horowitz of Pembroke Pines, Fla.; and Bob Phelps of Carson City, Nev.

Eve F. Kraft was a tennis pioneer whose ability to touch people’s lives exceeded the boundaries of the tennis court. As teacher, coach, author, USTA staff member and volunteer, Kraft was a lifelong champion of recreational tennis in the United States until her death in 1999. She introduced thousands of young people to the game of tennis, particularly in disadvantaged communities.

 

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