NSSRA recipient in tennis tournament
NSSRA Gator Tennis Player Stefan Xidas of Wilmette and Pat Fragassi of Mundelein
Updated: July 20, 2012 2:46PM
WINNETKA — The intense summer heat did not dampen the enthusiasm of the tennis fans supporting the Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) on July 2. The local organization, which provides specialized recreation programs and services to individuals with disabilities in partnership with local recreation agencies, was once again the charitable recipient of this year’s Nielsen/United States Tennis Association (USTA) tennis tournament, held July 2-7 at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center in Winnetka.
“We are so grateful to Nielsen/USTA for their dedicated support of our organization and our athletes,” said Craig Culp, executive director, NSSRA. “As charitable recipient of the tournament for many years now, we are honored by Nielsen/USTA’s continued generosity, and proud to have the opportunity to share the talents of our terrific athletes with the tournament’s attendees. Programs like NSSRA’s Gator Tennis give people with different levels of ability the chance to join in and experience the life-enhancing benefits of sport.”
Wilmette resident and NSSRA Gator Tennis team player Stefan Xidas kicked off the evening’s matches with a special exhibition game against Gator Tennis coach and Pat Fragassi of Mundelein A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center assistant manager.
Fresh off his match with Coach Fragassi, Xidas then sang a rousing rendition of the Star Spangled Banner as his fellow team members stood by in support.
John Lewis, president of Consumer North America, Nielsen introduced Xidas and other members of the Gator Tennis team including Josh Devries of Deerfield, Sam Green of Winnetka, James Oh of Northfield and Chris Pullman of Glenview.
Supporters of NSSRA also enjoyed a catered dinner and drinks in a courtside tent along with evening matches as part of the fundraiser.
NSSRA’s Gator Tennis program is one of many sport-related offerings from NSSRA. The organization, founded in 1970, serves more than 1,600 children and adults with physical, developmental, emotional or other disabilities living in its partner communities on the North Shore. NSSRA’s Gator Athletics/Special Olympics training and competitions span 17 sports.