RANCHO SANTA FE — The celebration for the 50th anniversary of the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club will be filled with something for everyone, from little kids to serious tennis players.
“This is going to be the closing event of Rancho Days,” said Craig McAllister, who will serve as master of ceremonies for the event. “Not only is Tracy Austin going to be there, we are expecting Rod Laver, who is arguably the greatest player of all time. Roger Federer may take exception to that, but Laver won all four grand slams in the same year. Also we will have our own Charlie Pasarell, who was the No. 1 men’s player in 1967.
McAllister said he is also very pleased that local celebrity Patricia Todd will be on hand. Todd, who is in her 90s, was won, among other honors, four grand slams.
The celebration was originally planned for June, but organizers decided it should be the grand finale of Rancho Days, said Cindy Leonard, who chairs the event with Lisa Ruh.
“We’ve been working on it since October,” Leonard said.
She said the celebration was the brainchild of some of the tennis club members who joined the committee.
“About 10 people broke it up into pieces and everyone has done their share,” she said.
Tennis great Austin will be on hand to lend her presence to the event and give exhibitions and clinics for the event-goers.
“Tracy was thrilled and happy to help out, just because of her love of the game,” Leonard said.
Other tennis celebrities expected at the event are Karen Hantze Susman, who won three major titles in the tennis world and Marianne Werdel Witmeyer, who played on the women’s tour from 1982 to 1997.
Leonard said organizers are expecting about 300 people, but can accommodate 500.
In addition to exhibitions and clinics, the event will include Beat the Pro and Service Speed Gun readings. There will also be a barbecue catered by the Rancho Santa Fe Golf Club and a bouncy house and other special events for the children.
And there will be shopping.
Vendors from Head, Brad Humphries Tennis Shop, Orfilia Vineyards, Zennes Tennis Wear will be on site.
The three prizes in an opportunity drawing will be a stay at the Inn at Rancho Santa Fe, a tennis racquet signed by Austin and a year’s membership to the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club for a new member.
Leonard said the tennis club was founded in 1962 with 10 hard courts and two Har-Tru Clay courts. The clubhouse won one of the first Lily Awards for its design and construction.
The 25th anniversary celebration is set for noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 7 at the Rancho Santa Fe Tennis Club.
There will be free valet parking.
For more information or to purchase tickets, call (760) 756-4459.
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