Vero Beach is in the running to be named the ‘Best Tennis Town in America’ and claim a $100,000 prize from the United States Tennis Association.
Gaby Dwyer and Michele Modica of the Riverside Racquet Complex are leading the effort to get Vero Beach on the list of 10 finalists, which will be determined on July 16. If Vero is chosen as a finalist, a 10-day online voting period begins immediately at www.besttennistown.com.
Dwyer and Modica were joined by Tom Fish from the Windsor Country Club and the Mardy Fish Foundation; Jim Buck from the Orchid Island Golf & Beach Club and the Indian River Tennis Foundation; Brad Leu from the Sea Oaks Beach & Tennis Club; and Ron Perry from the Boulevard Village & Tennis Club to help push the promotion. The list of contest co-sponsors eventually grew to thirteen tennis clubs and two tennis foundations.
The video is a collection of vignettes with pros and casual players of all ages. Andrew Butz and Kendra Higgins represented the emerging tennis stars nurtured in Vero. Butz is about to enter his senior year at St. Edward’s as the reigning Class 1A state singles champion. Higgins won the state doubles championship as a junior at Vero Beach High. She is now the defending Division III NCAA doubles champion coming off her freshman year at the University of Chicago.
Fish believes the contest “reinforced the pride and respect we have in our area. We have a strong pro exhibition series, really active leagues for men and women, and fantastic facilities. The pros work together to make this a better place. There is a huge tennis following. It would be wrong if we didn’t win.”