March 17, 2013
Dear Oakmont Members,
As I write this letter, it's stormy and very cold outside; however, with the Australian Open on TV, it reminds us that the start of another fun and exciting year of Oakmont tennis is just around the corner.
But before the new Oakmont season begins, I would first like to thank you, our loyal members, for all of your support in 2012. Overall, Oakmont had a fantastic year! Our financial situation is sound, we gained several new members, the courts played extremely well, and fun was had by all. We made the final payment on the mortgage for our clubhouse and we again hosted the Allen High School boys and girls tennis teams. The Junior Camp was also very successful -- more on that later.
I would like to send out a heartfelt thanks to the Oakmont Board Members for the fine work they did in 2012. I would also like to extend a big thank you to the many other members who lent helping hands during the year. Without your assistance, there wouldn't be an Oakmont Tennis Club!
For instance, after our lawn mower broke (Yes, we have a lot of grass to cut!) midway through the summer, replacement lawn mowers were donated to the club by both Donna Butz and Dr. Steven Farbowitz. The mowers needed some repairs and board member, Ray Leibensperger, volunteered his time and expertise to fix them. These efforts contributed so much in helping to keep the club grounds in pristine shape. Ray also performed some preventive maintenance on probably the most important piece of equipment at Oakmont, the roller. The roller is used to keep the surface of the red clay playable. Ray fixed the molding around the doorways and windows of the clubhouse, too. The donations of the lawn mowers along with the repairs made by Ray saved the club a lot of money. Thank you, Donna, Steve, and Ray!
I also want to thank our resident pros, George Henry, Al Blackwell, and Keith Soanes, for the fabulous job that they did promoting the club, providing lessons, and running the Junior Tennis Camp. We had over 40 campers participate in the program. We expect another great turnout this year now that the word is out about the high quality of the program. This year's Junior Tennis Camp flyer is attached. If you know of anyone who might have an interest in the Camp, please support the club by passing along the flyer. Remember, too, that our pros offer free evaluations of your play and can do private or group lessons. Thanks, George, Al, and Keith!
Our grounds crew, Milvio Espinal, Nenyi Micah, Keith Soanes, Ed Pfenninger and Henry Willard, all did an outstanding job keeping our courts and grounds safe and in great shape. The work that they do behind the scenes almost always goes unnoticed. Most members don't realize the time and expertise that are needed to keep the red clay courts of Oakmont playable throughout a myriad of weather conditions such as the cold, the heat, rain, droughts, and the wind that blows off all the brick dust. So thank you, Milvio, Nenyi, Keith, Ed, and Henry!
Our annual trek to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens, New York, for the US Open Tennis matches was again a huge success thanks to all the preparation done by past president and current board member, Stan Berman. The bus trip was lots of fun and it was great to see all of the Oakmont members there supporting Allentown's own Varvara Lepchenko as she won her first round match. Be sure to book your trip early this year, as we always sell out. Thank you, Stan!
Shari Butz sponsored a party at Oakmont Tennis Club for Varvara Lepchenko, a local professional tennis player currently ranked 21st in the world. She was returning from a successful showing at the French Open where she reached the fourth round, beating Jelena Jankovic and Francesca Schiavonee along the way. In the past, Varvara has used Oakmont Tennis Club for practice to prepare for the clay court tournament season. We had a huge turnout and Oakmont presented Varvara with an honorary lifetime membership. Thank you, Shari!
Our Tuesday and Thursday night doubles leagues were fun and well attended by members. We also had successful fun nights and cookouts after play. Thank you to Dave Bobb for putting all this together!
Finally, I'd like to thank all the volunteers who parked cars to raise funds for the club during the Allentown Fair. We have acquired substantial income from fair parking over the past several years. If you're interested in helping out this year, please let one of the board members know or just show up. It's always a lot of fun and produces some of the most interesting stories of what people will do or pay for a parking spot close to the fairgrounds.
We are sad to have had two members pass away in 2012, Lucille Wenck and Cerf Berkley. Lucille and Cerf were both long-time members of the club. Lucille was a very special person to all those who became acquainted with her. Incidentally, the Wenck family has a long history of aiding and supporting Oakmont Tennis Club. Cerf was an early morning player and played with a group over many years. Both will be missed by their families, friends, and Oakmont members.
The members mentioned above -- and I apologize since I could not possibly recognize everyone -- have volunteered their time in support of Oakmont, and their involvement has helped to make the club a very special place, not only to play tennis, but also to develop friendships that last a lifetime. And it is because of this individual aid from our members that Oakmont Tennis Club endures as a vibrant mainstay of the local tennis community here in Allentown. So this year, I again ask for your help and involvement, since without it, Oakmont couldn't survive!
Due to these past efforts, I am pleased to announce that our 2013 membership rates will again remain unchanged, except for a slight increase in the Junior Camp fee.
So don't delay!!! Check out this year's Oakmont Tennis Club membership application. Print out a copy and return the completed form to Elaine Conner, Oakmont Tennis Club Secretary.
Keep in mind that Oakmont has a special arrangement for a $125 membership at Northwood Racquet Club, including full use of their exercise equipment. If you're interested, send your payment payable to Oakmont Tennis Club to Elaine and she will take care of the necessary arrangements. Part of the fee is retained by Oakmont.
It has been my pleasure to serve as Oakmont's president as well as be an Oakmont member over many years. I think you will agree that Oakmont is a jewel and continues to survive the test of time. Indeed, the club is now in its 94th year!! Please feel free to provide your feedback on ideas to improve Oakmont. They are always welcomed.
Oakmont Tennis Club is truly a unique organization where your individual help is needed and always appreciated. I look forward to seeing you on the red clay this season!
Bruce E. Kisthardt