Tennis team equips, teaches Boys & Girls kids

The Boys & Girls Club of Northern Chautauqua County were recipients of tennis gear this fall.

The donation was made by members of the Fredonia State women’s tennis team, led by their coach, Joe Calarco, whose team also hosted members of the club for hit-arounds on the Steele Hall Courts on campus.

Calarco said he donated 15 refurbished tennis racquets and a hopper of game- and practice-used tennis balls to the club, located on Benton Street in Dunkirk, “So the kids can play on their own.”

Two on-court sessions were held this fall, with the Blue Devil team members and the children, ranging in ages from 8 to 12, hitting – and chasing – balls for an hour. Morgan Burns, a 2012 Fredonia State graduate, supervised the Boys & Girls clubbers.

Calarco said his players found the engagement rewarding. “It was a small thing for us,” one player told him, “but it meant so much to the kids.”

Apparently those feelings were shared by the children. Relayed Calarco: “As the Club van drove away, one youngster yelled out the window, ‘I can’t wait to come back again!'”

The Blue Devils completed their 2013 season last Saturday at 8-5 in all matches. It is the best record in Calarco’s 14 seasons as head coach.