2023 is here and what better way to bring in the new year than leveling up your tennis game. We all share a love and passion for the sport, but why not take it to the next level and give back to the community.
Outstanding volunteers are recognized numerous ways by volunteering for tennis in Florida. The Volunteer of the Month Award is one-way peers in their community can recognize people doing great work for tennis. Do you know someone who is making a difference in Florida tennis? You can nominate someone anytime to be awarded Volunteer of the Month kudos.
For January’s Volunteer of the Month, Karen Vogter, tennis has been part of her life since she was a child and as she grew older, she wanted to give back to the sport that shaped who she is today.
Born in Tampa, Florida, Karen is the Volunteer Tournament Director at the Tallahassee Tennis Challenger (TTC), which is a professional tennis tournament played on green clay courts. This tournament is part of the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Challenger Tour and is held annually at the Forestmeadows Tennis Complex.
She has been doing this since 2004 and for a good cause. Her husband Mark, who passed away in 1998, was a neurosurgeon at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare and bettered many lives. Now, she keeps his legacy alive by helping with the TTC.
All funds raised through the TTC are donated to help patients in need of neurological care in the D. Mark Vogter, MD Neuro Intensive Care Unit at Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. Through this event, there has been over 1.1 million dollars donated to the Vogter Endowment.
The TTC has also raised over $50,000 for the City of Tallahassee Park, Recreation, & Neighborhood Affairs and has helped bring tennis to more than 8,500 children. Karen wants to make sure that everyone can live a healthy life and benefit through the sport.
“It enables me to raise funds for things that I support and believe in,” she said. “It allows me to give back to my community and gives me the opportunity to introduce children to a game that I so very dearly love. Quite honestly, I have no idea what my life would have been without tennis.”
When she isn’t playing tennis, Karen loves to travel the world, spend time with her friends, and check in on her children and grandkids. One of her favorite tennis memories is traveling out the USTA National Campus to cheer on her friend, who was playing and won the 4.5 National Championship.
USTA Florida thanks Karen for her dedication to the sport both on and off the court. It is amazing to see someone make a lasting impact in the community and help change the lives of many.
Interested in volunteering in tennis? Visit www.USTAFlorida.com/Volunteers to learn more about available opportunities.