What: Thanking our Troops through Tennis (T3) free event for veterans and their families, an initiative sponsored by the Blue Sky Foundation founded by former American tennis star Dick Stockton and his wife, Liz. Their son, Spencer Stockton, is a JU freshman, Sport Business major and member of the baseball team.
When: 3-4:30 p.m. March 27 (tennis clinic for Wounded Warriors) and 11:30 a.m.-12:45 p.m. (Youth Clinic ages 4-10), 1-2:15 p.m. (Junior Clinic ages 11-17), and 2:30-3:45 p.m. (Adult Clinic ages 18+) March 28. Lunch provided by Greater Jacksonville Area USO.
Where: Jacksonville University Keith Watson Family TennisCentercourts, 2800 University Blvd. N.
Who: Blue Sky is headed by Dick Stockton, who won eight singles and 16 doubles titles in his career, including mixed doubles titles at both the U.S. and French Opens. He is a Davis Cup winner and during his career had victories over Arthur Ashe, Bjorn Borg, Jimmy Connors, Rod Laver, John McEnroe, John Newcombe and Ken Rosewall, among others.
Event details: Blue Sky has provided successful free tennis clinics at military installations across the United States and is now bringing the event to a university campus for the first time. Dick and other tennis legends provide these clinics to give back to the military. This year, JoAnne Russell and MaliVai Washingtonhave already committed to the event at JU. Invitees include veterans aided by the Wounded Warrior Project; K9s for Warriors; active-duty military members; military families; student veterans; personnel from Naval Station Mayport, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, SubmarineStationKingsBay, National Guard and Reserve; JU military partners; and tennis pros.
“In the fall of 2012, I heard a promotion for a touch football game in Arizona that was raising funds for Wounded Warriors,” said Dick Stockton. “My immediate reaction was, ‘Why are we not doing something like this with tennis?’ I brought the matter up with my wife, and together, we came up with the idea of traveling to military bases and offering a fun, stress-free afternoon of free tennis clinics to active personnel, spouses, children, Veterans and Wounded Warriors. Since July 2013 we have held seven events at five different military installations. The response has been incredible; we are averaging about 125 participants per event, and they have ranged in age from three to 87. We have eight events scheduled for this year.”
See www.theblueskyfoundation.com for more about the nonprofit, and get information and register for the JU T3 event at www.T3Jacksonville2015.eventbrite.com.