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January 15, 2010 07:00 PM

In 2008 the Suttons Bay Parks and Recreation Committee developed an in-depth recreational plan to benefit Suttons Bay and surrounding community members. The primary need that was identified from various visionary meetings was the lack of active recreational fields, parks and facilities in Leelanau County.

The Herman Center Community Park Project, was soon after organized, a committee was chosen and it has been set up to specifically target these needs by providing, for multi-ages in the community, a variety of active and interactive, outdoor recreation opportunities. And, of course, one of their first intentions is to build of an 8 court tennis pavilion where, not only community members can play but where high school and adult events can be held as well.

Hearing about this project and wanting to offer his support, NMTA Marketing and Memberships Director Adam Begley, also a Leelanau County resident,contacted The Herman Center Community Park Project Chairperson, Debbie Slocombe and suggested she invite Sue Selke, USTA Tennis Service Representative - Michigan, Margaret Ruemenapp, NMTA Executive Director and Dick Ruemenapp, NMTA Treasurer along with himself to their Ribbon Cutting Ceremony held in the Fall of 2009 in order to discuss possible USTA involvement and support.

Sue Selke, as usual, drove many miles to attend. Dick and Margaret Rumenapp came all the way from Petoskey, Adam Begley drove ten minutes from Good Harbor Bay and the event was a great success. It was also the first of hopefully many celebrations on the site where local property owners finalized a deal with The Herman Center Community Park Project Committee to purchase the property thus completing their "PHASE ONE" of yet another dream to put in some beautiful, state of the art tennis courts where community members, schools as well as NMTA and USTA sanctioned events will start being held upon its completion.

After another milestone later in the year, the NMTA Board of Directors would like to say "Thank You" to the two Ludington High School Coaches, Tom Kudwa and Cliff Perez, for their willingness to travel all the way from Ludington to Suttons Bay through a snow storm on December 6, 2009, to attend one of the Herman Center Community Park Project Committee meetings as guest speakers. With Tom Kudwa as Project Manager, they were both very involved in the planning, funding, design, construction and completion of their own 9 court tennis facility which was completed in mid-2009 and a recipient of a $ 10,000 USTA Grant.

The Herman Center Community Park Project Committee had plenty of questions for Kudwa and Perez and there was a very valuable and insightful answer for every one of them. All in all, to have the privilege to share time with these two pioneers, who basically made the Ludington Tennis Facility become a reality, it was just another example of how the NMTA and USTA and its members continue to work unselfishly toward the promotion and growth of tennis and our tennis communities' and individuals' willingness to share their hard earned experience and knowledge with other communities wishing to become known as tennis towns.

At this time, The Herman Center Community Park Project Committee is working on their Phase 2 for project completion and that is the fund raising, grant writing and commencement of construction of the Tennis Facility and all those wishing to help with suggestions, recommendations and or financial donations can contact the Campaign Chairperson, Debbie Slocombe at slocombelaw2@charter.net, or Adam Begley at nmtaadam@charter.net for further information.

December 6, 2009, 1:00 - 4:00 p.m.
@ the Silvertree Deli and Wine Shop in Suttons Bay, MI

Herman Center Community Park Project #1

Herman Center Community Park Project #2

Herman Center Community Park Project #3

Herman Center Community Park Project #4

Herman Center Community Park Project #5

Herman Center Community Park Project #6

Herman Center Community Park Project #7

Herman Center Community Park Project #8

Herman Center Community Park Project #9

Above Photos taken by Adam Begley.

Photos of the Ludington Tennis Facility completed in 2008:

Ludington Grand Opening pic 2

Ludington Grand Opening pic 4