Dorchester Habitat for Humanity recently hosted its 4th annual Tennis Classic at Doty Park. This was a very special event for Habitat, which is celebrating 25 years of building homes and hope in Dorchester County.

“It was a perfect weekend for Tennis”, said Caroline Miler, Dorchester Habitat Development Director. “Each year this tournament continues to grow, and we are so grateful for all the players who support this event. The weather was beautiful and the matches were great throughout the whole tournament. Congratulations to all the division winners!”

With help from the Town of Summerville’s Tennis Pro Nancy Sumersett and Volvo Car Stadium Official April Gift, the event has grown to be a U.S. Tennis Association sanctioned tournament, according to Dorchester Habitat officials.

This year Dorchester Habitat was blessed to partner with an organization called SERVE, which offers players a platform to give back to their communities through service projects and donations. The initiative was started by 13-year-old Ducky Steward, who received the Arthur Ashe Courage Award in 2017, the highest Humanitarian Award annually given to honor a person for personal perseverance, strength in adversity, and willingness to stand up for personal beliefs.

“I simply want to share my story so others will see that no matter what your age or economic background, you can make a difference,” Steward said.

The teen was also entered and selected as the winner in the National Junior Tennis and Learning network’s (NJTL) Essay Contest for her community impact.

“It was an honor to meet Ducky and partner together for our tournament,” Miler said. “She has a big future ahead of her, and I can’t wait to see where this philanthropic journey takes her.”

Tournament participants were asked to also bring with them certain donations — nails, hammers and small hand-held tools — for the Dorchester Habitat build site, and home goods for the ReStore.

“It was really cool seeing all the players not only participate by competing, but also by bringing something to donate” said Miler. “Some of them even went home between their matches to grab more items and tools to donate. This is what a caring community is all about, and I am so thankful to be a part of it”.

Dorchester Habitat praised all the players, volunteers and donors who made the event a success through “serving others with racquets of hope!”

2018 tournament winners: Combo. Women’s 7.5 Doubles: Stephanie Jacky & Tammy Johns

Combo. Women’s 6.5 Doubles: Judy Hartzog & Susan Mock

Combo. Men’s 6.5 Doubles: Brian Derstine & Shaun Roberson

Combo. Mixed 8.0 Doubles: Reanna Johnson & Shaun Roberson

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