Men's Tennis Repeats as ITA Regional Award Winner
May 22, 2018
CHICAGO – When it comes to community service and outreach, nobody in the Midwest does it any better than the DePaul men’s tennis team.
For the second year in a row, coach Matt Brothers and his Blue Demons have won the Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) DI Men’s Community Service & Outreach Award for the Midwest Region.
Six other men’s tennis teams won the regional award including Alabama, Arizona State, Utah, University of Pacific, Middle Tennessee State and Dusquene.
The ITA seeks to reward a team that gives back to its campus or community through tennis and non-tennis pathways.
Team members Christopher Casati, Alex Galoustian, Conor O’Meara, Boris Spanjaard, Fran Tonejc, Tripp Tuff, Luuk Wassenaar and Tamas Zador worked at the Breakthrough Ministries Men’s Shelter cooking, serving and sharing in a dinner with the men at the shelter.
They spent an entire afternoon on Vincentian Service Day moving, repairing, assembling and packaging used bicycles for the Working Bikes organization in the Pilsen neighborhood. Those bikes will be shipped to Africa and distributed to those in need.
The Blue Demons spent two days helping to build a home in a marginalized neighborhood as part of the Habitat for Humanity program. They joined other DePaul student-athletes in making blankets for children at the St. Vincent de Paul Center and for a homeless shelter.
The Band of Brothers engaged in a pair of Special Olympics initiatives---conducting a clinic teaching tennis skills to 20 Special Olympians and also participating in a dodgeball fund-raising event for Special Olympics.
In nominating his team, Brothers wrote: “I believe that practicing gratitude through community service can be transformational at both the individual level and within the community. This belief is not only part of the foundation of DePaul University but is also practiced by our team.
“Every year we seek out meaningful volunteer opportunities which will be engaging, fulfilling, build character, build a sense of team and provide perspective and gratitude. The work we did this year helped not only our local communities but those in other countries as well.
“Chicago has a large homeless population, and our team helped to make over 500 blankets which were distributed to Chicago's homeless this winter. They also prepared a meal, served it and most importantly had fellowship with the men of the Breakthrough Ministries Shelter.
“We also participated in DePaul’s annual Vincentian Service Day which is a world-wide event. This year we chose to help a great organization called Working Bikes based here in the Pilsen neighborhood of Chicago. They were in the process of preparing a shipment of bikes to Malawi, Africa that will help to significantly improve the quality of people’s lives by allowing them access to employment, education, nutrition, medical attention and other vital resources.
“Finally, on an individual level, we had several of our players, on their own, volunteer with Chicago Special Olympics and Habitat for Humanity.
“I couldn't be more proud of our team!”
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