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In case you missed the celebration, here is the script, written by Jim DeGrasse and delivered by our friend and lifetime member, Tyler Van Horn

From the Fire to the Finish Line

A celebration of, and for, the New Yakima Tennis Club Outdoor Clubhouse

Review and Recognition by Tyler VanHorn:

  • On May 12, 2014 our members and our community lost a valued asset – the Outdoor clubhouse. This building was built in the 1960’s and was home to so many memories. We are here tonight to recognize those that helped rebuild the clubhouse and to celebrate its completion.

  • So here is the stage – On Mother’s day in 2014 most of Yakima awoke to a smoke filled sky – the Yakima Tennis club was engulfed in flames by the time the Yakima Fire Department arrived on the scene. Even with the valiant efforts of the Fire Department the club was gone – nothing left but hot ashes and smoldering ruins.

  • Within days of the clubhouse loss the YTC board went to work on the long, arduous process of determining how to rebuild. The decisions made by the board in the first few months after the fire resulted in this club being rebuilt in just over one year.

  • There is really no words to describe what this group of volunteer board members did. At this time could we have come forward to be recognized for their time and energy. Let’s give this group a round of applause.

Here were some of their challenges:

  • Board President needing to step aside and Corinne taking over

  • Meetings of some sort almost every evening.

  • Having to address a situation with the existing GM and Head Pro

  • Determining what insurance will cover and how to cover the shortfall

  • Approving a design and contractor to rebuild

  • Last summer meant a challenge for every aspect of normal activity at the Club. And we need to recognize the entire staff at YTC () and our tennis Pro’s . We also have benefited from additional tennis instruction from ). Special recognition for the person that really helped hold this club together over the challenging months –Please step up and be recognized for your dedication to this Club and its members. Let’s give a huge round of applause!

  • Last summer’s Calcutta required more an almost insurmountable route to being held. If anyone questioned the Tennis Clubs ability to deal with adversity the fact that Calcutta was even held is a testament to everyone involved. I think the last paver was laid in front of the portables a few minutes before dinner.

  • The other part of last summer’s challenge was our ability to deal with the maintenance. While there are many people that helped water the lawn, get the sprinklers up and running, along with a myriad of other issues… the two that stand out as extraordinary in the efforts are – please let them know we appreciate their efforts. And this is a great time to recognize the amazing – Please come forward Jim and be recognized for all that you’ve done to help get this club back to its glory.

  • Then let’s roll right into the biggest day for YTC in 2014 – October 15th - Ground Breaking for the new clubhouse. This day could not be possible without a few people going above and beyond ordinary expectations:

  • Jenna Weber and Joel Pearson with Wells Fargo Insurance

  • Steve Larkin and James Costello with NPIP (underwriter)

  • Megan Beyer, Rod Knipper, Dennis Dean, Kimberly Kelly and Dawson Lapsley with KDF Architecture

  • Matt Leslie with Leslie Engineering

  • David Thorner, and Kimberly Hiebert – Legal

  • YTC members Teri Zavalney, Tony Menke, Becki LeVon, Scott Jacky, Bob Guchee, Bryce Cooper, and Corinne Choy

  • And of course the fabulous crew at Concord Construction: Steven Young, Karl Liebernecht, and the incredible Alby Morehouse!!!

Let’s have everyone involved in the building design, engineering, funding, and construction please come up for special recognition (applause)

  • So then the building was started and moving at an amazing pace – and of course Mother Nature cooperated with us this winter – it only snowed once!

  • We rang in 2015 with a few new board members () – and one of those board members really stepped up by donating his time and talent to serve as interim GM – Thank you Monte for your months of service to this club!!

  • As the finish line was clearly insight we had the good fortune of being able to bring somebody with skills not equaled by any GM in YTC history – The talented, the Exquisite, Our GM and Head Tennis Pro –! Thank you for leadership with the tennis department last year and agreeing to be a bigger part of this club.

  • So here we are – almost done. And as close as we are there are still some unfinished (and unfunded) needs for the tennis club. We have a fundraising committee led by Board member Becki LeVon. She has a few words to share with everyone here tonight:

YTC friends,

First, we like to thank everyone that has donated to the landscaping funds either through monetary donations or sweat and labor via volunteer hours. We could not have done this without the support of those of you that gave. The good news is if you still want to help we can use it! We are hoping to raise enough funds to finish the other two sides of the pool fencing and have that match the beautiful wrought iron work that is between the club and the pool. We would like additional trees and a few benches for the playground area. There are a myriad of other projects around cabana and grounds that we would like to complete so that each area of our club is as beautiful as the clubhouse you are standing in right now.

We have come an amazing distance in a very short time and are hoping you can help put the finishing touches on our beautiful facility. Very soon the clubhouse fire will be one of those “remember when” moments. As part of that we will be able to say “remember when this family of tennis players came together and worked to build this beautiful tennis facility” that is the pride of Yakima and the Pacific Northwest.

Thank you for all you’ve done and please contact Becki LeVon if you have any questions on how you can help.

  • So here we are – standing in this glorious new clubhouse with so many exciting changes that come with it. And one of the most exciting changes is our new Court Café. At this time I would like to introduce the club to Drew Alexander. He comes to us from Gasperetti’s with over 7 years of experience. He (and his staff) along with assistance from Dana Swanson are ready to make the Court Café place to eat. Look for some great things this summer!

  • The last big thank you has to go out to all of the YTC members and the YTC board members (along with their families/spouses) that endured these last 12 months of endless meetings, phone calls, and emails. We know they did this for the love of the sport, the community, and the Yakima Tennis Club. Thank you, thank you, thank you! Please give yourself a hand for making this happen.

  • Special Extraordinary recognition should be given to these people that did so much, wore so many hats, and jumped in (and reached out) to help with anything.Not only could we count on them to fulfill their volunteered duties, but when something unexpected came up, they raised their hands to help. Please help us recognize the herculean efforts of(invite each one up to the front of the room).

So please turn your attention the Television screen on the wall and watch the last 381 days unfold. The pictures you will see many of you may have never seen before. Please thank for providing the pictures for this presentation.


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