USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger

By: THM Release
By: THM Release

Tallahassee, FL — April 5, 2011-

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s (TMH) Vogter Neuro Intensive Care Unit (VNICU) will benefit from a 12th year of philanthropic support from the USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger, the only professional men’s Challenger series event in North Florida and South Georgia. The Challenger will take place during the week of April 9-16 at the Forestmeadows Tennis Center. All proceeds are placed in the D. Mark Vogter, M.D. Endowment at the Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare Foundation – the fund-raising arm of TMH.

Patients of all ages are treated in the Vogter Unit for neurological trauma, stroke, and for life threatening illnesses such as brain tumors and brain and spinal cord injuries. All nurses maintain annual educational credits in trauma, stroke and brain and spinal cord injury. The Vogter Neuro Intensive Care Unit at TMH is the only Neurological Intensive Care Unit in the Big Bend area.

Alec Harmes, a traumatic brain injury survivor and advocate says, “After a horrific motorcycle accident I was in the VNICU for nearly six weeks. Without the outstanding care I received, I wouldn’t have recovered to the level I am at today. Now I am a happy, independent, 25 year-old pursuing a career in construction management.”

This event provides support to advance the leading care provisions for patients of Tallahassee Memorial’s VNICU. In the past 12 years, the USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger has raised more than $500,000 for the Vogter Unit.

“The Vogter Endowment was created as a memorial to Mark by his friends and colleagues after he died suddenly at 41” said Karen Vogter, widow of Dr. Vogter and Challenger Tournament Director. “When the Challenger started in Tallahassee, it was a natural fit that the tournament proceeds would go to his endowment. After his family, his patients and his friends and colleagues, Mark loved the game of tennis. He would be so honored to know his good works continue to benefit the community through his endowment.”

Other events are scheduled during the week for tennis enthusiasts and the community to enjoy. Tournament week commences with the Sharon Ewing Walker Pro-Am Sunday, April 10, with Pro-Am teams playing against one another in a round robin tournament. The Boys & Girls Club/Boys & Girls Town Tennis Jamboree, QuickStart Tennis for 2nd Graders in Leon County, a Special Olympics Day, free USPTA tennis clinics for anyone interested in tennis, a First Serve Tennis Carnival, Tallahassee Tennis Association Night at the Challenger, and other special events are scheduled throughout the week.

Tournament passes for the Challenger can be purchased ahead of time at the TMH Foundation located at 1331 East Sixth Avenue, beginning March 15. A pass for the entire tournament is $40. Individual tickets can be purchased at the tournament ticket desk throughout the week of the tournament. Ticket prices vary from $5 to $20 per day. Children 10 and under are free for the entire tournament week. Tournament sponsorships that include VIP passes are also available starting at $250.

For more information, contact Janet Borneman at 431-4048 or

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