On May 3, the McLeod for Health Florence Open Tennis Tournament presented its 2015 net proceeds – a total of $6,000 – to Susan G. Komen Lowcountry to help fight breast cancer in the region McLeod serves.
Richard Walker, Tournament Fundraising Chair, welcomed guests on behalf of the Tournament Committee, and McLeod Breast Surgeon Dr. Amy Murrell thanked everyone involved in the tournament for their exceptional efforts. City of Florence Director of Tennis and McLeod Open Tournament Director Rob Hill expressed his appreciation to McLeod Health and the many other area businesses that supported the event and the more than 200 local volunteers who made it a success.
Komen Lowcounty Executive Director Taffy Tamblyn and Lucy Spears, the non-profit’s Mission Programs Manager, accepted the gift. In her remarks, Tamblyn noted that over the years Komen Lowcountry has provided significant funding to Pee Dee area programs, including grants totaling more than $350,000 dollars to the McLeod Foundation to support breast cancer programs and patients at McLeod Regional Medical Center. Among other things, these grants have been used for mammograms, follow-up diagnostic procedures, patient navigation services, and survivor support services, including transportation and child care.
Hill announced that McLeod Health will remain the title sponsor for the 2016 McLeod Open, which will be held at the Dr. Eddie Floyd Florence Tennis Center October 16-23, and that Komen Lowcountry will once again receive the net proceeds. The week-long USTA Pro Circuit women’s event, now going into its fifth year, draws some of the best young professional players from around the world to compete for $25,000 in prize money and higher rankings.
On behalf of McLeod Health, Dr. Murrell added that the partnership between McLeod, the Florence Open, and Komen is a perfect arrangement. “McLeod Health is deeply committed to the early identification and treatment of cancer in all its forms, and Komen Lowcountry provides very generous grant funding to help us with breast cancer awareness. Our support for this event also helps us stress the important health benefits that come from regular physical activity. We see this as another opportunity to contribute directly to the health of the people we serve.”
With more than 90 tournaments held annually throughout the country, the United States Tennis Association Pro Circuit is the pathway to the U.S. Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, it draws more than 1,000 men and women each year from more than 70 countries to compete in cities nationwide. Virtually all of the best known pros began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit, and so did some of the sport’s top new players like Americans Sloane Stephens and Christina McHale. Florence, one of the smallest cities on the circuit, was selected to host an event because of its world-class courts, its strong volunteer base, and the generosity of its sponsors. This nine day tournament puts Florence on the world tennis map and generates significant tourism revenues for our community.
Caption – McLeod Health and the City of Florence presented a check for $6,000 to Komen Lowcountry on May 3. Pictured from left to right, Darlene Buchanan, Rob Hill, Lucy Spears, Taffy Tamblyn, Dr. Amy Murrell and Richard Walker.