USTA HOLDS BLOCK PARTY this weekend
The United States Tennis Association hosts a "Tennis Block Party" this weekend with a youth festival on Saturday and various events on Sunday at Tampa Tennis at Hillsborough Community College's Grand Opening.
The festival runs from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday and is open to youths ages 5 to 18 of all ability levels. It will feature free activities, games, skill challenges and team events along with pizza, refreshments and music.
The grand opening on Sunday will run from 1 to 4 p.m. and will include a carnival tennis atmosphere for players of all ages, food, prizes, competitions, free lessons and professional exhibitions.
The renovated HCC Tennis Complex at the Dale Mabry Campus is part of a partnership between the college, USTA and NetResults, a management company.
For more information, visit tampatennis.net.
Drag racer PLEASED WITH GATORNATIONALS DEBUT
Kelsey Lay turned 18 years old on March 10 and celebrated the event by becoming the youngest person to ever qualify at a national Super Comp event when she participated at the Gatornationals in Gainesville.
Lay, a senior at Bloomingdale High School, ran in the time trials March 11 and was beaten in the first elimination heat the next day, losing by a mere 1/1000th of a second.
"Not even the blink of an eye," Kelsey's father, Fred Lay, said.
Lay did, however, get a chance to meet one of her idols, seven-time top fuel dragster national champion Tony Schumacher. The two met at a benefit promotion for the Army, one of Schumacher's main sponsors. The pair instantly hit it off and Lay spent the weekend soaking up tips from arguably the top drag racer in the country.
"He completely took her under his wing," Fred Lay said. "She was just in awe of the whole thing and so appreciative of the opportunity."
Relay for life to benefit from football team's fun
The Brandon High football team will hold a Relay For Life fundraiser Sunday at Clubhouse Sports, 1265 Kingsway Road.
The restaurant will donate 10 percent of its proceeds to the football team for its Relay For Life efforts, which benefit the American Cancer Society.
The event also will feature a dunk tank, corn hole and a basketball hoop.
Brandon cowboys seek scholarship donors
In response to the community's growing economic needs, the Brandon Cowboys are asking Cowboys alumni and area businesses to sponsor children to play football or cheer at the program for $250.
The youth sports organization also is accepting donations for its general scholarship fund. It annually has more than 40 applicants who want their children to play but can't afford the fee.
The donation is tax deductible and donors will receive tickets to all home games.
For more information, visit brandoncowboys.org.
Compiled by staff writer Ernest Hooper and correspondent Brandon Wright.