King Street Center, a community organization providing social, recreational, and academic programs for low-income youth, is pleased to announce that the Bonfigli family has directed a $4,000 donation to the Center to support the Woody Classic Tennis Tournament and King Street’s Kids on the Ball tennis program. The contribution is thanks to the 2014 New England Youth Tennis Foundation Ned Weld Award, posthumously awarded to Dan Bonfigli at the Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I. this week.
Gabby Bonfigli, Dan’s daughter, received the award in his stead, supported by the immediate members of the Bonfigli family. Gabby says, “I was honored to accept the Ned Weld Award on behalf of my dad and my family. He was very active in the community in terms of spreading the game of tennis and I am glad that we can use this award to benefit King Street Center who continues to grow the game in Vermont.”
Vicky Smith, Executive Director of King Street Center states, “We are so grateful to Gabby, the Bonfiglis, and the Youth Tennis Foundation for sharing this special moment with the kids of King Street. No doubt Dan would have appreciated what Burlington’s youth are learning on the courts this summer with the help of this gift and all the sponsors of the Woody Classic Tournament. Of course important tennis skills are gained, but they also get an important confidence boost from excellent mentorship, fitness, and camaraderie.”
Dan Bonfigli played competitive tennis at CVU and then went on to play college tennis for the UVM men’s tennis team. After he finished his playing career, he dedicated his life to teaching others and sharing the love of the game. He passed away in 2008. This year, Dealer.com and King Street Center will again celebrate his legend with the 5th Annual Dan Bonfigli Woody Classic Tennis Tournament, Aug. 8-10 at Burlington Tennis Club. Jill Badolato, Director of Social Responsibility at Dealer.com, says, “While this wooden-racquet tournament is about excellent tennis as well as great fun amongst the fans, our primary motivation to host this event, alongside generous sponsors, is to support King Street Center programs, serving the most vulnerable youth in our community. I love to see these kids on the courts all year round!”
The late Ned Weld, a New England tennis player and USTA leader, raised and contributed thousands of dollars to fund community tennis organizations throughout New England. With the help of Ned’s estate, the Ned Weld Award was created to be given annually to a person who embodies Ned’s love of tennis and continues his vibrant legacy of helping others enjoy the game. The mission of the Youth Tennis Foundation is to provide opportunities for children of all backgrounds and abilities to learn, play, enjoy and excel at the sport of tennis. The Youth Tennis Foundation has been a long-time supporter of King Street’s Kids on the Ball program.