ALEXANDRIA BAY — Tennis players in Alexandria Bay can enjoy courts with no cracks, new nets and benches after local volunteer groups raised funds to renovate them.

The Foundation for Community Betterment’s Alexandria Bay chapter and the Public and Youth Improvement Team, or PAYIT, garnered about $40,000 in donations to finance the $34,999 for improvements to the village’s courts, said Jaime Drinkwater Stockton, a member of the local chapter. The village Board of Trustees and Alexandria Town Council also provided financial support for the renovations.

Decades of use tore cracks into the courts that were left unfixed that posed safety risks to players, including athletes from the Alexandria Central School District, said Trevor Garlock, co-chair of the local community betterment chapter. Mrs. Drinkwater Stockton, an avid tennis player, said the deficiencies of the courts prompting racquet sport enthusiasts to launch a campaign to improve them. The yearlong effort culminated in workers renovating the courts in the spring, as well as drawing lines on one of the courts to create two pickle ball courts, Mr. Garlock said.

“Oh my God, I was so excited the first time I got to play on the courts,” Mrs. Drinkwater Stockton said. “I think it’s going to benefit so many members of our community.”

The local community betterment chapter will host grand opening with a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new courts on July 26.

The festivities will begin at 9 a.m. before the fifth annual John N. Russell Memorial Doubles Tennis Tournament, and include a cocktail party, or party for betterment, at 5:30 p.m.

“The tennis community is extremely excited to see these major improvements. We had overwhelming support from the community and the islanders,” Mr. Garlock said.

Mr. Garlock said the local chapter also allocated money for annual maintenance. Mayor Steven E. Jarvis said local volunteers want to further enhance the courts by raising funds for a new fence and windscreens

“I’m speechless. It’s a fabulous job,” Mr. Jarvis said about the enhancements.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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