Rotary tackles pro tennis fundraiser

Rotary Club of Farragut members got the scoop on how they can attend an international tennis tournament in their own backyard while benefiting Helen Ross McNabb Center.

Farragut Rotarian Adam Brock talked about Knoxville Challenger, a $75,000 U.S. Tennessee Association Men’s Pro Circuit Tennis Tournament, which has become the largest special fundraising event for Helen Ross McNabb Center, a non-profit provider of behavioral health services, serving children and adults and families experiencing mental illness, addiction and social challenges. The center is celebrating its 65th year of providing services to communities in East Tennessee.

“It serves over 25,000 children, families and adults and operates in 21 East Tennessee counties,” Brock, Challenger co-chairman, said.

The tournament will take place from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday, Nov. 7, through Friday, Nov. 10; from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 11, and from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 12, at University of Tennessee’s Goodfriend Indoor Tennis Center, 1017 20th St., Knoxville.

“This event is all about raising money for Helen Ross McNabb Center,” he said, noting RCF is a net sponsor for the tournament and adding it’s the only such event run by a charity.

The Challenger will be the only men’s pro tennis event sanctioned by Association of Tennis Professionals in Tennessee this year, Brock said. “[The ATP] is a world body, and players who play in these level events earn ATP points, which build your world ranking. This is the pathway if you want to become a professional [tennis player].”

Brock said there is $75,000 in prize money.

“[For attendees], it’s a chance to see rising stars,” he added.

Ticket cost is $10 for each day, but admission to the qualifying tournament Sunday and Monday, Nov. 5 and 6, is free.

Brock, financial advisor at Patriot Investment Management, has served as co-chairman of Knoxville Challenger for nine years and has been a volunteer tournament director for the last three years.

“Adam was a scholarship athlete on the University of Virginia tennis team. And after graduating, he played on the European Pro Satellite Circuit then worked as a teaching tennis pro for seven years,” Farragut Rotarian Keith Bryson said.