A perfect match: Senior volunteers and throngs of rambunctious children

As passionate members of the Senior Tennis Players Club, we have the secret to leading a happy, physically active and infinitely rewarding life — volunteer at the InnerCity Tennis Super Saturday program.  

Almost every Saturday from 3 to 6 p.m., InnerCity Tennis, located at the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Park, opens its doors to hundreds of diverse children and families, at no cost.  A lean staff of five is buoyed by at least five dozen volunteers — most of whom hail from Senior Tennis.  Together, we facilitate physical activity, healthy nutrition, positive coaching and just pure fun for children as their parents catch a few breaths in their hectic lives.  

Many of us have volunteered for years — some close to two decades.  Our elder statesman is Ray Ranallo, 92 years old and a Senior Games champion.  

Why do we do it?  We love tennis as a lifelong sport that keeps us aging healthily. We love the interaction with children and being part of the reason they are all smiles and joyful noise.  We love seeing each other every week and benefiting from court time together as a volunteer perk.  We love InnerCity Tennis, which just won two prestigious awards, the USTA Northern Member Organization of the Year Award and the Tennis Industry Association Community Tennis Association of the Year Award.  We are part of a vibrant tennis community that puts the health and wellness of children at the center of our efforts — join us!

Ardelle Hansen, Mary Ann McGuire, Schadels, Swansons & Bob Hokanson