NEW BRITAIN - For Don Lukowski, it is all about â€śweâ€ť and not â€śmeâ€ť.
That is part of the reason the Newington boys tennis head coach believes, has helped the Childrenâ€™s Charity Tennis Classic reach its 39th year.
â€śItâ€™s a great thing,â€ť said Lukowski, who is also the tournamentâ€™s chairman and founder. â€śPeople keep coming back because they believe in the cause. Youâ€™re giving $20 for something good. Weâ€™ve done a lot of good and Iâ€™m not saying Iâ€™ve done it. Weâ€™ve done it.â€ť
A three-day event, the Childrenâ€™s Charity Tennis Classic kicked off Friday morning at Walnut Hill Park and is slated to run through Sunday with the proceeds going to the Hospital for Special Careâ€™s Pediatric Autism Unit. The tournament has raised over $5,200 after its first day with Lukowksi looking to add to the total over the final two days.
â€śI want to thank everybody, the sponsors, the players, my committee,â€ť Lukowksi said. â€śItâ€™s a â€śweâ€ť thing. We all do it together. Everybody is so kind.â€ť
As for the tennis side, the 39th annual classic saw play in the boys 14, 16 and 18 singles and the girls open.
Donovan Rodriguez of Ellington defeated Kyle Vu of Berlin 6-1, 4-6, 11-9 (tiebreaker third set) to take the boys 14 singles. The boys 16 singles saw Sean Davis of Newington defeat fellow teammate David Magsayo 6-3, 6-1 to capture that bracketâ€™s crown.
St. Paulâ€™s Victoria Kilbourne defeated Abigail Weaver of Plantsville 6-1, 6-1 to win the girls open division. And in afternoon action, Joey Conrod of Sandy Hook successfully defended his title for the third consecutive time in the 18 singles, beating Hussein Akbar by a score of 6-0,6-0. Conrodâ€™s father won the division back in 1982 and in â€™83.
The tournament will continue today, highlighted by the parent/child doubles tournament and Lukowski looks forward to continue to help the Pediatric Autism Unit through tennis.
â€śThis is a great way to teach young people to give back to the community and thatâ€™s key,â€ť Lukowski said.
David Glovach can be reached at (860) 801-5085 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @DavidGlovach