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Mahoney tourney aids 21st Century Fund

FALLS VILLAGE — The rain waited politely until all the tennis had ended and all the gear had been packed up. Hurricane Irene and the light showers that preceded proved not to be an impediment to the Jack Mahoney Memorial Tennis Tournament held Saturday morning, Aug. 27, at the Housatonic Valley Regional High School courts.Although there are only four courts at the high school, the tournament could be held at no other venue. After all, those were the courts that Mahoney had helped fund and build. They are named after him and after Roland Chinatti, who was athletic director at the high school in the years when Mahoney was its principal.In retirement, Mahoney had continued to be devoted to the high school and to tennis. He expressed his passion for the sport and shared his expertise as an educator by teaching an adult tennis class on the courts every spring, along with Chinatti. The classes were sponsored by Foothills Adult and Continuing Education.The memorial tournament was designed to honor Mahoney’s memory (he died in May at the age of 73). All funds raised at the tournament were donated to the high school’s 21st Century Fund, which helps pay for projects to benefit students. The funds from Saturday’s event (about $480) are earmarked to help put the finishing touches on the high school’s new science and technology center. About 25 players turned out for the tournament, which was really more of a round robin social gathering. Teams for doubles were put together on a first-come, first-served basis. Ed Kirby, a former Region One School District superintendent, and retired Housatonic science teacher David Lindsay helped ensure that players rotated every 20 minutes, so everyone had a chance to play with everyone. The two youngest players were Eli Ettinger and Mark Nagpal, aged 11. Mark’s sister Olivia, who is 13, was one of the star players of the morning.The eldest attendee at the event was Mahoney’s own mother, who watched the tennis from the grassy slope above the courts with her daughter, two granddaughters and a great-granddaughter.Because Mahoney was known for his courtly old-fashioned manners, the tournament was an optional all-wood (rackets) and all-white (clothing) event. The Pinewoods tennis club in Winsted loaned 11 wood rackets in case anyone wanted to play with them. Chinatti came with a pile of his own wood rackets tucked into the back of his car. In the end, everyone ended up playing with more modern equipment. Speaking of which, one player left a green tennis bag full of rackets at the court. To claim them, send an email to cynthiah@lakevillejournal.com.

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