Troon Country Club’s Director of Racquet Sports Mark Pachtner has been selected to receive the United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) Lessons for LifeTM Award at the upcoming Southwest USPTA Conference Awards Luncheon on Friday, May 17 at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix.
The USPTA Lessons for Life Award annually recognizes USPTA members who have done the most to raise money for charities through tennis events. While the award spotlights individuals who have raised large amounts of money, it also honors those hosting the most creative, original or unique tennis event to raise money for charities. Pachtner was nominated by his peers and the Southwest USPTA Board of Directors selected the winner. As a Southwest USPTA award winner, Pachtner will now be a finalist for the USPTA National Lessons for Life Award, to be presented at the 2019 USPTA World Conference in September in Las Vegas, Nev.
Since 2011, Pachtner has coordinated and hosted Tennis Fun Days in January with Special Olympics Arizona at Troon Country Club. Since the event’s inception, more than $150,000 has been raised for Special Olympics Arizona with 920 athletes and 2,300 volunteers participating. During the free Tennis Fun Day of clinics and exhibitions, volunteers from all over Phoenix cover the basics of the sport of tennis and teach certain tennis skills to the Special Olympians. Each athlete receives a commemorative Fun Day T-shirt, free Wilson tennis racquet and a gold medal for participation during a post-event awards luncheon. Prior to his tenure at Troon Country Club, Pachtner developed similar Tennis Fun Day events with the local chapters of the Special Olympics in Georgia, Florida and California.
“I am truly honored to receive the Lessons for Life Award from the Southwest USPGA,” said Pachtner. “Over the last nine years, the Valley of the Sun and the members of Troon Country Club have embraced Tennis Fun Day, bringing joy to Special Olympians, our volunteers and myself. We look forward to continuing this wonderful event for many years to come.”
Pachtner has been a USPTA member for 20 years and is certified as an Elite Professional (highest category).