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Westchester Team Honors Captain and Friend at National Tennis Center

August 27, 2009 08:32 PM
Westchester Team Honors Captain and Friend at National Tennis Center

The U.S. Open is much more than the flagship event for American tennis enthusiasts: it is a hall of memories as well. For pro players and for fans, it is the site of historic matches and legendary rivalries. The final stop on the Grand Slam circuit, it is home for two weeks to the best in the game, past and present.

A Westchester 2.5 USTA Adult Women’s League team, Great Sets, is adding the memory of a dedicated captain and player, Joyce Remkus, to the National Tennis Center site this month with a memorial paver on the Avenue of Aces. Joyce, 61, passed away on June 30 following a long battle with cancer. Joyce's many friends, including her Great Sets teammates and her season-court cronies, contributed to the paver.

The Avenue of Aces is a pathway of personalized tiles between the East Gate and Arthur Ashe Stadium. All proceeds from the Avenue go to USTA Serves, a USTA program that supports at-risk youngsters by providing tennis, literacy and mentoring programs throughout the country.

Jackie Turner Suchat, a close friend and former teammate of Joyce's, says the memorial tile is an apt tribute as it reflects Remkus' love for tennis and her dedication to children. "Joyce was a tireless advocate for kids, both in her profession as a psychiatric social worker for BOCES, and in many personal ways as well,” Suchat says. Helping youngsters was a cherished activity for Remkus. She was a regular volunteer for her local CTA, Ossining Community Tennis, assisting as an instructional aide and as a tournament referee, and served as a youth group leader and mentor through her church.

Great Sets co-captain Maria Pia Marrella notes the team, which dedicated its recently completed season to Joyce, made a great run and earned a berth in the Westchester 2.5 playoffs. Great Sets teammates say Joyce’s example of quiet courage and her refusal to give up continues to be an inspiration to them on and off the court.