Woodstock neighbors warmly welcomed Geri and Jim Rovello to our January 8th meeting to talk about the impressive tennis court renovation project they are spearheading at Berkeley Park, funded by the memorial fund named for their son. Click here to download a one-page PDF information sheet about the Alex Rovello Fund and how you can contribute to this great neighborhood project.
The tennis courts at Berkeley Park, located at SE Cesar E Chavez Blvd. and Bybee Blvd., are badly in need of an upgrade (see photos below at left). This project has been adopted by Geri and Jim Rovello as a fitting memorial to their son, a Cleveland High School graduate who was a four-time state tennis singles champion and a member of the University of Oregon tennis team at the time of his tragic death last spring. Alex began playing the game on the Berkeley courts at the age of 2, as the family lived just a couple blocks from the park.
The Rovello family has made great strides toward raising the funds needed for the creation of a fantastic community resource, with the full cooperation and support of Portland Parks and Recreation. Their stated mission:
"Providing a safe and professional environment for children and adults, from all walks of life, to learn and play tennis."
Beyond resurfacing the two existing courts, the current plan includes replacing the benches, poles and nets, upgrading the lighting, replacing the fencing and trimming the trees around the court. There will be a mural at one end, as well as a backboard on one side to facilitate solo play. When finished, the courts will be the only ones in the city that are fully handicapped accessible, and will have a unique flexibility, with special striping and specially sized nets, to be set up for children to play on smaller courts, using larger balls and smaller rackets.
There are several ways to help the Rovellos achieve their goal. Memorial donations are being accepted via mail, direct transfer, or online; find more information at alexrovellomemorial.org. Look for "Alex Rovello Memorial" on Facebook, like the page and share it with your friends. If you have ideas for grants or want to host a special fundraising event, the Rovellos would love to hear from you! They can be reached at AlexRovelloMemorial@gmail.com.