Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare’s (TMH) Vogter Neuro Intensive Care Unit (VNICU), Tallahassee, Fla, will benefit from an 11th year of philanthropic support from the USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger, the only professional men’s Challenger series event in North Florida and South Georgia.

The Challenger will take place during the week of April 17 to 24 at the Forestmeadows Tennis Center, and all proceeds are placed in the D. Mark Vogter, M.D. Endowment at the TMH Foundation – the fund-raising arm of TMH.

Patients of all ages are treated in the Vogter Unit for neurological trauma, stroke, and for life-threatening illnesses such as brain tumors and brain and spinal cord injuries. This facility is the only neurological intensive care unit in the Big Bend area.

In the past 11 years, the USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger has raised more than $500,000 for the Vogter Unit.

“The Vogter Endowment was created as a memorial to D. Mark Vogter, MD, a neurosurgeon at the Tallahassee Neurological Clinic, following his untimely death in 1998,” said Maria Yealdhall, tournament chair and member of the TMH Foundation board of trustees. “He loved being on the tennis court and also loved being a neurosurgeon.”

Other events are scheduled during the week for tennis enthusiasts and the community. Tournament week commences with the Sharon Ewing Walker Pro-Am Sunday, April 18, with Pro-Am teams playing against one another in a round robin tournament. The Boys & Girls Club/Boys & Girls Town Tennis Jamboree, QuickStart Tennis for 2nd Graders in Leon County, a Special Olympics Day, a USPTA doubles clinic for all the Ball Kids, Babes and Dudes, a wheelchair tennis exhibition, First Serve Tennis Carnival, Tallahassee Tennis Association Night at the Challenger, and other special events are scheduled throughout the week.

Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare is a private, not-for-profit community health care system that includes a 770-bed acute care hospital, a psychiatric hospital, a Rehabilitation Center, a Family Medicine Residency Program, and five satellite Family Medicine Practices in surrounding counties of the Big Bend Region. TMH is the seventh-largest hospital in Florida.

The USTA Tallahassee Tennis Challenger features male players ranked in the 100 to 200s in the world. The players compete for $50,000 in prize money and for valuable points that increase their world ranking. These points enable them to gain automatic acceptance into other major tennis events such as the Australian Open, the French Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open.

For more information, contact Maria Yealdhall at (850) 933-6580, Karen Vogter at (850) 545-8740, or visit www.tallahasseechallenger.com.

[Source: Tallahassee Memorial]