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Celia Rehm, Former USTA Florida Section President and Current Foundation President, Strengthens Effort to Promote the Play Tennis License Plate in Her Local Community in 2019

By USTA Florida Section Foundation staff

If there is an opportunity to promote or further the game of tennis in Florida or her home city, Jacksonville’s Celia Rehm is likely playing an integral part.

A volunteer past president and Hall of Fame recipient of the United States Tennis Association-Florida Section (USTA Florida) and current president of the USTA Florida Section Foundation, Rehm is also the co-founder of the First Coast Tennis Foundation, an official USTA Florida Community Tennis Association (CTA) in Jacksonville, and the Jax Youth Tennis Association.

Her term as president of the USTA Florida Section Foundation ends in November of 2018, wrapping up a three-year run, but she will be far from sitting idle entering the new year.

Rehm will continue to focus on the Jacksonville community while serving on the USTA Florida Section Foundation Board. She has met with Carson Phillips, USTA Florida league coordinator for the Jacksonville area, and together they have devised a plan that will assist in the promotion of the “Play Tennis!” specialty license plates among the 6,000 USTA League players in the Jacksonville area.

The revenue from the sale of the “Play Tennis!” tag is currently the greatest source of revenue for the USTA Florida Section Foundation and is an important strategic goal.

Rehm in her heart has a special bond with the USTA Leagues community in Jacksonville. As a former player, captain, and local league coordinator her involvement in the growth of USTA Leagues in the Jacksonville area reaches back many years. In the early ‘90s she played a major role in re-establishing USTA Leagues in the Jacksonville area while serving as the USTA Florida district director in the region.

Rehm’s long-time involvement allows her to see the big picture as it relates to the USTA Florida Section and local communities. That ability combined with her passion for tennis and her experience has brought success for her in many areas.

With her previous background in Counseling Psychology, Celia looks at youth sports programs, and tennis in particular, as prevention programs. To use an old cliché, “if you keep them on the court, you keep them away from the legal courts.”

“The positive lessons learned playing tennis are huge and stay with the children way beyond the tennis court for their entire life,” she says.

Regarding adult tennis, Celia has a great appreciation for the physical, mental, and social aspects of game.

“As a previous league player, I was in the best shape of my life playing tennis,” she says. “And as a single parent, working full time and going to college, I found it to be highly therapeutic, a great stress reliever.”

Like Rehm’s life-long love of the game, the USTA Florida Section Foundation is built on love and providing for adults and children who might otherwise not have the opportunity to become involved in the sport for a lifetime.

From adaptive programs to schools to after-school programs, and programs for the disadvantaged, thousands of youth and adults across the state would never have touched a racquet without the resources that our foundation provides. A whopping $1,270,230 in grants have been awarded to Florida communities since 2010, and grant award announcements continue on this year.

Reaching our goal of 4,000 “Play Tennis!” plates on the road would allow us to grant almost $100,000 annually to Florida grassroots tennis programs and communities just from the sale of the tag alone. Ninety percent of the revenue from the tag goes back into the community, a state requirement.

“Upon purchasing a tag, one will pay an additional $25 annually beyond the standard fee upon renewal,” Rehm says. “We consider that your annual contribution for the foundation, and you should too.”

Heading into the holiday season and wrapping up 2018, the foundation is looking forward to Northeast Florida benefiting once again benefiting from Rehm’s direct involvement with USTA Leagues.

“I am so excited at the thought of working with the local USTA Leagues again as a representative of the USTA Florida Section Foundation,” she says. “Our projects will be fun, and with all of us working together, I am confident of our success. Stay tuned for further developments!”

To learn more regarding Celia Rehm’s accomplishments and honors, google “USTA Florida Celia Rehm.”