Make a difference

Published 8:56 pm Thursday, July 5, 2012

On this day in 1957, an unprecedented event occurred on the courts of the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. In the final game of the tournament, Darlene Hard was defeated by fellow American Althea Gibson. Gibson was the first African-American to win Wimbledon, long before Arthur Ashe would win the men’s singles championship in 1975.
At a time when tennis was largely segregated, Gibson became a trailblazer, winning the singles title at the French Open in 1956, Wimbledon in July 1957 and the U.S. Open in September the same year. The next year, she repeated her Wimbledon and U.S. Open wins and The Associated Press named her the Female Athlete of the Year in 1957 and 1958.
This summer, as replacement for its normal operating hours, the Beaufort County Boys & Girls Club’s Washington unit is offering day camps — swimming, golf, basketball, drama and tennis — to the children of the community. Though the camps began in late June, it’s never too late to sign up. Swimming and tennis camps are held at the Washington Racquet Club on Tuesdays and Thursdays until July 31. The cost is $35 a person, and transportation is provided from the Boys & Girls Club to the racquet club.
Considering the impact the Boys & Girls Clubs have had on many who’ve gone on to great success in their chosen fields — who knows? Perhaps the next Althea Gibson, or Venus Williams or Serena Williams may just have a hometown of Washington, North Carolina.
It’s a good time to support the Beaufort County Boys & Girls Club. It can make a difference.