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Natchez Cancer Tennis Tourney this weekend

NATCHEZ — For the 31st consecutive year, the Natchez tennis community will welcome in tennis enthusiasts from around the Southeast and serve and volley for a good cause.

The 31st annual Natchez Community Cancer Tennis Tournament will take place Friday through Sunday at Duncan Park, Trinity Episcopal School and Beau Pré Country Club.

Tournament director Noreen Pyron said approximately half the money raised from the tournament will be donated to the local branch of the American Cancer Society to help local children attend Camp Sunshine, a camp in Atlanta for children stricken with cancer.

The rest of the money will be put back into the Duncan Park tennis programs and facilities.

Pyron said the tournament always brings in many people from around the Southeast.

“We have players that come from Tennessee, Arkansas, Louisiana and Alabama,” Pyron said. “We’re hoping for another good turnout this year.”

Pyron said the quality of the tournament as well as the area keep people coming back each year.

“The complements we get is that everyone loves to come to Natchez,” Pyron said. “There is a lot to do and see, and everyone is so nice. They also enjoy the facilities and the tournament is run well with a good committee.

“It takes a lot of volunteers to make this event run smoothly. We’ve got players who have been coming for 20 years and keep coming back.”

Pyron said about 140 players participated in the tournament last year, which took place two weeks later in the year, but doesn’t expect as many this year based on the entries she has received so far.

“For some reason, I think it may be a little lower this season,” Pyron said. “May is a real busy month for a lot of people. I don’t think we’re getting as many numbers because of graduations, weddings and people still in school.”

Pyron said last year’s tournament raised approximately $6,000, of which $2,500 was donated to the American Cancer Society.

The deadline for entries is 6 p.m. Wednesday. The entry fee is $35 per person and $10 for the guest of an entrant.

The tournament has a men’s, women’s and mixed division.

In addition to the tennis, there will also be social gatherings Friday and Saturday night.

The fee for those who don’t wish to play tennis but want to attend the social gatherings is $25 per person.

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