Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown today attended the closing ceremony of the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Inc. ‘Love to Serve’ summer tennis camp season. Mayor Brown was joined by the family of the late Natalie Lewis, who participated in Mayor Brown’s Summer Youth Internship and Employment program as a PAL tennis coach. In 2017, he renamed the camp in Natalie’s memory.
“Congratulations to all those who participated in this year’s ‘Love to Serve’ tennis camp,” said Mayor Brown. “Camp might have looked a lot different this year, but thanks to the City - in partnership with PAL, The United States Tennis Association, and BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York – we found a creative way to make sure that those who wanted to play tennis in Buffalo did play tennis this summer. Our campers challenged themselves as athletes, gained confidence, and spent time being active outside. Natalie Lewis would have been proud.”
PAL ‘Love to Serve’ Tennis Camp, located at the McMillan Tennis Courts at Delaware Park, is a six-week summer program that wraps up at the end of this week. Buffalo PAL and USTA certified Coaches taught children, ages seven to seventeen, how to learn the basics of tennis and develop an appreciation for this sport. At today’s event, BlueCross BlueShield of WNY, a major sponsor of PAL ‘Love to Serve’ Tennis Camp, presented each camper with a special gift bag, as they celebrated the completion of the program.
“BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York has a long-standing relationship with the Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Inc. We also have a special relationship to this program because Natalie Lewis was both a BlueCross BlueShield intern during her college years, and a PAL Tennis Camp Counselor,” said Julie R. Snyder, Senior Vice President, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer. “So today, we honor both the important work of PAL, as well as the circle of love that surrounds the Lewis family and supports Natalie’s memory here in Buffalo.”
Today’s celebration and ceremony not only acknowledged the hard work of the youth that participated in this summer’s tennis program, but it was also a chance to honor the memory of the late Natalie Lewis. During her lifetime, Natalie gave back to her community in many ways. She served as a City summer youth intern and participated in PAL’s summer tennis camp as a coach.
“The Love to Serve’ Tennis programs through Buffalo PAL provides an ideal introduction to youth tennis, and allows those just starting out to enjoy the game in a safe, engaging and fun environment, with trained instructors who love the game! We were excited to once again work with City youth this summer who completed the 6-week tennis program,” said Nekia Kemp, Executive Director of Buffalo PAL.
Buffalo PAL has held a number of safe outdoor athletic and educational programs this summer. Buffalo PAL Bike Helmet giveaways for City of Buffalo youth and Backpack Giveaways for students who are enrolled in educational summer camp programs are also taking place this summer.