| By Gary Simeone

Carefree Racquet Club in Merrick recently hosted a night to remember as players got together to honor the life of George Haber. Mr. Haber, who was the president and owner of Carefree, died last November after battling heart disease at the age of 75. Participants hit for prizes, played competitive doubles, enjoyed great food and entered raffles with all of the proceeds from the event going to the American Heart Association.

"This is our first annual event in the honor of my dad who absolutely loved the game of tennis," said Valerie Rifkin, George’s daughter who assisted in organizing the event. "We wanted to put together a nice event in his memory and what better way than to have people come down and play some tennis."

Seventy people participated in the four-hour event, which consisted of organized doubles and practice drills with Carefree pros Ronny D'Alessandro and Louis Vallejo providing instruction.

After some competitive tennis play, attendees enjoyed a great buffet which included salad dishes, steamed pasta and bottles of wine donated by Guy Anthony's of Merrick and Tennis Escapes International LLC.





Lori Jenis (sister of Valerie Rifkin) Simone Haber (wife of George Haber), Phyllis Bard (mother of Valerie Rifkin) and Valerie Rifkin, daughter of George Haber and organizer of event, pause for a photo at Carefree Racquet Club











Attendees took chances on the many prizes available at the raffle table