On Friday, Aug.15, a host of tennis and political dignitaries will gather for the dedication ceremony for Daniel L. Haggerty Jr. Pavilion at the Junior Champions Tennis Center in Cadwalader Park in Trenton, N.J. The Pavilion is the final element completing the largest junior short court facility in the U.S. The design and construction of the Pavilion was completed exclusively with private funding as part of a million dollar public-private redevelopment project undertaken by the non-profit National Junior Tennis & Learning of Trenton (NJTLT). More than 700 guests are expected to attend the celebration, which will feature a special exhibition match between tennis champions Jim Courier and Todd Martin.
The two-story Pavilion's namesake, Daniel L. Haggerty Jr., is the late father of Dave Haggerty, chairman, CEO and president of the United States Tennis Association. According to the USTA president, his father was instrumental in the early growth of tennis at Cadwalader Park when he served as the city’s director of tennis for 17 years until 1971. Dave says that his father is credited with helping to revitalize tennis in Trenton programming in the mid-1950s through the 1960s.
“He organized many tournaments for juniors and adults, and Cadwalader Park was a gathering place for tennis,” said Haggerty.
As a tennis promoter, Daniel Haggerty brought to Trenton now legendary players such as Arthur Ashe, Manuel Orantes, Chuck McKinley, Herb Fitzgibbons, Althea Gibson and Vic Seixas.
Today, NJTLT of Trenton continues the tradition of tennis in the park and the vision of NJTL national co-founder Arthur Ashe. The organization annually serves more than 2,500 under-resourced youth from the Trenton, Ewing and Hamilton, N.J. areas. The Pavilion will be heavily utilized by NJTLT's tennis and learning programs, which benefit youths by providing opportunities and instruction through education, nutrition and tennis.
“The possibilities for the new complete tennis center are endless,” said NJTLT Executive Director Rob Howland. “It's been a long journey and the result is even better than we anticipated. These are exciting times for NJTLT, and we hope the community will come out for the dedication and continue to take part in and support all that we do.”
The event on Aug. 15 will begin with a kid’s picnic for NJTLT participants at 11:30 a.m. EST. The dedication and ceremonial passing of the key to City of Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson will take place at 3:30 p.m., followed by an exhibition with American tennis greats Jim Courier and Todd Martin.
For more information on the Pavilion Dedication, donation information and sponsorship opportunities, visit www.njtloftrenton.org.