Lisa Bowman Triples Tennis Tournament Supports Dog Rescue

Liz Stockton and Aaron Uter of the Wellington Tennis Center.

On the evening of Friday, Jan. 26, 100 tennis players and enthusiasts — nearly all of them dressed in dog-themed outfits — gathered at the Wellington Tennis Center to compete in a unique triples tennis tournament fundraiser.

The tournament is held every year as a fundraiser for dog rescue X-Port Paws and as a way to honor the late Lisa Bowman, who was a tennis enthusiast, friend, teammate, partner, daughter, aunt, niece and dog lover.

According to event coordinator Liz Stockton, the Lisa Bowman Triples Tennis Tournament raised $15,000 for X-Port Paws, which raises money and awareness to save old dogs, sick dogs, pit bulls, pit mixes, black dogs, discarded dogs and dogs with behavioral issues. Rescued dogs are transported to safety, to either boarding facilities while they await a committed rescue or to a foster. Trainers are hired to work with them, as well as veterinarians to help them. While the primary goal of X-Port Paws is to rescue animals with little to no chance of surviving the system, no animal is left behind.

“Our triples tennis tournament brings like-minded people together in a way that she [Bowman] would have loved,” said Stockton, who was a longtime friend. “I got to know her not only as a tennis player, but also as a friend and fellow dog lover. We connected on many levels. She was an inspiration.”

Stockton said that by staging this tournament for the last five years, it helps people to remember Bowman and to support the well-being of neglected dogs.

“I think about her all the time. Every time I walk a dog, I think about how she would have loved him or her,” Stockton said. “And that’s why this triples tennis tournament is so important to me. It’s not just because as a not-for-profit, we depend on donations to survive, but because it keeps Lisa’s spirit alive.”

One of the keys to the success of the event is the support that Stockton receives from the Wellington Tennis Center.

“Thank you to the Village of Wellington and Tennis Director Chuck Gill,” Stockton said. “I don’t know why Chuck still entertains my insanity, but he does, and he challenges me to go bigger and better every year.”

There was a degree of star-power in attendance, as two of the pros were former standout professionals on the ATP tour. They were U.S. tennis greats Harold Solomon and Dick Stockton.

Solomon, known as a clay court specialist, played pro tennis during the 1970s and 1980s. He achieved a career-high world ranking of No. 5 in singles in 1980 and No. 4 in doubles in 1976. Over the course of his career, he won 22 singles titles. He was a finalist in the men’s singles at the 1975 French Open.

Stockton won eight pro singles titles and 10 doubles titles from the early 1970s to the early 1980s. His highest world ranking was No. 8. Stockton played on the U.S. Davis Cup team five times (1973, 1975, 1976, 1977 and 1979). The U.S. won the Davis Cup in 1979.

The main sponsors of the Lisa Bowman Triples Tennis Tournament included the Village of Wellington; Lytal, Reiter, Smith, Ivey & Fronrath; LIFE PT; BG Squared; Green Girl Garden Design; Junko Fuji Homes; Bluefish Sport; Mobile Tack; Lindburgers; U Mortgage; the Katzman Family; Mamma Mia’s Trattoria; Jake’s Pet Food Delivery; Boots on the Court; Delicia’s Cuban Bakery; Pure Wellness; Scotty’s Sport Shop; Sloan’s; and Wellington High School’s X-Port Paws Club.

“I want to thank all the pros who came to the event after spending hours on their courts all week,” Stockton said. “They show up with endless energy and make triples even and awesome.”