The King of the dinosaurs made a surprise appearance at Wilmington’s annual Tennis in the Streets on May 12th. And if that wasn’t enough to get the kids super excited, the T-Rex character had an even bigger surprise for his best friend Meg Kempski: a marriage proposal!
Kempski is the USTA Middle States Delaware District Executive Administrator, and Tennis in the Streets is one of her favorite tennis events. So boyfriend Frank Bailor decided the free community tennis program, with hundreds of young children, might be a perfect place to have some fun with his proposal. Kempski didn’t realize at first that the man in the Tyrannosaurus Rex costume hitting tennis balls with kids was her boyfriend. But when Bailor unzipped his costume and knelt before Kempski, it was clear this was a life changing event for her.
And she said yes. “I was completely shocked!” exclaimed Kempski.
Tennis in the Streets has for many years has been spearheaded by former Greenville Country Club pro Jackie Roe. She rounded up 100 volunteers and structured hours of free tennis fun for 850 children on Rodney Square, with 13 tennis stations, dozens of tennis racquets, hundreds of tennis balls, and a new mini sport court.
All of the tennis stations were staffed by tennis pros who took the day off. Other tennis volunteers picked up stray tennis balls, helped navigate the flow of the many student groups, or took names of kids who were identified as having tennis talent. Those children will be offered scholarships to the Rodney Street Tennis & Tutoring Association 8-week summer camp.
Roe was grateful to the many volunteers, sponsors and of course Mother Nature, who provided lots of sunshine this year. “It was an amazing day” said Roe.
USTA Delaware District Tennis Representative Kelly Rasero also was thrilled with the many special aspects of the day. “I truly appreciate the Delaware tennis community for being such great ambassadors for the sport!”