Grab a wooden racket and some retro attire… It’s time for the Woody Classic Tennis Tournament

Costume contestant Ben Nappi sports his best retro style at last year’s Woody Classic in Burlington.

Costume contestant Ben Nappi sports his best retro style at last year’s Woody Classic in Burlington.

Dealer.com will host the annual Dan Bonfigli Woody Classic Tennis Tournament Aug. 9-11 at the Burlington Tennis Club. For the first time ever, the event will serve as a fundraiser to benefit the King Street Center. Dealer.com’s goal is to raise $40,000 to help the youth center in its mission to serve the needs of Burlington at-risk youth through its academic, social, and recreation programs.

The idea for the Woody Classic, a fun retro-style competitive tournament, originated with Dan Bonfigli who passed away five years ago from colon cancer. His brother Mark, Shelburne resident and Dealer.com founder, made that dream a reality, and the family will “always be grateful to Mark for starting this tennis tournament in his honor,” informed Nelly Bonfigli, mother of Dan and Mark.

The oldest of five Bonfigli boys, Dan showed a love for the game of tennis from a very early age. Parents, Nelly and George, who emigrated from Argentina, played the game casually and introduced their children to tennis until they got so good “they didn’t want to play with us anymore,” Nelly admitted with a laugh.

“Dan was a born leader and coach, and found a passion and talent for teaching children of all ages, not only the game of tennis, but sportsmanship on and off the court,” Nelly continued. She also recalled that many parents thanked her for Dan’s unique ability to teach kids respect for each other and the sport. Many of Dan’s students went on to become state champions, including his own daughter Gabby.

Although this time of year is bittersweet for the Bonfigli family, it is an opportunity for them to come together to remember Dan and celebrate his life. “Dan would love to see all of this. I hope it keeps growing to help continue his work with children,” Nelly said. “I think he can see us [at the event] and is enjoying every minute of it. It gives us the chance to say ‘Here we are!’ and cheers to you for all you did.”

When asked what she hoped people would take away from the event, Nelly said “the only word is love – the love we feel for Dan and the way we remember him, but also the love he had for people, children, the game itself, and the love he left with us.”

The annual Woody Classic Tennis Tournament is a family-oriented event where people of all ages can enjoy tennis, swimming, and refreshments throughout the weekend. New this year will be a silent auction, raffle, on-site beach tennis lessons, and tickets to the Saturday night farm-to-table poolside family barbeque. So come out and bring the family. It’s a great opportunity to play or watch a little tennis, swim, win some prizes, and support at-risk youth in the process.

For more information on the event including sponsorships, participation, and volunteering, please visit www.woodyclassic.com.

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