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Mary Free Bed Hosts 2013 Midwest Wheelchair Tennis Championship


Eric Miller
Mary Free Bed Photojournalist

Lynn Bender
Tournament Director

Grand Rapids, Michigan, July 10, 2013 – It’s the weekend that wheelchair tennis enthusiasts look forward to each year. Before the first tournament ball clears the net, however, the traditional up/down match will be played. All action will take place at the Orchard Hills Tennis Center, which is located at 115 Crahan Avenue, NE.


Thursday (July 11)6:00 pm-7:00 pm

During this exhibition match, able bodied and wheelchair athletes share the court. This year Dan Doerrfield (tennis pro at the Michigan Athletic Club) and Chance Conley (Division Four high school state champion who will play at the University of Detroit Mercy) will meet wheelchair athletes John Becker (ranked #109 in the world) and Steve Baldwin (ranked #38 in the world


Thursday (July 11) Masters Doubles (rounds 1 and 2) 7:00 - 9:30 pm
Friday (July 12) and Saturday (July 13)   9:00 - 6:00 pm
Sunday (July 14) Finals   9:00 am - 1:00 pm

More than 65 tennis players from the United States, Canada, Nigeria and Columbia will compete this weekend in the tournament sponsored by the Mary Free Bed Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports Program. The event is sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation and the United States Tennis Association.

The tournament, which is part of the Northeast Conference Wheelchair Tennis Tour, will feature men, women, quad, and junior divisions. Many of the athletes hold top national and international rankings. Players will vie for a total purse of $11,500 sponsored by the Mary Free Bed Guild, which has donated more than $131,000 throughout the history of this event.


West Michigan athletes, all members of the Mary Free Bed Wheelchair and Adaptive Sports Program, competing at the Midwest Wheelchair Championships include:

Curt Bender, 50 - Zeeland
Pat Besta,45 - Belmont
Dan Bolhouse, 38 - Caledonia
Scott Bonk, 43 - Grant
Dave Briggs, 42 - Belmont
Matt Clements, 26 - Grandville
Scott Cole, 25 - Wyoming
Matthew DeVlieger 22, - Grand Rapids
Marcos Gomez, 53 - Grand Rapids
Colin Sullivan, 38 - Grand Rapids
Bryan Wilkinson, 30 - Howell

Jocelyn Dettloff, 41 - Kentwood
Krystal Kelly, 16 - Grand Haven
Beth Redford, 53 - Cascade
Sheri VanderLugt, 43 - Grand Rapids
Valerie Wallace, 51 - Rockford

National and international players inlcude:

Wheelchair Players Home Country Ranking World Ranking Place of Residence
*Steve Welch #1 USA #15 (Former #1) Bedford, Texas
Steve Baldwin #2 USA #38 San Diego, California
*Emmy Kaiser #1 USA #16 Ft. Mitchell, Kentucky
Elite Quad Player      
Nick Taylor #2 USA

#4 Singles

#1 Doubles

Wichita, Kansas

*Signifies paralympian in 2012 London games


Approximately 700 athletes participate in Mary Free Bed’s Wheelchair & Adaptive Sports Program. There are nearly a dozen competitive teams, some with national rankings. These sports support physical, emotional and mental health for participants and their families.

Sports include basketball, hand cycling, sled hockey, quad rugby, softball and tennis. In addition, the Junior Wheelchair Sports Camp is held every summer. Clinics are also offered for camping, golfing, kayaking/rowing, racing, sailing, scuba diving, snow skiing, softball, water skiing and rock climbing.

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