The Smash............

SMASH Issue #1 - July 6, 2016
THE SMASH is a periodic email newsletter of the Alpine Regional Tennis Association (ARTA), a 501(c)(3 non-profit organization formed for the promotion of tennis in Northern Michigan.  
You are receiving this email newsletter because we want you to know about a new exciting project in our Gaylord community. If you would like to be removed, simply respond by return email; but we hope you will allow us to send you a couple newsletters before you make any decision. Thank you.
THE EXCITING NEWS - ARTA, Otsego County and The Sportsplex have partnered to build four, United States Tennis Association (USTA) sanctioned outdoor tennis courts at the Sportsplex. These courts will allow for increased access for people of all ages to learn and play tennis at low or no cost, contribute to physical fitness, and set the stage for a re-birth of high school tennis teams. They will also provide a site for regional competitions, leagues and tennis tournaments, promoting economic benefits for our area as visitors play, shop, dine, buy gas and stay overnight. Why do we need to build four courts? USTA sanctioned tournament play requires four adjacent courts. Gaylord public courts cannot meet this standard because of a lack of space for two court expansions and parking.
KIDS, KIDS, KIDS – THANK YOU KIWANIS – ARTA finished its third year of partnering with the Gaylord Kiwanis to provide after school tennis lessons to kids ages 6-10. Now almost 150 kids have participated receiving their own youth sized racquets, low compression balls, a Youth Tennis Team T shirt and Completion Certificate. Gaylord Kiwanis has made it possible to reduce fees so all can participate. We are very grateful for Kiwanis continued support. 
THANK YOU also to these recent generous donors: Otsego County Community Foundation:  Dale and Marlene Smith Fund ($500), the Women Who Care Event ($2,000), the Scott and Janice Lampert Fund ($5,000); and Feeny Chrysler ($50).
Thanks for reading this SMASH update…feel free to share it with your circle of friends. Also see ARTA for more information.The Smash......

SMASH Issue # 2 - July 22, 2016

Tennis opportunities five days a week! Tennis is growing in Gaylord!  Dave Johnson, certified tennis professional and ARTA board member, has tennis instruction five days a week.  From six-week programs for adults (Start/Restart) to six-week youth tennis (Peewees, ages 6-8, Tennis Buddies, ages 9-11, and Futures, ages 12-14), private and group lessons plus Monday and Wednesday technique clinics and cardio tennis workouts, Dave has the courts at Treetops hopping with fun and excitement!  For more information call Dave Johnson at 586-242-9165 or  We see more new players or those returning to tennis every week!

Community user input sought on new court construction at Sportsplex.  On Tuesday, July 26 at 10 and 6:30 pm, ARTA and the Sportsplex are hosting a “focus group” to provide residents and community organizations an opportunity to learn more about the project and to provide input on future use.  Both discussions will take place at the Sportsplex and all are invited to attend.

ARTA receives two more financial gifts.  Gaylord Art Van, its General Manager Shelly Miller and Operations Manager Jason Dietz, have been great supporters of ARTA.  Generously contributing $1,000 to ARTA’s court project they also allowed us to set up “youth” tennis on their parking lot during their recent second anniversary event! Thank you Shelly, Justin, and Gaylord Art Van.  ARTA has also received notification that it has been awarded $5,000 under the Region 3:  Community and Economic Development Mini-Grant Program of the Northeast Michigan Regional Prosperity Initiative.  Created to help our communities to drive regional economic development, the grant maker recognized the potential for economic benefit through enhanced tourism as a result of ARTA’s commitment to use the four new tennis courts at the Sportsplex to sponsor regional tennis leagues and tournaments. Thank you Region 3!

ARTA Alpenfest Grand Parade Debut.  Did you see us?  We were 30 strong! Many thanks to Rick Glasser for providing his red 1948 F-1Ford truck and Ken Glasser for driving it filled with kids waving right sized racquets and tennis balls.  Special thanks also to the Lovelace family, Laura, her cousins and “grands”, all our adult walkers, our “dancing banner holders”, Jerry and Kathy, and to Teddy, who lead the chant “TEAM ARTA” through the entire parade. It was great fun - come join us next year!

​SMASH Issue #4 - November 4, 2016

GREAT SUMMER PROGRAM ENDS WITH NEW PROGRAM ADDITION.  ARTA has finished a very busy summer full of Adult Stroke/Strategy Clinics, Weekly Cardio workouts, private/group lessons, the Start/Restart Program, Midwest Tennis players (40 ages 6-12), summer youth players (36 ages 6-14) and our new three-session program with 32 players at the Johannesburg-Lewiston Middle School (with one outside session at Treetops!) With support from The Sportsplex, ARTA was able to provide youth sized equipment to the kids.  We are so grateful to Jenny, J-L instructor, for inviting us to work with her physical education class.  A big thank you also goes out to Dave and Cathy Johnson for their tremendous contribution to instruction this summer and to the many ARTA volunteers who made this great curriculum possible.

HOW CAN SMASH READERS HELP ARTA WITH ITS MISSION?  Join ARTA with a tax-deductible contribution of $25. Most membership proceeds go to fund programming like that described above.  ARTA is a non-profit organization so all donations are tax-deductible and appreciated. Make your check payable to ARTAand send it to P.O. Box 282, Gaylord, MI  49734.

 Thanks for reading this SMASH update…feel free to share it with your circle of friends.  Also see for more information.Type your paragraph here.

SMASH Issue #8, March 11, 2017

NMTA’s generous grant helps with ARTA’s goal.  The Northern Michigan Tennis Association (NMTA) has continued to support ARTA’s goal to build four new tennis courts at the Sportsplex in Gaylord Michigan.  We are so grateful for the NMTA’s past programming grants and for their last donation of $5,000 for the court project that is slated to start this spring. 

ARTA was also awarded $1,000 from the USTA/Midwest Section Volunteer Leadership Committee on behalf of the Tad Malpass family for receiving the 2016 USTA/Midwest Section Family of the year award.  Thank you!

 Gaylord women shine at Traverse City Tournament.  Two ARTA board members, along with their mixed doubles tennis partners, took first and second place honors for their 6.5 division at the recent Bob Swanson Memorial Tournament in Traverse City.  Sue Wadel Smith from Gaylord and partner Dave Sizemore from Cedar Springs were first place Champs, and Sindy Steffner from Johannesburg and partner Steve Rybarsyk from Williamsburg were Finalists after the challenging weekend long competition.

Johannesburg 6th Graders receive tennis instruction.  Twenty-four 6th graders received the first of four tennis lessons in the school gym recently, learning correct grips, forehands and other hand eye coordination skills.  Kelton Hervela arranged for ARTA volunteers to teach the tennis skills.  The kids were very appreciative, quick learners and had a great time.  Thanks Kelton! 

Save the date.  The first “Gaylord Open” is scheduled for Sunday, May 21st at the Grand Event Center in Gaylord, Michigan.  You will not want to miss this event!  If you have not had the opportunity to visit this wonderful new facility, now is your chance.  There will be beverages, hor d’oeuvres, competitive games and great prizes!   Thank you Kosch family for your generous donation. More information about the “Gaylord Open” to follow.

SMASH ​Issue #9,   April 23, 2017

THE SMASH is a periodic email newsletter of the Alpine Regional Tennis Association (ARTA), a 501(c)(3) non profit organization formed to promote tennis in Northern Michigan.  You are receiving this email because we would like to keep you up to date about exciting tennis activities underway in our Gaylord community, including efforts to construct four new courts at the Sportsplex. If you would like to be removed from any future newsletter communications, simply respond so by return email.

YOUTH TEAM TENNIS - there is still time to register for the youth program grades 1-6.  Early registration discounts ($45) end today, April 23rd.  Full registration is $65.  Call 989-619-2629 or see for more details.

THE GAYLORD OPEN, MAY 21, 3-6 PM, OTSEGO GRAND EVENT CENTER.  Mark your calendar and plan to attend this ARTA fundraiser to ensure we are able to fully fund, outfit our new court complex, and celebrate the addition of these new courts to our community.  The GAYLORD OPEN is an actual bracketed tournament with eight local teams, sponsored by local organizations, including Art Van. OMH, Sojourn Lakeside Resort, Bennethum's Northern Inn, the Powerhouse Connection. RSW Construction, and The Sportsplex.  Teams will demonstrate their tennis prowess in hand/eye coordination games.  We know it will be fun because no prior tennis experience is required!  The championship match will see our finalists meet in a game of "Gaylord Celebrity Squares" where team competitors will pit their tennis knowledge against the wit and humor of our local "squares" including Mike Reiling, Ken Glasser, Lisa McComb, Phil Alexander, Mayor John Jenkins, Janice Lampert, Christie Perdue, Dana Bensinger, and Ryan Wojan.  Food and beverages are generously provided by the Otsego Grand Event Center.  Tickets are $25 per person or $60 per family. Cash bar is available.  Special supervised games will be available for kids 4-11 years.. Tickets go on sale 4/24 at Family Fare, Gaylord Visitor Center and The SportsPlex or online at . Be there!

ARTA HAS A NEW WEBSITE.  Go to"" or "" to check out our new website.  Established to help both locals and visitors find local tennis opportunities and programming, we think you will find it helpful.  Your comments, suggestions, and content ideas are welcome and appreciated.  Donations, including tickets for the GAYLORD OPEN are available through the website.

SMASH Issue #10 

TICKETS NOW ON SALE FOR FIRST ANNUAL GAYLORD OPEN MAY 21, 3-6 PM AT OTSEGO GRAND EVENT CENTER – ARTA’s celebration of the creation of the Tennis Center at the Sportsplex is fast approaching. Don’t miss this one-of-a-kind celebratory event! Tickets are $25 per person and $60 per family and available at these Gaylord locations: Family Fare, The Visitor Center, and The Otsego County Sportsplex. You may also purchase your tickets on-line at (see tab: First Annual Gaylord Open). 

Come enjoy watching eight local teams compete in light-hearted activities and enjoy food and beverage provided by Gary and Wendy Kosch of the Otsego Grand Event Center. The two top scoring teams will compete for 1st Prize in “Gaylord Celebrity Squares Tic-Tac-Toe”. There are still a few openings on the teams if you are 12 or older and would like to play. NO TENNIS EXPERIENCE REQUIRED. Please email us ASAP at: or call 989-732-5971 if you would like to join a team. Kids are welcome and encouraged. Separate supervised games will be available for the kids ages 4-11. BIG THANK YOU TO OUR TEAM SPONSORS: Art Van of Gaylord, Bennethum’s Northern Inn, Design One, Otsego Memorial Hospital, Team Power, RSW Construction, Sojourn Lakeside Resort, and the Sportsplex. 

Also a big thank you to these new corporate donors: First Federal of Northern Michigan ($550) and Chemical Bank ($250). We appreciate your confidence and support. 

If you don’t have your tickets yet, get your tickets today, This is going to be a fun and very unique event.​

SMASH Issue # 11  - MAY 10, 2017

ARTA CLOSING IN ON ITS CONSTRUCTION FUNDRAISING GOALS -- ARTA has reached its first milestone - sufficient funding for the DNR basic construction match - the DNR is providing $175,000 and ARTA is matching with $125,000 from local funds.   Fundraising efforts must continue, however, to fully outfit the courts for recreational and competitive play (i.e., wind screens, court-side benches, bleachers, scoreboards, bounce back board, bike racks, umpire chairs, and more).  ARTA gives a big THANK YOU to donors. We couldn't have made the final push for the local match without you!!!  

Thank you to:  Glenn and Anne Friedly, Bill Brooks, Carolyn and Jon Study, Charlie and Sheila Simpson, David Castelein, Dennis and Carolsue Castile, Dr. Michael J. Moir Memorial Fund, Doris Salley, Doug and Karen Hervela, Marianne and Lou Habryl, Marcia and Tom Cardelli, Paul Reed, Elizabeth Brooks, Greg and Leanne Vadnais, Janet Sieting, Janet Stuhlman, Jeanette Schuch, Carol and Ron Czinki, Jeff, Rachel and Sophie Davis, Jerry and Kathy Passiak, Joann Fury, John and Mary Tithof, Jim and Patti McBride, Joan and Robert Allaben, Larry and Mary Cruse, Joel and Melanie Riling, Joyce Ross, Ken and Marilyn McIntosh, Ken and Kathy Arndt, Kurt Wheeler, Linda Reinhardt, Mayor John and Pegi Jenkins, Shane Cousineau, Luke and Margo Noss, Manda Breuker, Bill and Deb Michaels, Laura and Dave Hansmann, Marian and Chuck Lammers, Cathy and Dave Johnson, Myrna Naile, Sue and Sheldon Smith, Sindy and Ray Steffner, Tom and Brenda Mutton, Mary and Tom Tomaski, Tim O'Connor, Sue Fuelling, Rose Wawrzniak, Pamela Skiba, Colleen and Newell Cerak, Mark Cromell, and Tom Szczepanski.

Special thanks also to these local businesses for their recent support:  Awakon Federal Credit Union ($250), Hogan's Jewelers ($200), Smith Realty Group, LLC  ($550), Centennial Wealth ($400); Paddle Hard Brewing ($400), and Alpine Title and Escrow ($50).


GAYLORD TENNIS PHENOM MICHAEL FERNANDEZ CONTINUES TO EXCEL - Young Michael Fernandez, formerly of Gaylord, is tearing up the junior tennis circuit.  Having achieved a 39th ranking in Southern California for 12 year olds, Michael is now training in Florida and on his first tournament outing finished as runner-up on March 20 and as the WINNER of the Junior Championship in Orlando, FL March 27.  Michael is now training at the United States Tennis Association National Campus in Orlando, FL. GO MICHAEL - your Gaylord area friends are proud of you and are pulling for you!

TWO DAYS OF FREE TENNIS CLINICS MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND (MAY 27-28), AT BOYNE MOUNTAIN.  This is a good opportunity to get out and hit.  Clinics are appropriate for all ages and skill levels, including beginners.  Sessions run from 11 am - 1 pm with instruction by long time coach and PTR Certified Teaching Professional Bill Perlmutter.  You must register prior to the clinic.  Email Bill at: We highly recommend these clinics.  Many of your ARTA friends have taken advantage of this great opportunity in past years and will be attending this year.  Now is a good time to take the plunge!!

 SMASH Issue #12 - May 23, 2017

CONGRATULATIONS DESIGN ONE AND GAYLORD COMMUNITY SCHOOLS overall winning sponsor and team players of the First Annual Gaylord Open!

WOW!  What an event it was!  As measured by the hoops and hollers of fun that echoed throughout the Otsego Grand Event Center last Sunday, the unique Gaylord Open was a huge success!  Not only were we able to thall who made our new courts possible, we were 160 adults and kids strong playing tennis games and watching our own Gaylord Squares in action.  We celebrated:  the participation of groups like Kiwanis, Gaylord Community Schools and Johannesburg Lewiston Schools all of whom have been our local program partners in reigniting the excitement of tennis in our schools; the attendance and work of our elected state legislative leaders Triston Cole and James Stamas who endorsed our application for the DNR grant; the presence of our tennis community in Steve Asher, President of the Northern Michigan Tennis Association and George Lowe of the USTA Midwest Division who both enthusiastically welcome ARTA into full membership in the established tennis community; our county commissioners who believed in ARTA's mission, provided the Sportsplex as a site and, in partnership with ARTA, made application for the DNR grant; and the entire local tennis community who came together to give, volunteer and celebrate bringing more tennis to our region.  IT WAS AWESOME!

Importantly, we want to again thank those who helped to make this particular event happen - our team Sponsors  Art Van Furniture, Bennethum's Northern Inn, Design One, Hartmann/Powerhouse, Otsego Memorial Hospital, RSW Construction, Sojourn Lakeside Resort, and the Otsego Sportsplex.  And our thanks to our very special set of "Squares" who bedazzled their audience with questionable tennis knowledge but superb humor - our own celebrities: Lisa McComb, Janice Lampert, Mike Reling, Phil Alexander, Ken Glasser, Ryan Wojan, Dana Bensinger, Mayor John Jenkins, and Christie Perdue - all encouraged to be square by Treetops VP Kevin McKinley.

Our tournament fare was provided by Gary and Wendy Kosch of the Otsego Grand Event Center and served by their fabulous staff headed by Patty Binette; our special Gaylord Open drink, the "ARTA ACE", was created especially for the event by Rebekah Bennethum; our sponsor and bracket sheets were created and provided by Dunn's Business Solutions; first place prizes were provided by Treetops Resort, participant games, door prize, and silent auction items were provided by Art Van Furniture, Main Street Market, Alpine Tavern, Dave Johnson, Mike Ziska, Biggby Coffee, Sunfrog, LivnFresh, Bennethum's Northern Inn, Culver's, Image Factory, Goodwill, Home Depot, Alpine Chocolat Haus and Monte’s Car Wash.

THANK YOU TO ALL!!!!!  This tennis complex would not have happened without the help and support of so many.

DON'T FORGET - FREE tennis instruction this weekend at Boyne Mountain. Don't forget that two free tennis clinics are being offered at Boyne Mountain this weekend, May 27-28 (11am - 1 pm).  You must pre-register by emailing  Don't be shy - clinic appropriate for all ages and skill levels.

The Smash, Issue 13  July 27, 2017
It is with much excitement and gratitude that we announce the:
Wednesday, August 2nd at 8:30 am
Otsego County Sportsplex Tennis Court Complex
We are so very grateful for the broad community support we have received from local businesses, organizations, families’ and individuals that have worked to plan, fund and construct these new tennis courts!
As such an important part of our success, you are invited to attend our brief groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate, at the Sportsplex Energy Outlet Pavilion at 8:30 a.m.  Coffee and donuts will be served. Thank you again for partnering with us to make this project a reality!
On another note… this summer’s tennis programs have had great attendance even though the weather has not always cooperated.   The Peewee’s and Tennis Buddies programs have 15 kids in each class, and the Strokes and Strategy clinics on Monday and Wednesday mornings have been well attended.  There is a group competing in the Governor’s Cup Tournament at Boyne Mountain this weekend so we will see if all of their hard work at the clinics will pay off!  Cardio Tennis is also offered on Thursday evenings at Treetops and is a great workout with a competitive twist.  Call Dave Johnson for more details.
Announcement!  There will be an Adult Tennis Mixer, “Sets in the City”, on Sunday, August 20th at Treetops Resort from 4-6 pm.  All skill levels welcome! The cost is $10.  Please contact Dave Johnson at 586-242-9165, or to register.   For more information see the attached flyer.

The Smash Issue 14, August 13, 2017

GROUNDBREAKING - The Otsego County Sportsplex and ARTA broke ground August 2 for the new Sportsplex Tennis Center; many of you were there, but if not, it was a wonderful gathering to celebrate the start of construction of our new courts.  Afterward, ARTA board member Mike Roper and many ARTA volunteers continued the volunteer site preparation, providing key "in-kind" local match funding.  Mike and his volunteers put in over 300 hours to remove the trees, bushes, fencing, portion of the trail and sidewalk, and the basketball court.    A sincere thank you to Mike and the "gang" for making this happen!
CONSTRUCTION PROGRESS - Rieth-Reilly, the general contractor, will begin construction 8/18 or 8/21 which will take 3 weeks.  Final phases, painting and lines are scheduled for mid-October as there needs to be a 30 day period for the asphalt to cure.  This is a concern as the air temperature needs to be over 50 degrees for a couple of days for the paint to adhere correctly.   If we have a cold fall we may not be painting until next May. 
SETS IN THE CITY - YOU NEED TO BE THERE - ARTA Board Member and PTR tennis pro, Dave Johnson, will be sponsoring "Sets in the City", next Sunday, August 20 from 4-6 pm at Treetops.  This adult tennis mixer is open to the public and a great event to invite friends to "get into the game".  Dave will have lots of fun games in a friendly social atmosphere.  Cost is only $10 and all proceeds will go to the Sportsplex/ARTA construction fund. Bring your own beverages, chairs and a snack to share.   Cindy Vargo has offered to bring Paddle Hard Brewing beer, so it will be great fun.  Thank you Cindy!!    Please call Dave at 586-242-9165 or by email at to register.
SUMMER’S END MIXED DOUBLES TOURNAMENT - DON’T MISS IT!  Dave Johnson, is also making plans for the Summer's End Mixed Doubles Tennis Tournament at Treetops.    So, find yourself a partner and get registered with Dave (or let him find you a partner).  Cost will be $10/person and again all proceeds will go to the Sportsplex Tennis Center.  The date is Sunday, September 17 tentatively scheduled to begin at 10 am depending on the number of participants.   This tournament is a really fun way to end our season, so we hope you will all try to come!
MEMBERSHIP HELPS MAKE IT ALL HAPPEN - Thank you again for all those who are members in ARTA.  Your membership has helped us to reach our lofty goal to build FOUR NEW COURTS at the Sportsplex; new and continued memberships will help us continue to grow the game!  If you have not joined or need to renew, why not do so today by going to the website at or
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Hope to see you all there!

The Smash, Issue 15, October 2017
Garden Club Taps Local Tennis Club to Sponsor Annual Holiday Greens Sale                      

The Edelweiss Garden Club, a long-time non-profit organization committed to beautifying our community through public gardens, has tapped ARTA to sponsor The Club's 29th Annual Holiday Greens Sale this fall. The sale has typically returned a net profit of $2,000 to the Club.  All proceeds of the holiday greens sale this year will be used for ARTA youth programming and equipment for outfitting the new Sportsplex tennis courts, such as wind screens, scoreboards, and refuse containers.

The Order Form to purchase these beautiful wreaths, garland and candy canes is attached and is also available online at  To order, print the form and mail it with your check made payable to ARTA to: “ARTA GREENS SALE”, P.O. BOX 282, GAYLORD, MI  49734.  Product pick-up is Saturday morning, November 18 at the Otsego County Sportsplex.  For information, call Betty Hartmann at 231-546-2100.

We hope everyone will consider buying their holiday greens from ARTA this year.  Please share the Order Form (or website address) with your friends and neighbors.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

The Smash Issue 16, October 16, 2017

REMINDER:  IT’S NOT TOO LATE TO ORDER – You can still order beautiful ‘greens” for your home or business thru Friday, November 3, 2017.  Pick up is at the Sportsplex on Wednesday, November 18th between 11am and 3pm.  The 29th Annual Holiday Greens Sale order form is attached.  If you have questions, contact Betty Hartmann at 231-546-2100.

All proceeds will be used to promote healthy tennis programming and quality facilities in our community.  ARTA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.

New Tennis Courts Update   The new tennis courts at the Sportsplex are progressing nicely.  The layers and layers of base material was finished and the top layers of asphalt are in place.  The Fencing is almost complete and the surface painting and gardens will have to wait until next spring when the weather is a little warmer.  A full tennis schedule for spring programming will be announced as soon as it is finalized.  The Energy Outlet walking track is completed and other renovations and updates to the park are in progress. Stop by and take a look!  

CHEMICAL BANK EMPLOYEE VOLUNTEERS The Sportsplex and ARTA would like to thank employees from Chemical Bank for all their hard work to make the grounds around the new tennis courts pristine.  Employees participate in Chemical Bank Cares Day and volunteer on their day off work to improve their community in so many ways…. Thank you Chemical Bank!  Pictured from left to right are: Sandy Kroll, Jessica Puroll, Lisa Daly and Lisa Slivinski.

The Smash Issue #17  November 5, 2017

ANNUAL HOLIDAY GREENS SALE EXTENDED -  The 29th Annual Holiday Greens Sale has been extended throughWednesday, November 15th. You still have time to order beautiful ‘greens” for your home or business! The Greens Sale order form is attached.  If you have questions, contact Betty Hartmann at 231-546-2100.

All proceeds will be used to promote healthy tennis programming and quality facilities in our community.  ARTA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!

The Smash Issue #18   February 28, 2018

SPORTSPLEX COURTS NEAR COMPLETION – Four brand new USTA quality tennis courts are nearly finished at the Otsego County Sportsplex.  As soon as the weather warms enough to dry the courts, the final surfacing and painting will be completed.  Thank you to all who helped to make this happen!

RIBBON CUTTING MAY 24th – The courts will officially open May 24th with a ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony, play by the ARTA Midwest Youth Team Tennis students, free picnic, and an opportunity for the entire family to “hit the courts.”  Join us on May 24th at 5 pm.  We welcome and thank the Gaylord Chamber of Commerce for their assistance in organizing this fun event.  

SHEILA SIMPSON HONORED AS 2017 VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR – The Northern Michigan Tennis Association, named ARTA Vice President Sheila Simpson its “Volunteer of the Year” for her tremendous volunteer effort to develop tennis in northern Michigan and to secure funding for the construction of the four new courts at the Sportsplex.  Thank you and congratulations Sheila!!!!

ARTA MIDWEST YOUTH TEAM TENNIS REGISTRATION OPEN – For the fifth year straight, ARTA has set the dates for MYTT.  Geared to youth grades 2 to 6, MYTT offers our youth an opportunity to “get in the game” learning from professionally trained ARTA coaches.  The dates for this three-week clinic are: May 8, 10, 15, 17, 22 and 24 beginning at 3:30 and ending at 4:30. Participants receive all equipment needed as part of registration.  The early classes will be held at the Gaylord Intermediate School gymnasium and, as weather permits, will move to the new courts at the Otsego County Sportsplex Tennis Center.  Registration for the first 25 players is $28/per player and thereafter $45 per player.  IT IS A GREAT BENEFIT TO REGISTER TODAY!!  To register contact Laura Hansmann at 989-619-2629 or  Our heartfelt thanks to Gaylord Kiwanis for their continued enthusiastic support of this program.  They have been a tremendous MYTT partner  for ARTA.  THANK YOU!!

The Smash Issue #19 March 28, 2018

ARTA MIDWEST YOUTH TEAM TENNIS PROGRAM LOOKING FOR STUDENTS – REGISTRATION IS OPEN – This popular program for kids grades 2-6 is now in its fifth year.  Registration is now open at  The dates for this three-week clinic are:  May 8, 10, 15, 17, 22 and 24 beginning at 3:30 pm and ending at 4:30 pm.  Registration for the first 25 players is $28/per player and thereafter $45 per player.  ARTA wants to see every child participate in MYTT.  For parents who may feel participation doesn’t work for them financially, scholarships are readily available and we encourage parents to contact ARTA.  Please pass the word to anyone whose child might benefit from MYTT.  Call Sheila Simpson at 989-370-1567. 

TENNIS PRO AND ARTA BOARD MEMBER DAVE JOHNSON IS OFFERING A FREE 20 MINUTE TENNIS STROKE ANALYSIS FOR ARTA MEMBERS  – The stroke review will take place at the new Otsego County Sportsplex Tennis Center.  Stay tuned for exact dates and times.

MARK YOUR CALENDARS – Remember, May 24 is the ribbon cutting and dedication ceremony for the new Sportsplex Tennis Court Center.  This is a joint Gaylord Area Chamber of Commerce and ARTA event. Plan to join us late afternoon (5 o’clock) for the dedication, tennis, food and fun!!  

LAURA HANSMANN RECEIVES “YOU MADE IT HAPPEN AWARD” FROM CHAMBER OF COMMERCE – Laura Hansmann, ARTA’s President since forming in 2012, was honored February 8 for her passion and tenacity in leading the successful effort to build four new tennis courts at the Otsego County Sportsplex.  These courts are a tremendous addition to our community for recreation and health.  Way to go, Laura!  Your leadership is very much appreciated by our entire community!!


SMASH Issue #6  - December 9, 2016

OTSEGO COUNTY RECEIVES GRANT FROM DNR TO BUILD FOUR TENNIS COURTS AT THE SPORTSPLEX IN 2017.  Otsego County has been notified by the Department of Natural Resources that it has been awarded a $175,740 grant from the Natural Resources Trust Fund!  This award is the result of a four year effort by ARTA to bring attention to the positive aspects of expanding tennis in Northern Michigan.  The county made application (partnering with ARTA) earlier this year and discussions with the DNR continued over the months leading up to award.  Reacting to the news, ARTA President Laura Hansmann said, “The Sportsplex Tennis Complex will be a wonderful attraction for Gaylord and Otsego County, residents alike, and will allow a rebirth of this great sport.  This could not happen without support of many, including Otsego County and the Board of Commissioners, Otsego County Parks and Recreation, the City of Gaylord, and City Council, the Otsego County Convention and Tourism Bureau, NEMCOG, Great Lakes Energy, the Sportsplex, USTA, Paxton Resources, the Otsego County Community Foundation, Treetops Pepsi Challenge, Art Van, Sidock Group, Treetops Fall Charity Invitational, Northern Michigan Tennis Association, Senator Jim Stamas and Representative Triston Cole, the ARTA Board and many others.”  THANK YOU TO ALL. The next few months are going to be very exciting.

As we move forward, we will keep you up to date.

Thanks for reading this SMASH update…feel free to share it with your circle of friends.  Also see for more information.  

​SMASH Issue #5,  November 23, 2016

THE SMASH is a periodic email newsletter of the Alpine Regional Tennis Association (ARTA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed to promote tennis in Northern Michigan.  You are receiving this email because we would like to keep you up to date about exciting tennis activities underway in our Gaylord community, including efforts to construct four new courts at the Sportsplex. If you would like to be removed from any future newsletter communications, simply respond so by return email.

COMMUNITY SUPPORT CONTINUES TO BUILD.  ARTA expresses its gratitude to the following organizations for their confidence and support in the form of gifts or pledges for ARTA’s mission to build four USTA approved tennis courts at the Otsego County Sportsplex:  Otsego County $15,000; Gaylord Area Convention and Tourism Bureau $10,000; Great Lakes Energy $5,000; and the Dr. Michael J. Moir Fund through the Otsego County Community Foundation.   Thank you!

ARTA PRESIDENT SELECTED 2016 USTA MIDWEST NMTA VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR!  ARTA President Laura Hansmann has been selected as the Midwest Northern Michigan Tennis Association Volunteer of the Year for her unequivocal commitment to growing the game of tennis through quality instruction and facilities.  Congratulations Laura for a job well done and much deserved recognition! 

 ROUND UP TO HELP LOCAL NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS!  Be a supporter of local non-profit organizations by “rounding up” to the next dollar on your Great Lakes Energy bill.  The pennies per payment that this decision generates combines with others for big results through The People Fund!  ARTA received a pledge of $5,000 for court construction through this fund made possible by GLE customer generosity.  

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SMASH Issue #7,  January 23, 2017

THE SMASH is a periodic email newsletter of the Alpine Regional Tennis Association (ARTA), a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization formed to promote tennis in Northern Michigan.  You are receiving this email because we would like to keep you up to date about exciting tennis activities underway in our Gaylord community, including efforts to construct four new courts at the Sportsplex. If you would like to be removed from any future newsletter communications, simply respond so by return email.
As recipients of the Smash ARTA has brought to your attention the many benefits of the game of tennis.  Whether it’s health and fitness, competition, socializing or the act of continued learning, tennis is truly the game for life.

As an instructor I see these benefits and stories everyday.  A truly inspiring story that has transpired since ARTA began a few years back is about a local boy and his family’s journey into the world of tennis. 

 The story begins with a young boy, Michael Fernandez Jr., signing up for his first summer ARTA tennis program in Gaylord.  From that moment on the whole storyline of the Fernandez family was changed forever.  Michael found a sport that uniquely matched his talents and passion.  Taking group as well as private lessons Michael soon began to win 10& under tournaments around the state of Michigan.  As a coach, it’s very uplifting to see the passion and desire of a student translate into success.  

 By Michael's third season, it was apparent his game was growing exponentially and decisions had to be made about his future in tennis.  Michael's “team” at that time consisted of myself and his supportive parents, Mike and Denise.  As we met and discussed options to grow Michaels game, it became obvious that he needed to step up to the next level, into a high performance program.  A place that he could grow his game and be challenged on a daily basis.

 As fate would have it, Mike Fernandez accepted a job in Southern California, one of the hotbeds for tennis in the U.S.

Shortly thereafter Michael was enrolled in a high performance program that trains students from all over the world.  Within a year Michael had made into the top 100 in So. Cal. 10& Under and eventually into the top 50!  Fast forward to Jan. 2017.  Michael is now playing in the 12& under age group and has upped his ranking to 39 in the state. This past week he competed in his first level one national, one of the biggest tournaments for Cali juniors.  An incredible feat in such a short amount of time.  Michael isn’t the only ranked player in the Fernandez family though, as his younger brother Nick who also started playing in the ARTA programs is now ranked in the top 100 for 10& under!!  Congratulations to the whole Fernandez family!  Your Gaylord friends are cheering you on and look forward to your continuing story.

Tennis truly is a sport for a lifetime.  It rallies friends and families on many levels to be the best they can be!  Please contact us to see what ARTA and tennis can do for you!

Dave Johnson USPTR
Alpine Regional Tennis Board

SMASH Issue #3 -  August 10, 2016
AS SUMMER WINDS DOWN….GREAT SEASON FOR TENNIS GROWTH.  Dave Johnson, tennis pro and ARTA board member, wraps up a busy summer.  The summer schedule was full of popular Monday/Wednesday Adult Stroke/Strategy Clinics, Weekly Cardio workouts, private/group lessons and the Start/Restart Program (13 players). Our multi week youth programs included: Midwest Youth (ages 6-12 with 40 players); and Summer Youth (age based group lessons 6-14 years with 36 players). YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO PLAY. The Adult Stroke/Strategy Clinics (Monday/Wednesday @ 10 am) and Cardio Clinic (Thursday @ 6:30 pm) will continue at Treetops Resort into September as weather and participation permit.  Cost is $10.

SAVE THE DATE – Come join us for a late afternoon of tennis, fun, food and refreshments with “Sets in the City” on Sunday, August 21 from 4-6 pm at Treetops.  All skill levels welcome!

FOCUS GROUPS PROVIDE VALUABLE COMMUNITY INPUT - On July 26, the Sportsplex hosted two focus groups to gain public input on the programs of the Sportsplex, including the four proposed new outdoor tennis courts.  The response from the community was very positive and is much appreciated. 

ARTA TO PRESENT GRANT APPLICATION DETAILS TO DNR BOARD - On August 17, 2016, ARTA President Laura Hansmann will make a presentation to the DNR Trust Fund Board explaining the details of our application for construction of the four outdoor tennis courts at the Sportsplex.  ARTA is working very hard to provide a very complete application maximizing all resources for the benefit of all in our community. A decision is expected in November.

ARTA RECEIVES $5000 FROM "REGIONAL PROSPERITY INITIATIVE". The Northeast Michigan Council  of Governments (NEMCOG) is a catalyst for strategic planning and in this role assists local governments and other entities obtain grants for vital projects. The Regional Prosperity Initiative is one of those grants. Thank you NEMCOG for your generous grant. 

GAYLORD LADIES TEAMS PLAY IN GOVERNORS CUP TOURNY – 4 local tennis players competed in the “Governor’s Cup” Tournament at Boyne Mountain August 6-7. Kristin, Sheila, Cathy and Sue had a great time and met other northern tennis players that continue to support ARTA's efforts to build 4 new tennis courts.  

OPENING UP NEW CONNECTIONS – A recent patron of Treetops sought out ARTA’s Dave Johnson for lessons to round out a golf vacation.  Also ARTA was able to provide a tennis league play opportunity for a player in Gaylord overnight on business.

Thanks for reading this SMASH update…feel free to share it with your circle of friends.  Also see for more information.