Pavilion dedicated to Howell

Published 5:11 pm Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bainbridge Tennis Association (BTA) members Carolyn Newberry and Carole Floyd talked about the many contributions the late Sam Howell made to the organization during a Saturday dedication in his honor.

The remarks came during the dedication of the Sam Howell Pavilion at Bill Reynolds Tennis Center.

Newberry opened the ceremony by introducing Howell’s mother, Mrs. Vernice Howell, and other members of the Howell family who were special guests.

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The late Howell’s widow, Kathy and step-daughter, Katie Ward, were joined by Howell’s brother, Tommie, his wife, Amy, and their sons, Bryce and Brock; and his sister, Carol and husband, Chuck Lewis.

Floyd, former Georgia Tennis Association, (GTA) president, talked about the big impact Howell had on the BTA and its tennis programs, describing him as the go-to guy.

“During the infancy stage of Bainbridge tennis, Sam was the guy I called on over and over to help me get it done,” Floyd said. “When I needed a practice wall at Potter Street, Sam saw to it that the concrete blocks were donated and the wall was built.”

When she needed a captain to take charge of a 3.0-men’s team, Howell stepped up to the plate.

When she formed the BTA and needed some board members, Howell came to the meetings always willing to volunteer, Floyd said. When they needed to fold and stuff newsletters to be sent to area tennis players, Howell met her at the Leisure Services office to help fold and stuff the letters.

“When I needed some cross ties to define the dirt parking lot at the Floyd Complex, Sam came to the rescue. During Christmas break, when I struggled to actually put those cross ties around the dirt parking lot, Sam was there to assist,” Floyd said. “When I felt the Floyd courts needed a sidewalk along the fence line in order to cut down on the dirt tracked onto the surface, Sam had the concrete donated and his guys did the work.

“When our tennis group needed a social, Sam put it together, organized the food and hosted the party. When I needed a Polar Bear Tournament director, Sam took charge, buying the T-shirts, promoting the tournament and securing the trophies. Oh yes, and hosting a party afterwards,” Floyd said.

When she needed a site director during one of the senior or adult tournaments, Howell would man a table.

“Sam was the organizer, captain, tennis promoter, party host, cook and above all, a great tennis friend. We all miss him,” Floyd said. “It is appropriate that after these ceremonies we will be enjoying a cookout in Sam’s pavilion because Sam loved cookouts and loved to be around his tennis friends.”