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Grand Strand Tennis League helps humane society

Puppies and kittens don’t play tennis, but they do love, and now they’ll benefit from some tennis love.

The Grand Strand Tennis League received $763 in registration fees from a new league last year. With that money, league officials typically buy gifts for captains and winning teams.

But Grand Strand officials decided to do something different.

Tuesday afternoon, they donated the money to the Grand Strand Humane Society during a presentation at the humane society, 3241 Mr. Joe White Avenue.

Darren Stack, an animal-loving and tennis-playing television meteorologist, organized the presentation. Stack also originally suggested the league donate the money to the humane society.

Susie Honeycutt, the  local league coordinator, said league officials agreed with Stack’s recommendation because they, too, love animals. Players’ pets are often around tennis courts during local tournament and league play, she said.

“Rescued animals are a true love to many local tennis players and many of our tennis teaching professionals,” she said.

The humane society plans to use the most of the money to pay for animal medicine, said Sandy Brown, the organization’s executive director.

“It is heartwarming for other community organizations to help support us financially and to share our passion and love for animals and their welfare,” she said.

The new Grand Strand league, a tri-level league, lets players with three different ratings play on the same team. Grand Strand officials started the league because players wanted more league-playing opportunities with their friends of different ratings.

About 110 players participated in the league, which was one of two new tri-level leagues in South Carolina last year.

In total, USTA South Carolina leagues hosted more than 52,000 participants in 2013.

Grand Strand league officials and players plan to make the tri-level league, and the donation to the humane society, new traditions.