Wake Forest Cuts Ribbon on Southern Family Seating
Aug. 28, 2016

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. – Last Sunday evening marked the official ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Southern Family Seating at the Leighton Tennis Courts. The new seating area provides 718 permanent, chair-back seats positioned around the six collegiate courts/Winston-Salem Open practice courts; an addition that will undoubtedly have a positive impact.

To begin the ceremony, Barry Faircloth, Senior Associate Athletic Director of Development, confirmed the impact the Southern Family Seating will have stating, “This seating is a huge step forward for not only the Winston-Salem Open, but also for tennis in Winston-Salem and at Wake Forest.”

$1.75 million was raised to construct the Southern Family Seating, which included a significant gift from Winston-Salem natives Harold, Mildred, Hal and Debbie Southern.

“I cannot do the Southerns justice except to say that they are easily the first family of tennis in Winston-Salem and probably in North Carolina,” said Dr. Harold Pollard, Treasurer of Winston-Salem Professional Tennis. “The Southern family has been very generous to tennis and have given back a tremendous amount across the state.”

Debbie Southern went on to comment, “As a family, we are excited. We hope that tennis continues to grow in Winston-Salem.” She also spoke on how the Southern Family Seating at the Leighton Tennis Courts has a connection to her past, stating, “I learned how to play the game from Coach Leighton so it’s nice for me to have those two names close by.”

Don Flow, Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Winston-Salem Open, wrapped up the ceremony by expressing gratitude to the Southern family saying, “On behalf of the Winston-Salem Open, Wake Forest and our city, we thank you for all you’ve done and we look forward to working with you for a long time to come.”

After the ribbon-cutting, the Southern family was also recognized on court and presented with a commemorative brick during the Sunday evening session at the Winston-Salem Open.

Construction on the Southern Family Seating began in April and concluded this month, prior to the start of the Winston-Salem Open. The architect was Walter Robbs and the general contractor was Frank L. Blum, both of Winston-Salem. The facility consists of over 63,000 bricks, 10,000 blocks, and 13,000 pavers.

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