Section Star: Eleanora Mauritson
Some volunteers have years of experience that show a long-term commitment. But there’s always one nagging question: What have you done for me lately?
Eleanora Mauritson checks both boxes.
Hailing from Fairhope, Ala., Mauritson began volunteering in tennis when she helped found the Tuscaloosa Tennis Association in 1996 and hasn’t slowed down. She rose through the ranks to be elected USTA Alabama President, USTA Southern Secretary and Delegate At Large, along with the Awards Committee Chair; Southern Tennis Foundation (STF) Trustee and Nominating Committee Chair and USTA Awards Committee Chair. She currently is active on two committees, the Alabama Fundraising Task Force and the USTA Training Advisory Group.
Additionally, she is an Alabama Tennis Hall of Fame inductee and recipient of USTA Southern’s highest honor, the Jacob’s Bowl.
Within the last 16 months, Mauritson has kept up her determination to promote tennis in her home state. During this year’s National Tennis Month campaign, Mauritson leveraged her position on the USTA Southern Public Relations Committee, getting her hometown and state to proclaim May as National Tennis Month.
As the Public Relations Committee was promoting the section’s podcast Talking Tennis Southern Style, Mauritson drove to a sectional championship to hand out flyers and deliver free gifts to players who downloaded the podcast.
On a sadder note, Mauritson lost her late husband, David, in a plane crash in 2016. He was an esteemed doctor who also served as a tennis official. Last year, Mauritson worked with the STF to establish the David R. Mauritson Memorial Scholarship Fund. She made the first donation of $30,000. As a STF trustee, Mauritson has also worked tirelessly to ensure that scholarships grow and fund college students.
Still, Mauritson reflects on her main goal as state president. In 2008, she began an arduous three-year campaign for a tennis license plate or tag in Alabama. The requirement was 250 residents would commit to buying it. “I reached out to a state senator. I went to Montgomery with our Executive Director,Elaine Francis. I was able to announce the drive for the license plate at the Alabama annual meeting the week before Davis Cup came to Birmingham, and was able to connect with tournament directors and volunteers to sign up players. It showed the strength of networking.”
In addition to seeing thousands of state residents display their love of tennis, the license plate has raised more than $123,000 for the USTA Alabama Foundation.