Resident Volunteers Help Make Family Circle Cup an Outstanding Success

March 15, 2011

The Family Circle Cup draws thousands of visitors to the island each spring.

Volunteers Lynn Coursey (left) and Nancy Heniz (right) help run the tournament's Media Center.

Pulling off a WTA tournament each year that brings the top names in women’s tennis to Daniel Island – along with thousands of fans from around the world – is no small feat. But after ten years on Daniel Island, the folks at the Family Circle Cup seem to have the process down to a science. Beginning in early March, things start shifting into high gear as all the pieces of this world-class, nationally-televised event start falling into place.

“We absolutely could not do it without the hard work and dedication of our volunteers, many of whom are Daniel Island residents,” says Eleanor Adams, Tournament Manager for the Family Circle Cup. The tournament recruits more than 500 volunteers each year.

As we approach this year’s event, which takes place April 2-10, we thought we’d introduce you to some of the island residents who help make the tournament such an outstanding success each year. And who better to start with than the Family Circle Cup’s Volunteer of the Year, Nancy Heinz?

A long-time resident of Daniel Island’s Codner’s Ferry Park neighborhood, Nancy and her family moved to the island from Springfield, Virginia in 2000. While her husband (a USTA league player) and 15-year old son (a junior player who competes in USTA sanctioned tournaments at the Southern and National level) are active players, Nancy works behind the scenes, coordinating tennis events for the Daniel Island Club, where she’s been on staff for four and a half years. She is Co-Chair of the Media Center at the Family Circle Cup.

“Nancy has been an invaluable asset to the Cup’s Media Center for the past 11 years,” says Mike Saia, Communications Manager at the Family Circle Cup. “She was named Volunteer of the Year for a list of reasons far too long to mention, but primarily because of her leadership skills, dedication and unwavering attention to detail, all of which her volunteer position demands.”

Nancy Heinz is the Family Circle Cup's Volunteer of the Year

Mike caught up with Nancy to find out why she dedicates her time to the tournament each year:

MS: Why do you feel it’s important for you, as an island resident, to volunteer your time to this event?

NH: When the decision was made for the Cup to relocate from Hilton Head to Daniel Island in 2001, the call for volunteers was great. I was already a Daniel Island resident at the time, and I immediately knew that I wanted to be part of the FCC volunteer team and contribute in some way towards making the tournament an overwhelming success its first year on the island.

MS: What kind of an impact do you think the Cup has on island life, and why?

NH: What an awesome way to introduce people of all ages in the community to professional tennis! Additionally, with so many residents volunteering, a wonderful tradition of giving back to the community has been established and has had a tremendous impact. Beyond the tournament, the Family Circle Tennis Center is a beautiful facility that residents enjoy year round, both for tennis and other events held at the venue.

MS: What are your favorite non-tennis reasons to volunteer at the Cup?

NH: It’s a pleasure to work alongside the dedicated staff at Family Circle Tennis Center and a great opportunity to serve others.

MS: Of the following, which is the best part of the Cup, and why: People-watching, world-class tennis, catching up with friends, helping others?

NH: Hands down, helping others. I enjoy helping to ensure that the media has a welcoming “home away from home” to write their stories and preview their photos each day, and that the players have an inviting place to speak with the media, especially after a tough match or loss.

Congratulations Nancy, and a big thank you for all you do to help make the Family Circle Cup a successful island event!