Jesses awarded Distinguished Service Award

Published 10:19 pm Tuesday, February 28, 2006

By Staff
BUCHANAN - Every year, Buchanan High School hosts the conference and regional tennis tournaments at Leeper Park in South Bend, Ind. Competitors look forward to it (and truth be told, are a bit spoiled) not only because of the excellent organization and fine facility that are provided, but because they are fed well and it is free of charge.
This generosity comes courtesy of two Buchanan parents who, for the past eight years, have supplied hamburgers, hot dogs, brats, Gatorade and water for all participants and coaches at these tournaments.
Jim and Jeannette Jesse have turned these events into a “picic at the park.” In addition to enjoying good food, coaches appreciate the fact that their kids don't have to leave the tournament site to grab a bite to eat.
The Jesses end up feeding approximately 100 people at the conference tournament and approximately 150 people at the regional. And all of it is our of their own pockets even though individuals and teams have offered to share the cost.
Their sons, Jay and Sean, each played four years of tennis for the Bucks with considerable success. Jim served as junior high tennis coach when his boys went through the program. In addition, the Jesses have donated money so that Buchanan youngsters could take lessons, attend camps and purchase equipment. They sometimes accompanied the varsity team on some of its trips, one being its annual visit to Almont where Jim and Jeannette were so impressed with the hospitality of coach Dean Sousanis that they now send a donation every year to help his program.
In other words, Jim and Jeannette, who both practice law in Buchanan, have contributed money, food, time, transportation and an atmosphere of tennis good will in Southwest Michigan for over a decade. Coach Bender suggests that they receive a bit in return from an association that appreciates this type of contribution.