Port resident and local entrepreneur Dave Kerpen organized the first annual Vincent Cannariato Open, a charity tennis tournament in memory of Kerpen’s friend and longtime member of the Midnight Entrepreneurs Tennis League Vincent Cannariato, who passed away suddenly at the age of 50 from a heart-related illness last year. The tournament is set to take place on May 21 at The Village Club of Sands Point located at 1 Thayer Ln., Sands Point, and all funds raised will go toward increasing men’s heart health awareness.
Kerpen explained that he and Cannariato had been friends for 10 years and had played tennis together as part of the Midnight Entrepreneurs Tennis League for five of those years, playing tennis every Tuesday night from 10 p.m. to 12 a.m.
“I wanted to do something, but I didn’t know what,” said Kerpen. “I wasn’t fully moved to action until my daughter’s Port For Parkland concert and I realized, if she can do it, I can do it.”
All proceeds from the event will be donated to St. Francis Hospital Foundation and a men’s heart health awareness fund Kerpen set up with the local hospital. To participate in the tennis tournament at 1 p.m. and enjoy the dinner at 6 p.m., it is $200. For dinner only, the donation is $100.
“The response has been great so far,” said Kerpen. “People who knew Vinny and people who just want to support a good cause or even play some tennis can enjoy the tournament.”