Fales' remarkable life encompasses tennis, family, community service
For Immediate Release
August 7, 2012
BY GLORIA BURNS
Donna Fales has a remarkable life that encompass- es tennis, family and community service. A world class tennis player with many championships under her belt, Fales has been a coach (University of Miami), tournament director for numerous prestigious tennis events, television commentator and business executive. Those roles put her in a position to be an ambassador of sortsto the tens of thousands whoThave played in the international tournaments she has run, been coached by her, or been involved in her clinics over the years.
Donna Fales' story, however, begins in Atlanta, GA where she was born and lived until she was age 12. She then lived in Arlington, VA until she was 22 and attended the College of William and Mary.
It is not surprising that Fales earned a stellar reputation in the world of tennis as the sport was always in her blood. In fact, from the time she was a teen, she assisted her dad with free ten- nis clinics for youngsters and beginning adults, and was hooked on the sport.
It seems her dad contributed count- less hours running tennis tournaments and events for the community while also working full time. The apple certainly fell close to the tree and she became a world class player into the bargain.
After graduating from college, she traveled to Africa giving tennis clinics to youngsters and adults. After marrying her husband of almost 50 years, Gordon Fales, she lived in New York where she volunteered at the International Center introducing foreign visitors to New York City.
She moved to Miami in 1969 and became a member of the Junior League, an organization that promotes volunteerism. Thus, she gave it her all serving on the board of WPBT Channel 2 and Ransom Everglades, and volunteering on behalf of a youth tennis program, the National Junior Tennis League founded by Arthur Ashe. She later became the national president of that league and subsequently founded the Greater Miami Tennis Foundation in Miami. After years as a volunteer, Fales eventually became the Greater Miami Tennis Foundation's (GMTF) paid executive director.
Fales community service work con- tinued when she retired from GMTF and volunteered to run a marquee event for Rebuilding Together Miami. Her skill sets made her an obvious choice when a year after volunteering for Rebuilding Together Miami, she was hired as executive director.
Fales truly is a master organizer and loves the work that Rebuilding Together Miami does to keep low- income, elderly, veterans and disabled homeowners in their homes, and has found yet another outlet for her many talents.
This energetic woman has three children — Emerson, Floyd and Cooley — and is blessed with two grandchildren — Page and Dean, children of Floyd and his wife, Uloopi. When she is not working or enjoying her family, Fales is golfing, birding, hiking, canoeing or reading. She continues to play competitive tennis winning in her division in national clay court tournaments.
Over the years, Fales has won countless major tennis championships, won numerous awards for service and has been installed into no less than seven prestigious Sports Halls of Fame. As recently as last year, she was named the Florida Tennis Player of the Year 2011–Women.
Donna Fales is an energetic woman who continues to astound and amaze all who know her and has much more to give as she devotes her boundless enthusiasm for Rebuilding Together Miami.
Published in Coral Gables News from August 7 to August 20, 2012.