Dallas native Laura Canfield, now of Langhorne, will be inducted into the 2012 United States Tennis Association Middle States Tennis Hall of Fame on Friday, Oct. 26 at the Saucon Valley Country Club in Bethlehem.
The daughter of Joseph and Margaret Canfield, of Dallas, Canfield began playing tennis at age 12 when her hometown built a public park with two tennis courts a mile from her home. She learned tennis by borrowing instructional books from the public library and using a 50-cent racquet purchased at a neighbor's garage sale.
Canfield is the only female player to capture back-to-back Wyoming Valley Championships (Triple Crowns), winning singles, doubles and mixed doubles in the same years.
Because her high school, Bishop O'Reilly, did not offer scholastic tennis, Canfield founded a Tennis Club that enabled her to play for the school and capture the 1977 Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association District II Girls' Singles Champion.
As a freshman at Wilkes University, Canfield led the team at first singles and doubles to the 1977 Northeastern Pennsylvania Women's Intercollegiate Athletic Association league championships and earned MVP honors.
She then transferred to East Stroudsburg University to major in Recreation and Leisure Services Management. She won a silver medal that clinched the Warriors' first and only women's team title at the Pennsylvania State Collegiate
After earning a Master of Science degree in Sport Management at the University of Massachusetts and completing her graduate school internship at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, Canfield worked for Tennis Week Magazine.
In 1985, she was hired as one of the original USTA Schools Programs Directors for the USTA Eastern section with additional responsibilities for Junior Competition/Player Development and Community programs.
At the USTA Eastern section, Canfield began a 25-year career with the USTA that included a 13-year stint with the Middle States Section as executive director, leading the regional section during a period of tremendous growth from 1990 to 2002. She also served as the first female chair of the USTA Executive Directors committee.
In 2002, Canfield took her skills to the USTA's corporate office in White Plains, NY, working there until she semi-retired in 2010 to focus her energies on the Bucks County Tennis Association (BCTA) - a nonprofit community tennis association she co-founded in 2001 with Barbara Long, another Back Mountain native now living in Langhorne.
Canfield devotes most of her time as a USTA volunteer and currently serves on the national USTA Nominating Committee (and is the committee's chair-elect for the 2013-14 term) and on the USTA Middle States Section Board of Directors - but most of her energies are dedicated to the BCTA which partners with more than a dozen parks and recreation agencies, nonprofits and schools to youth and adult tennis programs on public park courts throughout Bucks County.