The Mike McMahon Tamarack Legend Memorial Scholarship
Mike McMahon was a fun-loving camper, counselor and ‘Tamarack Legend’ from 1977-1988. Mike is well known for his big laugh, bright smile, boundless energy, and dedication to fitness and nutrition. Before Mike lost his battle with cancer, he wanted to give back to the ‘Rack by establishing this scholarship.
The Mike McMahon Tamarack Legend Memorial Scholarship is awarded by the Friends of Tamarack to 1 or 2 candidates each summer. The scholarship goes to candidate(s) who demonstrate an interest in tennis, who show good character and who, as it was for Mike, would not be able to attend camp without financial assistance.
Jaime Durodola Selected as Inaugural Recipient
The Friends of Tamarack Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jaime Briana Durodola, age 15, of Avon, Massachusetts, was selected as the inaugural recipient of the Mike McMahon Tamarack Legend Memorial Scholarship. Jaime attended the second session of Tamarack in 2021. Jaime described attending Tamarack as a ‘wonderful experience with a dynamic group of people which increased my appreciation of tennis,’ and said the scholarship ‘made my dream come true!’
Tamarack Tennis Camp co-directors Genesis Wren Miller and Chuck Weed were so impressed with Jaime’s tennis skills, leadership, and wonderful personality, that they have invited her back to Tamarack as a Counselor in Training (CIT) in 2022. Friends of Tamarack is pleased to share the costs of Jaime’s 2022 CIT Scholarship with Tamarack Tennis Camp through the Mike McMahon Tamarack Legend Memorial Scholarship fund.
Friends of Tamarack is seeking applications for camper scholarships for 2022. Stay tuned for more information including an on-line application for the scholarship.
In Loving Memory of Mike McMahon
Mike was the head counselor at Tamarack Tennis Camp and led the grueling ‘Grope’ sessions for Tamarack’s top tennis players for many years. He remains famous among current Tamarack counselors and campers for the stories about his extreme feats that are still told at the camp, such as his regular runs up Bald Knob and Mt. Kinsman and his eating 55 pancakes in one sitting at Polly’s Pancake Parlor to break the unofficial record in 1986! Mike was a great friend to Tamarack founder Jack Kenny and took great pride in continuing Jack’s tradition of teaching, coaching and mentoring Tamarack campers both on and off the courts.
Mike was a very gifted tennis player and all-around athlete who played varsity tennis at UNH and went on to become a professional triathlete after his Tamarack days. Mike won several triathlons in the United States and internationally, including the USA Triathlon National Sprint Championships in 2004. Mike also competed successfully in several Ironman Championships (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, 26.2 mile run) in under 10 hours. Mike received his Ph.D. in Biomedical Sciences and Physiology from the University of Hawaii and became an extremely successful triathlon coach and exercise physiologist. Mike coached his then-wife Brigitte McMahon to an Olympic Gold Medal in the Sydney Olympics in 2000 and later coached other highly successful triathletes including the male Olympic distance World Champion and female Xterra World Champion in 2007.
Tamarack Tennis Camp was an extremely formative part of Mike’s life and always held a very special place in his heart. The close-knit Tamarack family, nurturing and loving atmosphere, and Tamarack traditions like ‘Zilch’ and ‘Davis Cup’ created cherished memories that Mike has fondly recollected over the years. Mike drew upon those memories and experiences to think of happier timers and help get through his current battle with cancer. Mike beat cancer once in 2014-2015, but sadly the cancer returned in March 2018. Doctors gave Mike just six months to live, but he bravely fought the disease until February 17, 2021, when he passed away peacefully and serenely on Ash Wednesday.
As Mike reflected on his life and considered his legacy, he wanted to do something very special for Tamarack and its future campers, by creating a scholarship for under-privileged children. Mike wouldn’t have been able to attend Tamarack without financial help from his grandparents, because his parents couldn’t afford the tuition. Mike would like to be able to give the life-changing experience that is Tamarack to disadvantaged campers by endowing a permanent scholarship in his name. The ‘Mike McMahon Tamarack Legend Scholarship’ will be a competitive scholarship given to 1-2 campers in need of financial assistance every year.