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Midwest Organizations Receive USTA Serves Grants

USTA Serves, the philanthropic and charitable entity of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), awarded more than $400,000 in grants to 39 community tennis organizations and other foundations during its 2011 spring funding cycle.
The Milwaukee Tennis and Education Foundation was awarded a $20,000 USTA Serves grant.  The organization has served over 17,000 Milwaukee children who otherwise would lack a safe, productive, and healthy after-school and summer environment.  The foundation’s high-quality literacy and tennis programming not only builds academic skills and improves fitness but also emphasizes life skills development, which instills the resilience needed to succeed in school and in life. The USTA Serves grant will help the foundation support 245 students with its TEAM (Tennis, Education and Mentoring) program.  The program is a neighborhood-based, year-round after-school and summer youth outreach program. The TEAM program combines education, mentoring and life skills development with the sport of tennis.

USTA Serves awarded NJTL of Indianapolis $15,000.  Established in 1973, National Junior Tennis & Learning of Indianapolis is a nonprofit community organization dedicated to improving the lives of youths from broad socio-economic and cultural backgrounds with programs based on the ideals of tennis legend Arthur Ashe.   It is part of the National Junior Tennis and Learning network of 520 chapters with 200,000 participants founded in 1969 by Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder as the National Junior Tennis League. The NJTL of Indianapolis serves over 1,500 children in Marion County every year by offering low-cost tennis lessons at over 25 parks, schools and racquet clubs.  The USTA Serves grant will help the foundation support its 2011 Summer Tennis Program.  This 8-week summer tennis program offers a solution to the fast growing problem of childhood obesity by providing affordable programming that incorporates physical activity, educates children on healthy decisions, engages youth in educational enrichment and promotes character.
The University of Akron Foundation (UARF) was awarded a $15,000 grant to help aid technology-based economic development through its status as a separate corporation, which serves to support and commercialize university research.  UARF can indemnify research sponsors, assist with university start-ups and quickly negotiate licenses.  UARF’s strategic engagement, which ranges from marketing intellectual property to starting a regional angel investment network, exemplifies the potential universities have to influence change and create opportunity for the region.  The USTA Serves grant will help the foundation support its Project PACE program.  PACE, Physical Activity/Tennis and Character/Health Education, offers six weeks of tennis/character education to disadvantaged Akron Public School youth.  The goal of PACE is to "Grow the Game of Tennis" by collaborating with APS physical education teachers who may begin to incorporate tennis activities and character education into their new curriculum. 

The bi-annual granting process, a national initiative of USTA Serves, was developed to provide disadvantaged, at-risk children the opportunity to learn to play tennis and improve their academic skills in a structured format and to help combat childhood obesity by promoting healthy lifestyles. To date, USTA Serves has disbursed more than $10 million to a variety of programs that work to support those aims.

At funded program sites, children between the ages of 5-18 learn about healthy nutrition and lifestyles, responsible citizenship, study skills and computer literacy. The grants, chosen by a Grant Proposal Review Committee comprised of Foundation board members and USTA national staff, with important input from USTA sections, are awarded to programs that successfully combine tennis and education and help children pursue their goals and highest dreams by leading healthier lives, succeeding in school and becoming healthier citizens.

"USTA Serves is proud to continue to support organizations that believe in the powerful combination of tennis and education to help make a difference in the lives of kids," says Mary Carillo, President, USTA Serves. "We’ve seen, time and again, that when you give young people a chance to succeed, they grab the opportunity and make the most of it. That’s why we support and commend these organizations that provide kids with that chance, and we look forward to supporting even more programs in the next grant cycle."

The following programs were awarded 2011 grants by USTA Serves:

Apple Ridge Farm, Roanoke, Va..
Atlanta Youth Tennis Foundation, Atlanta. Ga..
Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
Capital Region Youth Tennis Foundation (15-LOVE), Albany, N.Y.
CHAMPS Afterschool Program, Erie, P.A.
DhhEAF (Deaf and hard of hearing Educational Athletic Foundation), Los Angeles, Calif.
Eastern Adult Tennis Foundation, White Plains, N.Y.
First Serve New Mexico, Santa Fe, N.M.
Fort Collins Tennis Association – First Serve Fort Collins, Fort Collins, Colo.
Fred Wells Tennis & Education Center, St. Paul, Minn.
Grand Rapids Wheelchair Sports Association, Grand Rapids, Mich.
Greater Baltimore Tennis Patrons Association, Baltimore, Md.
Jewish Council for Youth Services, Chicago
Katie At The Bat, Narberth, Pa.
King Street Center, Burlington, Vt.
MaliVai Washington Kids Foundation, Jacksonville, Fla..
Mardy Fish Foundation, Vero Beach, Fla..
Milwaukee Tennis & Education Foundation, Milwaukee, Wis.
Morongo Basin Tennis Association, Yucca Valley, Calif.
National Dental Association, Washington, D.C.
Net Results Junior Tennis, Denver, Colo..
NJTL of Indianapolis, Indianapolis
NJTL of Trenton, Trenton, N.J.
Norwalk Grassroots Tennis, Norwalk, Ct.
Ossining Community Tennis Association, Ossining, N.Y.
Police Athletic League of Buffalo, Buffalo, N.Y.
Prince Georges Tennis & Education Foundation, Upper Marlboro, Md.
Prospect Park Alliance, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Recreation Wish List Committee, Washington, D.C.
Ricardo Flores Magon Academy, Westminster, Colo.
RTK Community Learning & Technology Center, Kellyton, Ala..
Tenacity, Boston, M.A.
Tennis Allstars, Akron, Ohio
Tennis Success, Corpus Christi, Tex..
University of Akron Foundation, Akron, Ohio
Virginia Commonwealth University Foundation – Mary and Frances Youth Center, Richmond, Va..
Washington Tennis & Education Foundation, Washington, D.C.
White Plains BID, White Plains, N.Y.
Youth at Heart, Inc., Tulsa, Okla.

USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, provides financial support for disadvantaged youth and people with disabilities through tennis and education programs designed to improve health, build character, teach life skills and motivate students to strive for academic excellence.  For more information on USTA Serves, visit www.usta.com/foundation.