2019 Year in Review
By: USTA Florida Foundation Staff
The USTA Florida Section Foundation really lived up to its title as the giving arm of USTA Florida in 2019 by giving back to the Florida tennis community throughout the year. The Foundation succeeded in its mission of “changing lives through tennis” by providing financial support to organizations that help people of all ages and abilities improve their health and quality of life through the game of a lifetime.
Here’s a look at some of the stand-out moments of 2019:
In total, the USTA Florida Section Foundation’s community impact in 2019 was $165,386. $62,755 in funding was awarded to community tennis organizations across the state to provide equipment and programming, $29,071 went toward hurricane relief efforts in the Florida panhandle, and a generous $50,000 went to backing the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation’s brand-new teen center.
GRANT RECIPIENT SPOTLIGHT! 📢 A big congratulations to T2Tennis/Denton Johnson Tennis Corporation (DJTC) for being…
Posted by USTA Florida Section Foundation on Wednesday, December 11, 2019
During the first cycle of 2019, the USTA Florida Section Foundation awarded more than $26,000 in grants across Florida to community tennis organizations in Jacksonville, Orlando, Plantation, Miami and other locations. The Foundation put another $34,000 back into the community during the second cycle of the year, with grants to provide equipment and program funding to organizations in Eatonville, Delray Beach, Palm Coast, and more.
Hurricane Relief Efforts
The USTA Florida Foundation worked closely with the USTA Florida Section on relief efforts after Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle in the fall of 2018. In January 2019, the owners of the Panama City Racquet Club shared some of the recovery challenges they faced after their courts were practically destroyed by the storm.
Panama City Racquet Club Owners on the Effects of Hurricane Michael
We worked with USTA Florida to organize support & donations for the Panama City Racquet Club as they continue to recover from Hurricane Michael. Thomas & Laura Dobbins recently shared some of their experiences and the challenges they're facing while recovering. To help assist those from the panhandle that are rebuilding visit https://ustaflhurricanerelief.funraise.org/. #floridatennis
Posted by USTA Florida Section Foundation on Wednesday, January 23, 2019
The Foundation and Section, along with droves of supporters, were able to come together and help rebuild tennis in the community.
Wow look how nice court 1 is looking!!!! Love our new courts! Thanks to USTA and USTA Florida Section Foundation for your help in getting our courts resurfaced! Can’t wait to play 🎾❤️😊🎉
Posted by Panama City Racquet Club on Friday, August 30, 2019
Just outside of Panama City in Youngstown, Waller Elementary also lost all of their tennis equipment for physical education classes when their storage building was destroyed by Hurricane Michael. The Foundation and Section were able to provide the equipment needed to help restore the school’s class activities and provide fun to the students in the aftermath of the storm.
Jeremy Black, Waller Elementary PE Teacher, on the effects of Hurricane Michael
USTA Florida staff stopped by Waller Elementary, who is continuing to recover from Hurricane Michael, to drop off equipment from USTA Florida & the USTA Florida Section Foundation. The school lost all of their tennis equipment for PE classes during the storm when their storage building was destroyed. Mr. Black talked to us about the experience and how this equipment will help restore his class activities & fun for students who are returning home to challenges in the aftermath of the storm. To help others in the panhandle visit https://ustaflhurricanerelief.funraise.org. #floridatennis
Posted by USTA Florida Section Foundation on Friday, January 18, 2019
Run to Rally Community 5K Events
In the first half of 2019, the USTA Florida Section Foundation teamed up with Victory Sports Management for a series of Run to Rally Community 5K races. Individuals, families, and entire organizations could sign-up to walk/run and fundraise for grassroots tennis. Each stop also featured a “Club Challenge” where tennis facilities entering at least 10 race participants could compete for prizes.
GuideStar’s Highest Seal of Transparency
A 2019 Platinum Seal of Transparency was bestowed upon the USTA Florida Section Foundation in April by GuideStar, the world’s largest source of nonprofit information. The Platinum Seal is the highest level of recognition offered by GuideStar. To reach that level, the USTA Florida Section Foundation added extensive information to its GuideStar Nonprofit Profile: basic contact and organizational information; in-depth financial information; qualitative information about goals, strategies, and capabilities; and quantitative information about results and progress toward its mission. By taking the time to provide this information, the USTA Florida Section Foundation has demonstrated its commitment to transparency and to giving donors and funders meaningful data to evaluate nonprofit performance.
Partnership Raises Record Funds for Parramore Tennis Program
In June, the Orlando-based Women’s Amateur Invitational Tennis (W.A.I.T.) C League partnered with the USTA Florida Section Foundation to raise a record $26,577 to support a local youth T.E.A.M. Junior Tennis program serving the Parramore community. The league, which includes nearly 600 women players, smashed its original goal of raising $15,000 to help bring the T.E.A.M. mission of “affecting the path of local youth in communities through academic tutoring, health and wellness education, family coaching and tennis instruction” to life within their hometown. The league used the online donation platform provided through the USTA Florida Foundation to raise money throughout the season.
“The Parramore program was something that the ladies of the league could be a real part of throughout the entire year, not a distant charity we have no further involvement with,” said Stephanie Maughan, 2019-2020 W.A.I.T. C President. “You immediately have something in common with the program: your love of tennis. We understand how tennis helps us; it’s a good emotional outlet and the friendships that grow from playing together can build a support family for you in times of difficulty. This is a great way to impact your local community by giving kids constructive ways to use their time after school and encouraging academic success.”
In addition to the monetary donation, the W.A.I.T. C League also pledged volunteer hours on-court and for educational support of the program, along with gathering traditional soft goods the athletes can wear while playing.
Tournaments and Family Fun Days
The combination of two fall 2019 events raised nearly $5,000 for the Foundation’s mission to change lives through tennis. The Serving Sarasota Charity Tennis Tournament, hosted at the Laurel Oak Country Club in September, featured doubles play in the 6.5/7.5/8.5 divisions. Funds raised from prize raffles as well as part of the $50 tournament registration fee went to the foundation, to be used to benefit community tennis in Florida through grant opportunities offered by the foundation.
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Congratulations to the winners and thank you to all the impact investors at today’s Serving Sarasota tournament! @headtennis_official, thanks for helping us to make the players feel special. We appreciate all of today’s supporters who came out to change lives through tennis! 💙💚 . . . #giveback #givingback #sharethelove #philanthropy #nonprofit #changinglives #floridatennis #actsofkindness #fundraising #impactinvesting #tennis #sports #charity #charityevents #donate #community #dogood #nonprofitorganization #help #support #children #adaptive #causes #fundraiser #instagood #makeadifference
In October, a few hours of fun family play on the courts at the USTA National Campus in Orlando helped make a positive impact on community tennis programs. The Family Tennis Fun Day held at the Nemours Family Zone brought kids and adults together for on-court tennis play and off-court games and activities. The event helped shine a light on just how easily accessible tennis is to families by providing the chance to experience the game in a format where they can learn together.
“There were multiple wins all-around from this event,” said USTA Florida Player Development Coordinator Andy Gladstone, the organizer of the event. “Besides encouraging family play, this together time also raised money for a good cause – our Foundation.”
“The foundation is extremely thankful for the families who came out to help make a difference,” said foundation executive director Alexis Johnson. “With just under 40 attendees, we raised enough money to be able to provide equipment for up to 30 under-resourced or adaptive athletes.”
MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation Donation
During the 23rd annual Champions for Children Gala in October, the USTA Florida Section Foundation presented a $50,000 donation to the MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation to help achieve a $5 million fundraising goal for the brand new “Club 904” Teen Center.
“We are thrilled to have received such a generous gift,” said MaliVai Washington. “The unwavering support from the USTA Florida Section Foundation and this generous $50,000 gift not only helped us pass our $5 million goal, but will help us continue to serve up hope and change the lives of thousands of youth for decades to come.”
The MaliVai Washington Youth Foundation is a nonprofit dedicated to empowering at-risk youth in the urban core of Jacksonville, Fla. Scheduled to open in early 2020, Club 904 will offer age-appropriate services including academic assistance, college preparation, leadership training and recreational activities.
“The USTA Florida Section Foundation has supported the MWYF through our grant program for more than eight years,” said Donn Davis, USTA Florida Section Foundation President. “We’re so happy to partner with this wonderful foundation to make this much-needed dream come true.”
Those are just some of the highlights. To review more stories, click on the categories below:
Since 2010, The USTA Florida Section Foundation has had a community impact of more than $1,440,000 through equipment and financial support for community tennis programs serving people of all ages and abilities throughout Florida. To learn more about the USTA Florida Section Foundation’s mission of “changing lives through tennis” and how you can help make a difference in your local community, visit www.ustafloridafoundation.com.