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USTA Florida 'Share the Love' Tennis Grants Reach 273 Totaling $557,509

May 3, 2012 11:04 AM
mediawall-STL-5-2012Funding tennis programs of all kinds, USTA Florida's "Share the Love" grant initiative has reached 273 grants to Florida organizations totaling $557,509 over the last two years.
 
Senior tennis, after-school programs, 10 and Under Tennis, and church, YMCA, and police athletic league programs are just some of the organizations and individuals that have received funding as start-ups, or to continue operation during tough economic times.
 
"We continue, with the support of the USTA memberships of Florida tennis players and supporters, to give back to tennis communities throughout the state," said USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis. "These grants make a difference to facilities, clubs, and city recreation departments in getting kids and adults playing tennis, while facilities and programs try and make ends meet during tough economic times."
 
Organizations receiving grants vary widely, from Senior Mini Tennis in Lee County (Ft. Myers area) and Tallahassee, to the Alliance of Involved Ministers for equipment for a 10 and Under Tennis program in Bunnell, to the Girl Scouts of SE Florida/Everglades Service Unit in Coral Springs, to the Kids and Police Tennis League (KAPTA) in West Palm Beach. 
 
SEE BELOW FOR FULL LIST OF GRANTEES
 
"I am writing on behalf of the Lee County Community Tennis Association (LCCTA) Board of Directors to express our appreciation for your support of the Senior Mini Tennis initiative in Lee County," wrote Executive Director Harriett Bohannon. "One of the unanticipated benefits of this project is a new partnership between the LCCTA and the Lee Memorial Health System Share Club, which is the community outreach agency of our local hospitals. The mission of the Share Club is to promote health and wellness for seniors throughout Lee County, which is clearly aligned with the goals of our project."
 
A grant to the club tennis team at Florida State University went far in providing more tennis opportunities for college players who want to stay involved with the game at the club level without the time-consuming rigor of NCAA tennis.
 
"We have about a hundred members and we travel the most in the fall [to Florida 'Tennis on Campus' club tournaments]," said FSU club member Monica Puerto. "We just had our first tournament that we hosted at FSU for the campus series. It was a great success. We had teams from UCF, USF, UF, FGCU, and even LSU came! Also since we knew we had the grant, we provided healthy food and Gatorade to the visiting teams which made our tournament more enjoyable. We are excited to use this grant to also host a tournament open to the community of Tallahassee. Thank you so much for helping us promote what tennis has to offer which is a healthy mind and body!"
 
Gainesville wheelchair tennis player John Johnston received a grant to support his John Johnston 10 & Under Tennis Wheelchair Tennis program.
 
"USA wheelchair tennis has been falling to the wayside, so hopefully this program of 10 and Under Wheelchair Tennis will bring the sport back to the USA," Johnston said. "I think these kids will inspire the future of wheelchair tennis." 
 
City of Tallahassee Tennis Superintendent Glen Howe says his Share the Love grant not only exposes more young kids to tennis, but gives his staff the opportunity to also expose the short-court game to senior players who can no longer physically play tennis on a large court with standard racquets and balls.
 
"City tennis professionals go around to different community centers each week and the senior center once per month using the 10 and Under Tennis principles on the wood floor of the ballroom of their senior center," Howe said. "The grant will give us the ability to continue our efforts in the Tallahassee community."
 
Grant funding for the City of DeBary provided for the start-up of the city's Girl's Tennis Program.
 
"This program will satisfy a need to provide programming for girls in the spring months," said city recreation coordinator Michelle Leach. "We currently have over 35 girls between the ages of 6-13 registered to begin classes. The Share the Love grant has provided monies for equipment we normally would not have been able to purchase."
 
Jennifer Sisk, recreation supervisor for the City of Port Orange, says 10 and Under Tennis offers their child campers the opportunity to play tennis outdoors or indoors.
 
"We are extremely excited about putting tennis into our summer adventure camp this year," Sisk said. "The kids will be able to play tennis outside, and if the weather is bad then we can always bring it inside as well. This is going to be a great way to get the kids active and doing something that is fun."
 
Share the Love grants are also bringing tennis to school where children have never picked up a racquet.
 
"The majority of students here at Fort Myers Middle Academy have never had the chance to play tennis because they don't have tennis rackets, balls or nets," said academy teacher "Coach" Franklin Jenkins. "Now thanks to the Share The Love grant, these kids will have the opportunity to learn and play the game the correct way."
 
A number of churches of all denominations have applied for and received funding for 10 and Under Tennis equipment for during- and after-church programs.
 
"The grant allowed us to purchase all of the equipment necessary to run a tennis camp this summer," said Niceville United Methodist Church Recreation Minister James Jettison. "We have never ran any tennis programs through our church, and the only place to play in our town is through the country clubs.  With the grant we will be able to offer a tennis camp at little cost to people of our community."
 
Below are Share the Love grants made over the last six months in Florida:
 
Apollo Beach -- Apollo Beach Racquet & Fitness Club 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Auburndale -- Cindy Hummel Tennis Center (Oct. 2011)
Boca Raton -- Del Prado Aftercare Program (Sept. 2011)
Boynton Beach -- Saint Joseph's Episcopal School 10 and Under Tennis (Feb. 2012)
Boynton Beach -- YMCA of South Palm Beach County (Nov. 2011)
Bradenton -- The Racquet Club at El Conquistador 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Bunnell -- Alliance of Involved Ministers 10 and Under Tennis (March 2012)
Cape Coral -- Clubtennis, LLC (Aug. 2011)
Clearwater -- Saint Paul's School 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Coral Springs -- City of Coral Springs (Sept. 2011)
Coral Springs -- Girl Scouts of SE Florida/Everglades Service Unit (Sept. 2011)
Cutler Bay -- Tennis Advantage of Miami, Inc. 10 and Under Tennis (Feb. 2012)
Daytona Beach -- Westside Elementary School (Oct. 2011)
DeBary -- City of DeBary Girl's Tennis Program (Feb. 2012)
Deerfield Beach -- Super Sports Management (Sept. 2011)
Deland -- KC Tennis Academy 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Englewood -- South County Family YMCA 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Fort Myers -- Cypress Lake Country Club 10 and Under Tennis (Feb. 2012)
Fort Myers -- Florida Gulf Coast University/10 and Under Tennis Pilot Program for Foster Care Children (Nov. 2011)
Fort Myers -- Fort Myers Middle Academy 10 and Under Tennis (March 2012)
Fort Myers -- Lee County Tennis Association (Aug. 2011)
Gainesville -- John Johnston 10 & Under Wheelchair Tennis (Oct. 2011)
Gulf Breeze -- The Club 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Gulf Breeze -- Baybridge Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Hallandale Beach -- Trombetta Tennis Academy (Nov. 2011)
Homestead -- Campbell Drive Middle School Special Olympics (March 2012)
Jacksonville -- 38th Street Apartments (Nov. 2011)
Jacksonville -- Arlington Family YMCA (Aug. 2011)
Jacksonville -- Jacksonville Youth Tennis Association (Feb. 2012)
Lakeland -- Beerman Family Tennis Center (Sept. 2011)
Lake Wales -- Lake Wales Family YMCA 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Miami -- Boys & Girls Clubs of Miami-Dade, Inc. (Feb. 2012)
Miami -- Citrus Grove Elementary School (Sept. 2011)
Miami -- Friends of Miami Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Miami -- Joy of Learning 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Miami Gardens -- The City of Miami Gardens Youth Tennis Program (Nov. 2011)
Miami Lakes -- Shula's Athletic Club 10 and Under Tennis (Feb. 2012)
Miramar -- JAM Tennis/Franklin Park/10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Naples -- Three Oaks Community Tennis Park (Oct. 2011)
Neptune Beach -- Beaches Chapel School 10 and Under Tennis (Feb. 2012)
Niceville -- Niceville United Methodist Church (Feb. 2012)
Nokomis -- Mertz Tennis/Sky School/Laurel Park (March 2012)
North Miami Beach -- Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center (March 2012)
Orlando -- Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc./KYDS Take Charge! (Nov. 2011)
Ormond Beach -- The Trails Racquet Club (Sept. 2011)
Palm Beach Gardens -- Mike Perales (Sept. 2011)
Panama City -- Oakland Terrace Elementary 10 and Under Tennis (Feb. 2012)
Panama City -- Tommy Smith Elementary 10 and Under Tennis (March 2012)
Panama City Beach -- Breakfast Point Academy (March 2012)
Panama City Beach -- KT Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Pembroke Pines -- Grand Palms Tennis Club (Aug. 2011)
Pensacola -- NB Cook Elementary School (Sept. 2011)
Pensacola -- Pensacourt (Aug. 2011)
Pensacola -- Shoreline Park (Aug. 2011)
Palcida -- Rotonda Community Park 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Plantation -- Plantation Tennis Tournament Corporation (Oct. 2011)
Port Orange -- City of Port Orange Parks and Recreation 10 and Under Tennis (March 2012)
Port Orange -- Larry Birchmeyer 10 and Under Tennis Program (Nov. 2011)
Port St. Lucie -- Club Med Academies 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Royal Palm Beach -- Acreage Christian Home School Group (Oct. 2011)
Santa Rosa Beach -- Van R. Butler Elementary School 10 and Under Tennis (March 2012)
Sarasota -- KT Florida Inc. (Nov. 2011)
Sarasota -- Teddy Tennis with Lark Baxter (Nov. 2011)
Sarasota -- Sarasota Family YMCA (Nov. 2011)
St. Augustine -- St. Johns Golf & Country Club 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
St. Petersburg -- Morgan Hendricks (Sept. 2011)
Stuart -- Buttonwood Tennis Club (Oct. 2011)
Tallahassee -- Florida State University Club Tennis (Sept. 2011)
Tallahassee -- Forest Meadows 10 and Under Tennis (Feb. 2012)
Tallahassee -- Walker-Ford Community Center (Aug. 2011)
Tallahassee -- Winthrop Park 10U Tennis (Sept. 2011)
Tampa -- Tampa Palms Golf & Country Club 10 and Under Tennis Rocks and Rolls (Nov. 2011)
Tampa -- Waterchase (Oct. 2011)
Tequesta -- Bethune Cookman Kids' Tennis Club (Nov. 2011)
Titusville -- Titusville YMCA (Oct. 2011)
Treasure Island -- Treasure Bay Golf & Tennis (Oct. 2011)
Venice -- Jacaranda West Country Club 10 and Under Tennis (Nov. 2011)
Wellington -- Hamid Tennis Academy 10 and Under Tennis (Feb. 2012)
Wellington -- Stoelting Tennis School (Nov. 2011)
West Palm Beach -- Ironhorse Country Club (Sept. 2011)
West Palm Beach -- K.A.P.T.A. (Nov. 2011)
West Palm Beach -- Palm Beach County Home School Tennis Group (Oct. 2011)
Winter Park -- Orlando Jr. Grand Prix (Sept. 2011)
 
"The forward-thinking decision by the USTA Florida Board of Directors to use some of our financial reserves to assist programs and communities in need has been so well received," says USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis. "These grants are making real differences in communities to start new programs or support existing programs for children and adults of all ages and abilities."
 
USTA Florida is a not-for-profit tennis association that utilizes 90 percent of its annual budget to directly support tennis programs in communities throughout Florida.

To be eligible for a USTA Florida Share the Love program grant in 2012, organizations must: be a current USTA member in good standing; meet a compelling need in the community; in the instance of 10 and Under Tennis grants, verify that 10 and Under Tennis (TAUT) staff are TAUT trained before receiving granted equipment; and practice and provide services without discrimination as protected by law.

Grant application assistance is available. For full eligibility guidelines, a list of all 2010-2012 Share the Love grant recipients in Florida, and the Share the Love grant application link, go to: www.florida.usta.com/grants/share_the_love.
 
 

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