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USTA Foundation Celebrates 50 Years of NJTL Network; USTA Names Recipients of Annual Awards

Posted: March 28, 2019 in Suppliers

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WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The USTA Foundation, the national charitable arm of the United States Tennis Association, announced that it will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) network by launching an NJTL 50th Anniversary campaign.

Arthur Ashe cofounded the NJTL network in 1969 along with longtime tennis greats Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder. The three founders envisioned the NJTL as a way to reach young people in inner cities and to use tennis as a platform to teach them important life lessons. The goals at the NJTL’s founding remain the same: instilling in youngsters the values of leadership and academic excellence; and giving all kids (regardless of income, race, or gender) the opportunity to fully develop their tennis skills so they can derive a life time of enjoyment from the sport and experience its myriad benefits.

In 2014, the NJTL network combined with the USTA Foundation. NJTL chapters are supported by the USTA Foundation through grants such as the Program and Capacity Building grants. There are multiple tennis and educational initiatives and opportunities for NJTL participants, including scholarships, Excellence Teams, ACE Curriculum, USTA Foundation Essay Contest, and participation in Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day at the US Open. Today, the NJTL network features nearly 300 chapters that reach approximately 180,000 youth on an annual basis, providing free or low-cost tennis and education programming to the 50 largest markets in the U.S. – nurturing future leaders and providing opportunities for kids in need to succeed on the court, in the classroom and in life.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of the NJTL network, the USTA Foundation has created a new USTA Foundation logo to be used for 2019 to celebrate 50 Years of the NJTL. It will launch a series of stories titled “NJTL 50 for 50,” highlighting a combination of 50 NJTL participants, leaders, pioneers and alumni. These captivating stories will shed light on the positive impact their programs have had on their lives, and will be featured on and, as well as USTA and US Open social media channels using #NJTL50.

The campaign will also include the release of a new public service announcement, narrated by longtime USTA Foundation supporter and its Past President, Mary Carillo. The PSA entitled “When They Grow Up,” focuses on five typical NJTL participants imagining a successful future through their on-court and in classroom experiences. Click here to watch.

For its fundraising efforts, the USTA Foundation will implement a new text-to-donate option and unveil a new Avenue of Aces® 50th Anniversary Celebration Court at the 2019 US Open. This will feature 50 bricks and pavers in the Celebration Court area on the east end of the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Fifty percent of the net proceeds from the 50th Anniversary Celebration Court will support Arthur Ashe’s legacy at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) through the Arthur Ashe Jr. Scholarship Fund, and the Arthur Ashe Legacy Fund. For more information, fans and supporters should visit

“The USTA Foundation has a lot to celebrate this year, and we’re especially excited to highlight 50 years of the NJTL network,” said Dan Faber, Executive Director, USTA Foundation. “We are proud of how this powerful network continues to uplift and impact under-resourced youth through tennis and education programs, as well as instill the ideals and values demonstrated and taught by its founders, Arthur Ashe, Sheridan Snyder and Charlie Pasarell. Through story-telling and digital platforms, this campaign will shed light on the incredible impact the NJTL network has had on many. It will also bring awareness of the USTA Foundation’s continued efforts to strengthen the network and its programs so that chapters remain as strong and positive entities in the lives of our youth.”

WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The United States Tennis Association announced the winners of its Annual Awards presented at the USTA Annual Meeting and Conference, held March 22 – 25, at the JW Marriott in Austin, Texas. The honorees were recognized for their dedication to growing the game at an awards luncheon.

Below are the awards, descriptions and honorees:

Brad Parks Award

The Brad Parks Award was established in 2002 to honor an individual or organization that has been instrumental in the development of wheelchair tennis around the world through playing, coaching, sponsoring or promoting the game. The award was named after Brad Parks, a pioneer of wheelchair tennis and the first wheelchair tournament champion.
Dee Henry of Norwalk, Calif.

Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award

The USTA bestows the Eve F. Kraft Community Service Award upon individuals who perpetuate Kraft’s selfless mission to bring the sport of tennis to everyone who wants to play. Eve F. Kraft was a tennis pioneer whose ability to touch people’s lives exceeded the boundaries of the tennis court. As a teacher, coach, author, USTA staff member and volunteer, Kraft was a lifelong champion of recreational tennis in the United States until her death in 1999. She introduced thousands of young people to tennis, particularly in disadvantaged communities.
Toni Wiley of Dorchester, Mass.

Community Tennis Association of the Year

The Community Tennis Association of the Year Award honors a CTA for outstanding service in growing and developing the sport of tennis in its community. The award recipient is selected from 17 nominees, one from each of the USTA sections, by a panel of USTA Community Tennis Association Committee members.

Charlotte Tennis Association, Charlotte, N.C.

Janet Louer USTA Junior Team Tennis Organizer of the Year

The USTA bestows the Janet Louer USTA Junior Team Tennis Organizer of the Year Award upon an individual who positively influences children’s lives and substantially impacts their
community. The award is named after Janet Louer, who was instrumental in the development of junior tennis during her lifetime.
Conan Lorenzo of La Mesa, Calif.

NJTL Founders’ Service Award

The USTA NJTL Founders’ Service Award was created by USTA Diversity in 2011 and recognizes an individual NJTL chapter founder who is committed to positive youth development through tennis and education and provides free or low-cost tennis, education and life-skills programming to thousands of underserved children each year. The award is given to the recipient reflecting the values of NJTL founders Charles Pasarell, Sheridan Snyder and Arthur Ashe.

Lenny Simpson of Wilmington, N.C.

Organization Member of the Year

The award is given annually and recognizes the outstanding services of a USTA member organization through its commitment to the tennis community, the organization’s members and the game of tennis. The award was instituted in 1981.

The Greens Country Club, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Ralph W. Westcott USTA Family of the Year Award

The Ralph W. Westcott USTA Family of the Year Award was created in 1965 by the USTA in honor of the late Ralph W. Westcott to emphasize the theme that “Tennis is a Family Game.” The award is given annually to the family that has done the most to promote amateur tennis, primarily on a volunteer basis. All members of the family should participate in tennis in some way, either as players or by offering their services in running programs or tournaments or in junior development activities.
The Pipkin family of Landisville, Penn.

Seniors’ Service Award

The Seniors’ Service Award was established in 1958 and is given annually to the person most deserving of the respect and honor of all senior players. It is awarded on the basis of the recipient’s willingness, cooperation and participation – either in play or organizational work – for the betterment and furtherance of senior competition. The award was first awarded to W. Dickson Cunningham of Rahway, N.J., for whom the trophy is named.
Terry Fontana of Hicksville, N.Y.

Volunteer Exceptional Service Award

The Volunteer Exceptional Service Award (VESA) recognizes the most outstanding USTA Volunteers. Starting this year, two awards will be given each year: one to a volunteer with more than 10 years of service, and one to a volunteer with up to 10 years of service. Nominees in each of these categories must currently be serving on a USTA National Committee.
Robert Ingersole of Roosevelt Island, N.Y. (more than 10 years of service)
Carlos Cruz-Aedo of Torrance, Calif. (up to 10 years of service)

The USTA Annual Meeting and Conference brings together USTA Leadership, national staff, national committee members and section volunteers and staff in pursuit of the USTA mission: To promote and develop the growth of tennis. Along with leadership and committee meetings, the USTA Annual Meeting provides education opportunities for all attendees to develop and enhance their personal and professional skills and learn new ways to promote the game of tennis.

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