WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., February 1, 2010 - USTA Serves - Foundation for Academics. Character. Excellence., the philanthropic and charitable entity of the United States Tennis Association (USTA) announced today that under its "Aces for Kids" umbrella, it has awarded 24 year-end grants, for a total of $297,325. Among the organizations honored was United Neighbors, Inc., in Davenport, Iowa, with a $20,000 grant. The number of program grants awarded in 2009 was 37, for a total amount of $549,325. Combined with scholarship awards, USTA Serves distributed nearly $1 million in 2009.
USTA Serves awards grants to programs that successfully combine tennis and education and help children pursue their goals and highest dreams by succeeding in school and becoming responsible citizens.
Aces for Kids is a national initiative of USTA Serves. It strives to promote healthy lifestyles by combating childhood/adult obesity by providing disadvantaged, at-risk children the opportunity to learn to play tennis and improve their academic skills in a structured format. At Aces for Kids program sites, children between the ages of 5-18 learn about healthy nutrition and lifestyles, responsible citizenship, study skills, and computer literacy; interact with a mentor and other students; attend college preparatory sessions; and learn to play tennis in a team format.
Born from neighborhood action to revitalize Davenport's older neighborhoods, United Neighbors serves individuals and families in need through social and cultural interaction and educational experiences. It is neighborhood-controlled and assists primarily low-and moderate-income residents. Grant funds will support the organization's afterschool youth development program at Jefferson-Edison Elementary, as well as its expansion to two new sites: Wood Intermediate Pathway Program and Progressive Baptist Church. Serving 250 children, United Neighbors youth programs empower youth to support and influence their community, sustain meaningful relationships with others, develop a positive self image, and respect their own and other's cultural identities.
"These programs are impacting the future of thousands of children, helping them to develop a healthy mentality and vital life skills that they will carry into adulthood," said Karen Martin-Eliezer, Chief Executive, USTA Serves. "We are grateful for the generous support of the many corporations and individual donors that empower USTA Serves to distribute these life-changing funds."
The 2009 year-end grants recipients:
1. Abundant Waters, New York, N.Y.
2. A's & Aces, New Orleans, La.
3. Boys & Girls Club of Central Virginia, Charlottesville, Va.
4. CHAMPS Afterschool Enrichment Program, Erie, Pa.
5. City Parks Foundation, New York, N.Y.
6. Earthen Vessels Outreach, Pittsburgh, Pa.
7. Family and Children's Association, Mineola, N.Y.
8. Hamilton County Community Tennis Association, Indianapolis, Ind.
9. Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program, New York, N.Y.
10. Harper for Kids, San Francisco, Calif.
11. Hebni Nutrition Consultants, Inc., Orlando, Fla.
12. Houston Tennis Association Inc./NJTL, Houston, Texas
13. I Have a Dream Foundation of Boulder County, Boulder, Colo.
14. Indianola Main Street Association, Indianola, Miss.
15. Mentoring USA Inc., New York, N.Y.
16. Norwalk Grassroots Tennis, Inc., Norwalk, Conn.
17. Ossining Community Tennis Association Inc., Ossining, N.Y.
18. Project Lovematch Inc., Saddle River, N.J.
19. Sportsmen's Tennis Club Inc., Dorchester, Mass.
20. Tennis in the 'Hood Inc., Fayetteville, Ga.
21. The Orthotic & Prosthetic Assistance Fund, Inc., Langhorne, Pa.
22. United Neighbors, Inc., Davenport, Iowa
23. University of Akron, Dept. of Sport Science & Wellness, Akron, Ohio
24. University of Hawaii's Ace to Success, Honolulu, Hawaii
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Established in 1994, USTA Serves supports, monitors and promotes programs that enhance the lives of disadvantaged children through the integration of tennis and education. USTA Serves actively supports individual students from all cultural and ethnic backgrounds through college scholarships and player incentive awards and encourages children to pursue their goals and highest dreams by succeeding in school and becoming responsible citizens. Additionally, the Foundation supports community tennis programs across the country that provide positive role models, academic assistance, life skills, and tennis instruction to help prevent violence, substance abuse and school dropouts. USTA Serves is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that builds on the USTA's social conscience of addressing important health issues, diversity issues, and general well-being in the United States using tennis as the catalyst and change agent.
The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. A not-for-profit organization with 740,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the US Open, the highest attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Olympus US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., is a minority owner and promotional partner of World TeamTennis, and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. The USTA philanthropic entity, USTA Serves, provides grants and scholarships and through tennis, helps underserved youth and people with disabilities to improve academics, build character and strive for excellence. For more information on the USTA, log on to usta.com.