USTA Serves awards year-end grants

Tennis is serving up help for those in need.
A United States Tennis Association organization, USTA Serves, announced that it has awarded 33 year-end grants in the amount of $420,650 to organizations across the nation that help children with academics and recreation. USTA Serves is a national charitable foundation designed for children in struggling communities and those who suffer with disabilities.
The New York Junior Tennis League in Woodside, The Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program and Mentoring USA Inc. are some of the organizations that were awarded a USTA Serves grant.
The goal of USTA Serves is to give students a chance to learn how to play tennis, while building their academic knowledge in a structured environment. They also want to help promote a healthy lifestyle to prevent childhood obesity and they try to be a resource to other organizations who share the same goal of support and guidance through tennis and education.
“USTA Serves is excited to continue investing financial and other resources to support organizations that believe in the powerful combination of tennis and education,” said Deborah Slaner Larkin, executive director of USTA Serves.
The New York Junior Tennis League, one of the largest tennis and education programs in the U.S., was awarded $15,000 from USTA Serves. The league serves over 100,000 youths between the ages of six and 18 and has been serving Woodside for 40 years.
“We are proud of New York Junior Tennis League’s expertise, commitment and passion, and commend the organization for making an impact in the lives of the people they serve,” said Larkin.
The Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program received a $25,000 grant, which will be used to carry out the organization’s Tennis Against Obesity initiative that allows at risk youths to partake in the USTA cardio and Quick Start tennis program.
Mentoring U.S.A. Inc. helps youth from the ages of seven to 21 by providing them with positive mentors to help build self-esteem and make better life decisions. They were granted $15,000 for mentoring adolescent children.
The number of program grants awarded in 2010 was 59, for a total amount of $855,150. Combined with scholarship awards, USTA Serves distributed more than $1 million in 2010.