What An Amazing Evening! THANK YOU

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What an amazing evening of fun and fellowship Saturday night at the first-ever Fred Wells FORTify Our Future Gala at the Hotel Intercontinental St. Paul Riverfront. Thank you to everyone who attended and to all those who volunteered, making it a truly special evening with all proceeds benefiting the Capital Campaign! We are still tallying final numbers, but we FAR exceeded our initial goal of $75,000! We are so grateful to each and every one of you who gave your time, talent and treasure to make this event unforgettable!

Red Carpet photos are available by clicking here. You can purchase high-res photos of all red carpet photos for $20/each by contacting Lisa Mushett at lisa@fwtec.org. Please send Lisa the photo number and the email address you would like it sent to.


Couldn’t Come to the Gala, But still want to Give?

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Couldn’t come to the Gala, but still want to invest on our future? There still is time to purchase a seven-night Pick your Paradise Mexican Vacation Package for only $2,000. If the Fort can sell only two more packages, it is worth $4,000 to the Capital Campaign. Choose from a luxury collection of lavish beach front resorts, located in some of Mexico’s most beautiful destinations. Acapulco | Cabo San Lucas | Nuevo Vallarta | Cancun-Riviera Maya | Puerto Penasco. Enjoy endless pools, world-class restaurants, live entertainment, tranquil spas and activities for all ages. Contact Lisa Mushett at lisa@fwtec.org or at (612) 252-8367 in the next week for more details.


Junior Fall Session II Registration
NOW OPEN!

Junior Fall Session II is October 28 - December 22. This season, besides The Fort’s well-known classes like Little Stars, Ultra Stars, Teen Basics and FW 1 & 2 , we have Competition Teams for those on a competitive pathway. For more information, and to register through ClubAuto, click the button below.


Former Fort player, coach & volunteer Maalik Konop-Defreitas is featured as one of 50 USTA NJTL leaders!

As the    USTA Foundation    celebrates the 50th anniversary of the    National Junior Tennis & Learning network   , USTA.com looks at 50 NJTL leaders and alumni who helped shape this incredible community dedicated to helping youth strive for academic and athletic excellence on the tennis court, in the classroom and in life.    In this installment, we catch up with Maalik Konop-Defreitas, a former NJTL participant at the Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center in Minnesota. Maalik (pictured far right) later coached and volunteered at the program before going off to college, where he played club tennis. Earlier this year, his UCLA team won the Tennis On Campus National Championship.    The Maalik Konop-Defreitas File    Name:  Maalik Konop-Defreitas   NJTL Chapter:  Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center   Role with NJTL:  Past participant, coach and volunteer   Year became active in NJTL:  2003   How did you first get involved with NJTL?    Maalik Konop-Defreitas:  I started with my dad being one of the coaches that initially got the club up and running. He ran a few junior drills over there when I was probably 6 or 7 at the time. I was fortunate to have this opportunity pretty early in life, and everyone was very welcoming.  Throughout my adolescence, it became a second home to me. I would go there after school and do my homework before I played tennis, then I’d go home and do it again tomorrow. They became like my family, whether they worked behind the desk, were on the court or were on the maintenance staff.   What was the greatest lesson you learned from NJTL?    Maalik Konop-Defreitas : In principle, that you’re investing in their future. Not just future tennis players, but future people. The opportunities that Fred Wells gives through tennis and education are invaluable. They’re fueling a lifelong journey of striving for excellence, and Fred Wells sets that tone.  It was priceless to me. I don’t reflect on it too much, but when I do, it makes me feel really happy and appreciative. I know I can always count on my friendships with the people at Fred Wells. They’re always there and supportive, and that’s something I don’t take for granted.   What do you enjoy most about NJTL?    Maalik Konop-Defreitas:  I made a lot of connections and friendships through Fred Wells; it’s indispensable. It allowed me to play tournaments and JTT and later Tennis On Campus as an undergrad. Even now in dental school at UCLA, I have a group of friends through club tennis that I would not have had before.  When I go back to Minnesota, I try to go back to Fred Wells once or twice, depending how long I’m there. It’s great seeing some of the familiar faces and sharing a lot of the jokes that have developed over a long time. Even though I haven’t seen some of these guys for months at a time, we pick back up like it was yesterday.   How has NJTL impacted your life today?    Maalik Konop-Defreitas:  I would not be anywhere near where I am today without Fred Wells.  They helped me through some very tough times, like when my parents were going through a split up. Fred Wells was a place where I could have a cohesive place as a family. They showed unconditional love and acceptance, and that is something I appreciated as I grew older. My younger sister and I would hang out with some of the coaches and some of the people behind the desk. It helped us mature a lot. You learned customer relations skills and how to interact with people.

As the USTA Foundation celebrates the 50th anniversary of the National Junior Tennis & Learning network, USTA.com looks at 50 NJTL leaders and alumni who helped shape this incredible community dedicated to helping youth strive for academic and athletic excellence on the tennis court, in the classroom and in life.

In this installment, we catch up with Maalik Konop-Defreitas, a former NJTL participant at the Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center in Minnesota. Maalik (pictured far right) later coached and volunteered at the program before going off to college, where he played club tennis. Earlier this year, his UCLA team won the Tennis On Campus National Championship.

The Maalik Konop-Defreitas File

Name: Maalik Konop-Defreitas

NJTL Chapter: Fred Wells Tennis and Education Center

Role with NJTL: Past participant, coach and volunteer

Year became active in NJTL: 2003

How did you first get involved with NJTL?

Maalik Konop-Defreitas: I started with my dad being one of the coaches that initially got the club up and running. He ran a few junior drills over there when I was probably 6 or 7 at the time. I was fortunate to have this opportunity pretty early in life, and everyone was very welcoming.

Throughout my adolescence, it became a second home to me. I would go there after school and do my homework before I played tennis, then I’d go home and do it again tomorrow. They became like my family, whether they worked behind the desk, were on the court or were on the maintenance staff.

What was the greatest lesson you learned from NJTL?

Maalik Konop-Defreitas: In principle, that you’re investing in their future. Not just future tennis players, but future people. The opportunities that Fred Wells gives through tennis and education are invaluable. They’re fueling a lifelong journey of striving for excellence, and Fred Wells sets that tone.

It was priceless to me. I don’t reflect on it too much, but when I do, it makes me feel really happy and appreciative. I know I can always count on my friendships with the people at Fred Wells. They’re always there and supportive, and that’s something I don’t take for granted.

What do you enjoy most about NJTL?

Maalik Konop-Defreitas: I made a lot of connections and friendships through Fred Wells; it’s indispensable. It allowed me to play tournaments and JTT and later Tennis On Campus as an undergrad. Even now in dental school at UCLA, I have a group of friends through club tennis that I would not have had before.

When I go back to Minnesota, I try to go back to Fred Wells once or twice, depending how long I’m there. It’s great seeing some of the familiar faces and sharing a lot of the jokes that have developed over a long time. Even though I haven’t seen some of these guys for months at a time, we pick back up like it was yesterday.

How has NJTL impacted your life today?

Maalik Konop-Defreitas: I would not be anywhere near where I am today without Fred Wells.

They helped me through some very tough times, like when my parents were going through a split up. Fred Wells was a place where I could have a cohesive place as a family. They showed unconditional love and acceptance, and that is something I appreciated as I grew older. My younger sister and I would hang out with some of the coaches and some of the people behind the desk. It helped us mature a lot. You learned customer relations skills and how to interact with people.

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Our Mission

We bring people together of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to embrace the lifelong game of tennis while serving under-resourced youth with the support of the Community.

Get Involved

Want to get in on the action and Support The Fort? 
There are so many ways you can join in the fun!

Join a Junior Program

Learn more about which program is right for your student and sign up today!

Join an Adult Program

We have plenty of option to fit even the most daunting schedules!

Donate Today

Donate time or resources!  Learn more about how your donations help us!

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Our Impact

16

Years serving the Community

The Fort opened its doors in 2002 and has been actively serving the tennis community in honor of Fred Wells!

 

1,531

Volunteer hours in 2018

Our loyal group of volunteers give generously of their time, working as part of our board, on a committee, or with under-resourced youth in our after-school programs.

 
 

5,000

TennisWorks Experiences in 2018

TennisWorks removes barriers to participation by providing free tennis and life skills programming for youth from under-resourced backgrounds. At the foundation is a focus on our Fort Five core values of Safety, Respect, Commitment, Integrity, & Kindness.

THE SPIRIT OF TennisWorks was captured best by one of our students,

"Tennis is like a family to me, and you can make a lot of beautiful friendships with the people around you."