A Note From Esther …

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Happy Spring!

As the long winter has finally decided enough is enough, we turn the page to my favorite time of the year – spring. The spring season signals so many things including love, hope, youth and growth. It unlocks the sleeping flowers and delights me with its joyful colors. To me, spring brings new beginnings and revived hope. 

Spring also signifies transformation. At the Fred Wells Tennis & Education Center, we are about to embark on our own transformation with Phase II of the Capital Campaign. This week, we start removing the front bubble, resurfacing the front courts and installing a ninth court (which means an additional 5,400 hours of available court time annually for our patrons)!

With all the excitement (as well as pollen and dust) in the air, it is easy to keep our focus moving forward, but I would be remiss if I did not take a few minutes to reflect upon the great things that have happened at The Fort over the past year.

It was a time of many accomplishments and celebrations as we kicked off our Capital Campaign and shared our needs to “FORTify the Future.” We received a tremendous response from our patrons and the community as a whole, which tells us you believe we are doing the right things in delivering our mission of bringing 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.

We have raised $650,000 thus far and are over one-third of the way to our $1.7 million goal, but still have a long ways to go and need your continued support. Would you like a court named after you or your corporation? Maybe a courtside bench? Something else? Come talk to me about the many corporate and individual opportunities, as well as sponsorship packages or the new Sustaining Donor Program available soon to support the Capital Campaign. We also have decided to extend our Legacy Brick program until the end of the year due to the overwhelming response of our patrons (we do not want anyone to miss the chance to be a part of history). Please visit www.fwtec.org/capital-campaign to learn more about our Capital Campaign, purchase a brick or donate to the cause.

In addition to kicking off our Capital Campaign, other outstanding moments in the last year included:

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  • Being one of only 21 entities nationwide, and the only tennis organization, named a Project Play Champion by The Aspen Institute in Washington DC. To be a Project Play Champion, organizations must take new, meaningful and specific actions to grow sports participation with a shared goal of making sports accessible to all kids, regardless of zip code or ability

  • Increasing the number of donors who support The Fort by 74%

  • Retaining and growing our TennisWorks participation at a steady pace

  • Expanding our financial support through a number of new grants

  • Adding seven new adult and junior tennis programs to our already robust menu of options

  • Celebrating junior player Deepti Pillai’s accomplishment of winning the USTA Northern Arthur Ashe Essay Contest for her age division

Finally, I would like to thank EVERYONE who participated in our Capital Campaign luncheon in March and our Pro Am in April. We raised over $90,000 at these two events, which support both the Capital Campaign and our TennisWorks program. I am humbled by the generosity of our patrons, community supporters and those new to our Fred Wells family. Thank you for sharing your time, talent and treasure with us as we continue to “FORTify Our Future.”

With gratitude,

Esther Tsai
Executive Director