Esther New Head Shot 2018.jpg

A Note From Esther…

Happy Holidays!

It is an exciting time at The Fort as we have kicked off the $1.7 million Capital Campaign to the public and construction has started on Phase I of the project! As of mid-December, we have raised over $520,000 for the campaign and look to keep the momentum going as we close out 2018! To learn more about the Campaign and ways to give, visit

I would first like to extend a heartfelt THANK YOU to Tom and Michele Mingo for their extremely generous gift of $150,000 to the campaign. The new Court #1 will be named the Tom and Michele Mingo Court! Thank you Tom and Michele for your generous gift and constant support of The Fort!

I also want to express my gratitude to the Wells family for their continued financial support of the Fred Wells Tennis & Education Center. Over 16+ years, the Wells family has donated millions of dollars, allowing us to achieve our mission and deliver Fred’s dream. This holiday season is no exception when it comes to their generosity as the Wells Family Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation has provided a $50,000 Challenge Grant. All December donations to the Capital Campaign are being matched dollar-for-dollar up to $50,000 by the Wells Family Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation! As of December 11, we are more than halfway there, collecting $31,710 toward this matching grant. Please have your gift go twice as far, and help us reach our goal, by donating in December!

Many of you have been asking me about the construction going on now at The Fort. That is Phase I of the Capital Campaign project as we need to construct a new walkway between the front and back bubbles and move the existing revolving door before we replace the domes so that we can expand the front bubble and add a fourth court. The new walkway (which will be heated) will also house a court-accessible drinking fountain, additional storage for our tennis equipment and maintenance needs and, eventually, will house our Capital Campaign Donor Recognition Area once the project is complete. Construction on the walkway will be completed the second week of January and we will celebrate with a ribbon cutting event on Friday, Jan. 18, at 12:30 p.m. Please save the date as this event is open to ALL!

Just a reminder that we still have a number of naming rights opportunities associated with the Capital Campaign, including the front and back bubbles ($250,000), courts 2-9 ($50,000 each), court-side benches ($10,000) and more. Please contact myself or Lisa Mushett to learn more about what opportunities are available.

I would like to close by wishing everyone a wonderful holiday season and a prosperous 2019. We are so grateful for each and every one of our patrons and guests who help us achieve our mission of bringing people together of all ages, abilities and backgrounds to embrace the lifelong sport of tennis while serving kids from under-resourced communities, and for making The Fort a second home to all who walk through our doors.

With gratitude,

Esther Tsai
Executive Director