A Note From Esther…

Happy New Year!  I hope everyone stayed safe and warm during the record-cold temperatures at the end of January and is now looking forward to warmer days as we enter the homestretch heading into Spring.

Although the temperature has been cold outside, things inside The Fort have been on fire with many exciting happenings kicking off 2019! We are so grateful to all who donated to the Capital Campaign in December. We exceeded our goal in meeting the $50,000 match offered by The Wells Family Fund of the Minneapolis Foundation. All told, we raised over $130,000 in December and are one-third of the way to our $1.7 million goal! Thank you for supporting The Fort as we continue to FORTify Our Future!

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On January 18, we celebrated the completion of Phase I of the Capital Campaign with a ribbon cutting opening the new walkway connecting the front and back bubbles. I hope you are enjoying the new (and heated) route, as well as the convenience of the court-accessible drinking fountain. There is still some future cosmetic work to be done with the walkway as it will eventually house our donor recognition wall once the Capital Campaign is complete, but we are now ready to start Phase II of the Capital Campaign and need YOUR help.

Phase II includes the replacement of the front bubble, resurfacing of the front courts and constructing a fourth full-size court, as well as installing air conditioning, improved lighting and energy and safety upgrades. The resurfacing of the courts and the addition of the fourth court are scheduled for mid-May, with the remaining improvements set for late-August/early-September. But to make this happen, we must raise an additional $600,000 over the next 6 months. We have a number of naming rights opportunities still available, including eight courts ($50,000 each) and the front and back bubbles ($250,000). I would love to talk to you more about how you can be an integral part of this next milestone for The Fort. Please contact me directly at esther@fwtec.org or at (612) 252-8367 for a cup of tea and more information.

We also have a number of other ways you can get involved with the Capital Campaign right now. Please join us on Wednesday, March 13 for the FORTify Our Future Luncheon at Town & Country Club from 12 Noon-1 p.m. Lunch is FREE, but we need help securing lunch sponsors, finding table hosts and inviting friends to join us. Please contact Lisa Mushett at lisa@fwtec.org or at (612) 252-8367, ext. 109 to learn more and RSVP.

You can also be a lasting part of the Fred Wells Tennis & Education Center legacy as we are re-doing our front walkway leading into the facility this summer. For as little as $100, you can purchase an engraved brick, helping us “FORTify Our Future.” To see the different brick opportunities, and to order, please visit https://www.bricksrus.com/donorsite/fredwells or stop by the front desk and complete an order form.

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There is also a lot of excitement on the courts as our junior program numbers are at capacity and our adult drills are thriving with many fresh new offerings. Our TennisWorks after-school program recently ended its first semester as 55% of the students were returning participants and 63% received an award for perfect or near-perfect attendance. Those students showing consistent attendance and a commitment to the program were awarded a new tennis racquet. Congratulations to Henok, Briana, Vera, David, Roberto, Alexis, Alan, Angel, Itzel, Jacqueline, Jael, Jairo, Javier, Kenzo, Kevin, Melanie, Nesyma, Yahir, Aden, Amelia, Anastasia, Chance, Ivan, Jasir, Josephine, Josh and Yasin! 

We look forward to seeing you on the courts very soon!

With gratitude,

Esther Tsai
Executive Director