USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the United
States Tennis Association, announced it has awarded the Boys &
Girls Club of Rutland, Vt., a $6,000 grant. During its 2012 spring
funding cycle, USTA Serves awarded 44 community tennis and
education organizations more than $400,000 in grants.
The Boys & Girls Club of America, which dates back over a
century and took roots in Rutland in 1996, works to promote the
social, educational, health, leadership and character development
of boys and girls during critical periods of their growth.
"I came from a low income family," said Larry Bayle, executive
director of the Boys and Girls Club of Rutland. "The opportunity to
play tennis led me to college, where I was the first from my family
to graduate. Getting children involved in tennis, particularly
those that, traditionally, do not have access to the sport, is so
important to creating bright futures."
With The Boys & Girls Club of Rutland's membership exceeding
600 under-privileged youth, the USTA Serves grant will go towards
expanding tennis programming and hiring older teens to teach tennis
to the youth aged 6 to 14.
"USTA Serves is proud to continue to provide financial resources
to organizations impacting the future of thousands of children
throughout the nation, helping them to develop life skills through
tennis and education," said Deborah Slaner Larkin, executive
director, USTA Serves. "It is our hope and belief that these young
men and women will continue to positively impact their communities
The bi-annual grant process, a national initiative of USTA
Serves, was developed to provide disadvantaged, at-risk children
the opportunity to learn to play tennis and improve their academic
skills in a structured format, and to help combat childhood obesity
by promoting healthy lifestyles. Chosen by a Grant Proposal Review
Committee comprised of Foundation board members and USTA national
staff, with important input from USTA sections, the grants are
awarded to programs that successfully combine tennis and education
and help children pursue their goals and highest dreams by leading
healthier lives, succeeding in school and becoming healthier
citizens. To date, USTA Serves has disbursed $11 million to a
variety of programs that support its mission.