President's Letter December 2018

Kentucky Tennis Family,

I hope this newsletter finds you doing well and enjoying the holiday season!  I know we are all busy and pulled in a million different directions this time of year, so I’m going to try and make this short and sweet!

I have 2 items I want to ask you to consider:

First – Giving!  It’s that time of year when we are buying gifts for those we love, stressing about the long lines at the store or trying not to lose our minds trying to find a parking spot at the mall!  Sometimes in the madness, we forget what giving is all about – an act of grace and kindness from our hearts to someone else.  We give because we are grateful, because we love and because we want to bless someone else, so they know they are loved. 

I know you love tennis and are grateful for the impact it has had in your life. Would you be willing to help give that gift to others?  This holiday season, please consider a gift to the Raise a Racquet Foundation.  RaR is a 501 (c) 3 organization, separate from USTA Kentucky with its own board of directors. The organization raises funds to then distribute back into our state so that more youth and adults can play tennis. 

In the past 3?? years, those funds have gone to:

  • Major facility improvements in 6 different cities to get courts playable in areas that were struggling to have playable courts.
  • Wheelchair and adaptive tennis programs and equipment.
  • Kentucky High School Tennis coaches across the state.
  • Top junior tennis players around our state attend clinics or tournaments that their families might not otherwise be able to afford.
  • Recreation youth and adult players who can’t afford program fees for their local programming
  • Organizations who serve youth tennis players, like NJTL’s, JTT programs and more!

One of my favorite examples of how funds were used this past year was to help underserved children in Louisville attend the Western-Southern Open. These kids would never have been able to attend an event like this without the support of Raise a Racquet and that opportunity could be what drives these youngsters to keep playing and dreaming!

If you’d like to provide tennis programs, initiatives and opportunities to those around the state who wouldn’t have that opportunity on their own, then please click HERE to donate and I thank you for your gift!  To learn more about the Raise a Racquet Foundation, please click HERE.

Second – Mark your calendar for the USTA Kentucky Tennis Weekend, January 25-26 at the Omni Hotel in Louisville! This is a special weekend where we will celebrate our Annual Award Winners, Hall of Fame Inductees, have our annual board meeting, committee meetings and Community Development Workshop (CDW). It’s a packed weekend full of celebration and we’d love for you to be part of it! 

  • The Annual Board Meeting is on Friday, January 25 from 5-6:30 PM. Board meetings are open to the public and we welcome guests! If you’re interested in the business of how USTA Kentucky is run, you are encouraged to attend!
  • The USTA Kentucky Awards Celebration begins at 7:00pm with cocktails and heavy hors d'oeuvres on Friday, January 25. We’ll be recognizing our annual Community Tennis award winners at this event. Tickets are $45.  Please RSVP by January 4.  Click HERE to view this year’s winners!
  • The Hall of Fame Induction will be held at 12 PM on Saturday, January 26.  This year we will be honoring Mike Eden and Matt Emery – click HERE to learn more about our fabulous inductees! Hall of Fame tickets are $55 and include a plated luncheon. RSVP to the USTA Kentucky office by January 4 if you’d like to attend the Hall of Fame induction!

And lastly, thank you for your support, your engagement and your passion for tennis. I’ve said it before, tennis doesn’t work in Kentucky without each and every one of you.  You are Kentucky tennis and I have been humbled and honored to serve you this past year and am looking forward to an even better 2019 as we work to grow tennis together.

Wishing you and your family a safe, happy and blessed holiday season,
Rainey Johns