Milwaukee Tennis & Education Foundation Receives $100K Ford Foundation Grant To Support Sherman Park Community

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The Milwaukee Tennis & Education Foundation (MTEF) has received $100,000 from a $400,000 Ford Foundation grant to the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to fund the USTA's pilot initiative, "Community Building Through Tennis."

The Milwaukee Tennis & Education Foundation (MTEF) has received $100,000 from a $400,000 Ford Foundation grant to the United States Tennis Association (USTA) to fund the USTA's pilot initiative, "Community Building Through Tennis." MTEF is one of only four National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) chapters selected to participate in the pilot, following a year-long competitive RFP process that involved more than 500 NJTL chapters nationwide. The USTA received the grant from the Ford Foundation through the NJTL, and in partnership with the USTA Tennis & Education Foundation. The Ford Foundation is the second largest foundation in the world with almost $15 billion in assets.

"Community Building Through Tennis" seeks to use the sport of tennis and tennis facilities to build community in changing neighborhoods, promoting the roles of recreation and education as key community building strategies across race, class, gender and age. Working out of the Mary Ryan Boys & Girls Club in the Sherman Park neighborhood, MTEF will use the grant to supplement its focus on education, concentrating on workforce development, entrepreneurship training and financial literacy courses for youth, teens and families. MTEF's local partners in the initiative include the Sherman Park Community Association, Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee, Wells Fargo Bank, Milwaukee County Parks, Milwaukee Department of Workforce Development, Center for Teaching Entrepreneurship, Urban Entrepreneurship Partnership and Badger Tennis Club.

"Our success in partnering with such well-regarded local organizations was a major contributing factor to our being selected for the pilot and receiving this very prestigious grant," said Jay Massart, MTEF Executive Director. "For our funding, we rely on contributions from foundations, companies and individuals that recognize and appreciate that MTEF uses tennis as a lever to promote education, healthy lifestyles, and community building in our central city neighborhoods. The Ford grant is a wonderful opportunity to build on these efforts and increase our positive impact on Milwaukee."

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett wrote a letter on behalf of MTEF that was submitted with the chapter's RFP. "The Milwaukee Tennis & Education Foundation has a strong record of improving the lives of youth in the Milwaukee community," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. "Sherman Park is an ideal base for this program. The neighborhood has a diverse and stable population, yet strong community partnerships are needed to strengthen it and provide opportunities for young people. This grant will go a long way in helping accomplish our goals."

"Wells Fargo is really pleased to be a part of this initiative," said Lanny Little, Wells Fargo Regional President and MTEF Executive Vice President. "We have been active investors in support of MTEF for many years, and I have been a Board Member since the mid 90's. I am really excited to have the chance to add financial education to the tools and training that we will try to provide to kids and adults through this program. Just as tennis is a "lifetime" sport, personal financial management is a needed "lifetime" skill. Our program can help our participants to be more successful, confident and happy as individuals and as productive members of their community."

"The Parks Department is excited to participate in this partnership," said Sue Black, Director of the Milwaukee County Parks Department. "With 114 tennis courts available for use, Milwaukee County Parks is the leader in the state -- what a natural fit that we would partner with the Milwaukee Tennis and Education Foundation."

Serving 3,000 kids a year, the Milwaukee Tennis & Education Foundation's (MTEF) overall mission is to make Milwaukee a better place to live, work, play and learn through tennis. MTEF is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation, USTA Community Tennis Association (CTA) and National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) Chapter. MTEF serves as an umbrella organization, delivering a full menu of programs and services to the entire Milwaukee area community.

Notes to Editors:

The National Junior Tennis League (NJTL) is a program owned and managed by the USTA, founded in 1969 by Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder, to provide high quality tennis and education programming to children in underserved communities.

The USTA Tennis & Education Foundation is the charitable and philanthropic entity of the USTA. Its goal is to support organizations and programs that enhance the lives of people through tennis and education.

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level -- from local communities to the highest level of the professional game. It owns and operates the US Open, the largest annually attended sporting event in the world, and launched the US Open Series linking 10 summer tournaments to the US Open. A not-for-profit organization with 700,000 members, it invests 100% of its proceeds in growing the game. In addition, it owns the 94 Pro Circuit events throughout the U.S., and selects the teams for the Davis Cup, Fed Cup, Olympic and Paralympic Games. For more information on the USTA, log on to


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