For USTA Mid-Atlantic players, an adult leagues team means competition, friendship, camaraderie, and fun. But more than that, team members support each other off the court as much as they do on it – especially during a time of crisis like we are in now. For the Northern Virginia adult league team “Smack that Ace,” pulling together as a team to help others not only benefited local health care providers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic but a small business owner as well. What’s more, it inspired an abundance of generosity from other tennis league teams to contribute and help too.
“Smack that Ace” is a 20-person strong, ladies 4.0 team with players hailing from all over the D.C.-metro area. Led by captain Ami Chastain, the team boasts many accomplishments, including placing 2nd at the USTA League Nationals in 2016.
Accomplished at leading her team on the court, Ami is also leading her team off the court by keeping players connected and in touch during this time of suspended play. During one such outreach, the team realized they had two members in incredibly critical roles that could use some help. The team devised a way to support fellow team member and ICU nurse, Brita Johnson, and her George Washington University Hospital colleagues as well as team member Angela Goodman, owner of Famous Toastery in Ashburn, Va. The plan was for the team to raise $320 to purchase meals from Famous Toastery and Famous Toastery would supply meals to the ICU Nurses at GW Hospital. A gesture to show appreciation to the hard-working nurses on the front lines and a way to support a local business.
The response was so overwhelming that the team met their goal in just one hour.
And then the generosity spread.
As can be the case in metro areas, Brita Johnson also plays tennis on a Washington, D.C. league team with captain Yvonne Mayo-Anderson. Mayo-Anderson heard of the effort and went into action reaching out to her Anderson & Anderson team and they contributed as well. Within roughly 24-hours, the two teams raised more than $2,000 – enough to purchase two nights worth of meals from Famous Toastery for the ICU nurses.
Says “Smack that Ace” team member Rachel Fritz, “given the current social environment, health care providers, first responders, grocery workers, etc are the heroes in our country. We have to thank them and support them in every way we can.”
The generosity did not stop there. Enough money was raised that the teams could afford to reach out and help more people.
“Three of us are also on a team in Montgomery County, Md., with another nurse and an ER doctor. So we decided to contact that captain and share the wealth,” said Fritz.
And that’s when Rachel contacted team captain Laura Sommers. Sommers and fellow teammate Dawn Johnson are health care providers in Montgomery County. They were able to arrange for Famous Toastery meal deliveries to Laura and Dawn’s respective health care teams and bring them meals to show their support.
It is incredible to see how generosity can blossom and spread all throughout our communities. Even the smallest gift can go far beyond what we can imagine and be inspiring.
“This was just a really small way for us to contribute. Tennis friends are amazing and very generous,” Rachel concludes.
USTA Mid-Atlantic is proud of our members who are serving the community during this time of crisis. Let us know how you or your tennis friends are going above and beyond for others and making a difference during the coronavirus pandemic by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
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