Tennis Court

More Ways to Succeed with Your Tennis Team

Fundraising Challenges Offer a New Way to Compete

USTA Mid-Atlantic introduced the first fundraising challenge for the tennis community – the Summer Smash – in 2021 as a way for teams to come together to raise money to support tennis in local communities and the vital work USTA Mid-Atlantic does as a non-profit to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region and bring the life-long benefits of tennis to everyone.

USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis league championship

This fundraising challenge brought tennis friends together to give back and do something actionable and meaningful together for a good cause. Individuals and teams came together to rally their communities and networks to donate. As the fundraising went on top achievers earned badges and prizes both as individuals and as a team.

So who stepped up and smashed the 2021 Summer Smash Fundraising Challenege? 

Congratulations to the top THREE fundraisers: 

  • 1st Place: Robin Sanford 
  • 2nd Place: Jenny Hein
  • 3rd Place: Joshua Padgett

Thank you to Community Event Partner, Ruger’s Wafers LLC for sponsoring the 2021 challenge! Thank you to our partners for supporting the challenge with prizes and SWAG for the top fundraisers! 

  • Doukenie Winery
  • Hit Happy
  • Marriott Newport News City Center
  • M. Price Distributing Company
  • Ruger’s Wafers LLC
  • Tennis Warehouse
  • The Spoiled Office
  • TopCourt
  • Vitalyte 
  • Wilson

The next fundraising challenge will be in spring 2022.

You may be wondering why you should participate in something like this.

Here are a few reasons to particiapte in a tennis fundraising challenge: 

  • It feels good to do something good. We can all use a little bit of feeling good right now. When your team or friends (or even if you are on your own) participate in the challenge you can feel good knowing that you are helping others in D.C., Maryland, Virginia and West Virginia experience tennis and the benefits of the sport. Many people don’t have access to tennis and your fundraising will help change that.
  • Your raised funds will really help. The money you raise through the Summer Smash will make it easier for someone to learn or play tennis just like you. You will be lowering the barriers to entry and will help make tennis more accessible in communities that are under-resourced. 
  • Competition. Friendly competition on the tennis courts is fun, and now the Summer Smash gives you a chance to get competitive off the court too. There are challenge levels to hit and unlock badges, prizes to earn, and you could WIN big by going big with your efforts. Be a winner! 

Now we know you all love a good challenge and great competition (and probably want to WIN!) so to have success we’ve put together five tips for a successful fundraiser. 

  1. Make your first donation to your page, $5, $10, $25 or more is a great way to get started and show others you really care. 
  2. Invite your fellow tennis players to join your fundraising team so that together you can reach your goal.
  3. Share your fundraising page with family and friends and ask them to help you reach your goal. 
  4. Share your page in a text message, on your Facebook page or Instagram page or even send an email! Friends help friends that ask! 
  5. Send thank you notes to all who donate to your page and let them know they are helping to change lives through the sport of tennis! 

How to get started?

When we have a fundraising challenge, it is easy to join in and set up your fundraising page and/or team. Follow these steps:

USTA Mid-Atlantic League women's team photo
  1. Click the sign up button on the top right side of the fundraising challenge event page. We will provide a link when the challenge is announced.
  2. Choose whether you want to fundraise as an individual or start a team.
  3. Personalize your page with your tennis story, photos and videos.
  4. Ask your friends and tennis teammates to join your team; you can send them a custom link to sign up on your dashboard. 
  5. Share your fundraising page with friends and family asking them to support you so that more people can experience the benefits of tennis. 

Questions? Contact Catie Dugan Vargas, associate director of development, cvargas@mas.usta.com

USTA Mid-Atlantic is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to promoting tennis and its physical, social, and emotional health benefits. We envision a community where tennis is accessible and available for all people to play. USTA Mid-Atlantic has wide-reaching impact. We operate leagues, tournaments and other programs and events throughout the region for over 28,000 adult and youth members. We support the community providers, facilities and coaches that directly deliver the sport. The many health and social benefits of tennis have made it more popular than ever, and USTA Mid-Atlantic’s programs and outreach are rising to meet that demand. Click here to read the additional terms and conditions for the Summer Smash Fundraising event.

Five Ways to Give to Tennis on Giving Tuesday

On Giving Tuesday, it can feel hectic trying to figure out the best ways to give back. You want to make the most of the day and ensure you are contributing in a meaningful way and know that your contribution will really make a difference. Now is a great time to think about how you want to celebrate Giving Tuesday and prepare to get involved, especially to support your passion – tennis! 

5 Ways to Give to Tennis on Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a popular day to give back to many types of charities and organizations. While most associate this day with making a monetary donation, there are other actions, in addition to making a gift, you can take to show your support to the causes you are passionate about.

We’ve rounded up a list of five ideas for you to help make giving back to tennis easy:

  •  Make a Gift! On Giving Tuesday, you’ll feel great giving a gift to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section knowing it will support the growth of tennis in the Mid-Atlantic and help increase access to the sport for all people. Simply go online and make a tax-deductible donation. Need some motivation? Check out why this local tennis player chooses to donate.
  • Help Teach Tennis. USTA Mid-Atlantic delivers high-quality after school and summer camp tennis programs in our region. Our programs help kids learn tennis skills, build character, and give kids a healthy activity they can do for life!  We’ve helped thousands of children learn tennis in these programs! Learn more about working with us and open opportunities.
  • Register for virtual BINGO with USTA Mid-Atlantic. Play for a chance to win BIG prizes and enjoy some friendly competition.
  • Spread the Word about Tennis. You follow us on all the major social media platforms, right? If not, then plan to give us a follow on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. On Giving Tuesday, an easy way you can show support is to share a social media post from us with your friends and encourage others to follow along! 

Give a gift today!

Your support may mean that one more child gets the chance to learn tennis for the very first time. Your gift will directly impact the growth of tennis in the Section

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section is a 501c3 non-profit on a mission to promote and develop the growth of tennis. We aim to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region. How will you show support on Giving Tuesday? 

Find out more about our mission and why you should support USTA Mid-Atlantic this Giving Tuesday.


USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Mikeal Carpenter Scholarship Recipient

Junior Scholarship Helps Players Reach Goals

A Testimonial to the Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship Program, from Mikeal C.

As a youth tennis player, Mikeal Carpenter had a vision for where he wanted to be and where he wanted his tennis game to go. He knew he wanted to eventually take his tennis talents into the collegiate level and hopefully progress from there. That is when he knew his route to get there involved tennis tournaments.

Mikeal Carpenter, Junior Player Scholarship recipient, Playing Tennis

Carpenter was successful in what he set out to do. His journey as a junior in the Mid-Atlantic Section was notable. Carpenter ranked within the top 5 in the Section and the top 100 Nationally. In 2019, he won the B18s June Sectional and was a finalist in B18s at the 2019 Zimmerman/Johnson USTA National Tournament. Currently, his tennis journey continues as a freshman on the men’s tennis team at Morgan State University. 

For Mikeal, being able to play in a variety of youth tennis tournaments was important for his path to success. So was being a 2018 USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship recipient.

Read How Below:

First, when asked how receiving a scholarship helped further his tennis game, Carpenter responded, “receiving a scholarship from USTA Mid-Atlantic helped me a lot because I was able to play more tournaments and improve my game to go to the next level.”

Since 2013, the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship has helped young tennis players and families cover expenses related to tennis. It helps take away some of the financial worries that some families have when it comes to buying tennis equipment and shoes or adding in a few more lessons to the schedule.

Above all, it is because of generous donations from you that the scholarship program can help more children continue to play or start playing. 

“My two main goals for the future of my tennis game is to graduate from college while playing tennis, and I also want to play on the professional level at Wimbledon someday,” Carpenter said.

Read below to learn why he believes it important for you to support the Scholarship program.

Show Your Support:

Mikeal Carpenter, Junior Player Scholarship recipient, Playing Tennis at Orange Bowl

By supporting the Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship you can help more juniors in the Section achieve big goals like Mikeal. Expenses and access to tennis should not hinder any junior from being able to play the game they love. 

“People should support the scholarship program because it helps players who didn’t have the opportunity to play [in] certain tournaments the ability to play,” Carpenter said. “It really helps someone in need.”

Overall, at USTA Mid-Atlantic, we believe that neither background, location, resources, nor ability should limit any child from learning the lifetime sport of tennis. That is why the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship was developed. It provides solutions that help all children get physically active through tennis. 

How to Donate:

Help bring the love of tennis to more juniors in the Mid-Atlantic and help them reach big tennis goals. Support the Junior Player Scholarship by making a generous donation today. You can help the next junior player achieve big, just like Mikeal Carpenter. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Support the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Scholarship

Give the Gift of Opportunity to Youth Players

A Testimonial to the Mid-Atlantic Junior Scholarship Program, from Grace T.

When you make a gift to the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, a charitable non-profit organization, you are helping to give the gift of opportunity to children and youth players in the region. You give the opportunity to not only learn and love tennis but to help children explore opportunities for future success that come by playing the sport. 

Grace T. scholarship recipient and shares why you should support the Mid-Atlantic Scholarship Program.

Specifically, when you give a gift, it can support the USTA Mid-Atlantic Junior Player Scholarship Program which helps cover tennis-related expenses for young players in need. Your gift helps real young people like Grace T., who received a scholarship from USTA Mid-Atlantic and had this to say about her award.

Read her responses below: 

USTA Mid-Atlantic: What do you love about playing tennis? 

Grace: I love tennis because I get to compete against various leveled players and also meet new people. Tennis has helped shape my character and helped me overcome physical, mental, social, and emotional challenges. I think tennis differs from other sports because it’s something that you could play forever. It’s a well-rounded sport and a high-impact activity; it requires endurance, quick movements, coordination, etc.

USTA Mid-Atlantic: After receiving a scholarship from USTA Mid-Atlantic, how has that enabled you to further your game or made an impact for you?

Grace: As a high-level player, receiving this scholarship helped defray the costs of travel expenses, tournament fees, and training. 

USTA Mid-Atlantic: Why do you think people should support the Mid-Atlantic junior scholarship program?

Grace: People should support this program because it gives youth the chance to participate and learn the sport. As players improve and advance, they may face financial burdens with training, competing, or traveling.

USTA Mid-Atlantic: What is the biggest lesson you have learned from tennis that you take with you off the court?

Grace: Every tournament I’ve played is a learning experience and tennis has taught me many lessons along my journey. It teaches you about resilience, responsibility, and commitment. 

Tennis has helped shape my character on and off the court and taught me to be ambitious. Tennis has allowed me to push through physical, mental, and emotional challenges I face during matches. 

Above all, tennis is a way for me to stay engaged with the community and stay active. 

Grace T. scholarship recipient and shares why you should support the Mid-Atlantic Scholarship Program.

There are many players in the Mid-Atlantic region just like Grace T., that need support to keep playing the game that they love. Right now, your gift can be the help that someone needs. Learn how below.

Make a tax-deductible donation and help young tennis players take their first tennis lesson or try their skills in a tournament. You can be the one that makes a difference and helps more kids gain access to tennis in a time when they need it most. Donate today! 


USTA Mid-Atlantic Section, Inc. is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; EIN 54-1472806. All donations made to USTA Mid-Atlantic Section Inc. are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law.

Serving Off Court: Taste of the Mid-Atlantic with Doukenie Winery

In the Mid-Atlantic, communities are beginning to cautiously reopen and with that comes the hopes for recovery, rebuilding, and a “new normal.” USTA Mid-Atlantic, a 501 (c)3 non-profit, believes tennis will be crucial  to this process and to reconnect communities and people even while social distancing.  In that spirit, we’ve recently launched the #ServeItForward campaign to generate support for tennis in the Mid-Atlantic as part of the recovery process and support our mission and vision for tennis in every community.  

There are many ways to #ServeItForward with USTA Mid-Atlantic Section. One exciting opportunity is virtual wine tasting events we are calling “Taste of the Mid-Atlantic.” 

Taste of the Mid-Atlantic
Taste of the Mid-Atlantic

During these events, you get exclusive access to learn about and taste wines as if you were a special guest at the winery, but you get to do it from home. AND you are helping to #ServeItForward because a portion of the proceeds will be donated to USTA Mid-Atlantic to support our charitable tennis programs.

We’ve partnered with Doukenie Winery in Loudoun County, Va., for the first tasting event.  

General Manager of Doukenie Winery, Sally Travis, is a member of the USTA Mid-Atlantic Board of Directors and a USTA League player. We caught up with her to talk about the upcoming wine tasting event, tennis, and being involved with USTA Mid-Atlantic.

What drew you to tennis?

I dabbled a bit in High School and returned to tennis eight years ago when my husband was diagnosed with colon cancer. I needed a recreational outlet as a distraction from what was happening in our lives. 

I joined Ida Lee tennis center and took lessons. Then I started playing competitively and was recruited to play on a mixed doubles team in Montgomery County, Md. We went to the USTA League Nationals in Arizona! 

Tennis was a lifesaver for me. Tennis creates lasting friendships and a sense of community. 

How did you get involved with the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section?

A few years ago, Tara Fitzpatrick-Navarro (Chief Executive Officer at USTA Mid-Atlantic) reached out to me to get involved and serve on the Nominating Committee for the Board of Directors. I served on that committee and then became the Chair. 

Later, I inquired about getting even more involved and serving on the board. 

I enjoy being on the board. I believe in the mission and getting more youth and families involved in the sport. The promotion of children and after school tennis programs are so important.

What do you admire about the work we do at the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section? 

I admire the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section’s after school and youth tennis programs. They are such a great benefit to the community. I also admire the USTA League tennis program in the Section because it is a great way for adults to get involved, find exercise, and establish a community. It is a great outlet for anyone at any level. 

What are your thoughts on how the community can move forward from the pandemic?

It’s a difficult time for everyone. Anything we can do together and collaborate to support both business and USTA Mid-Atlantic is great. 

Let’s switch gears and talk about the Taste of the Mid-Atlantic event. What do you think people should know about Doukenie Winery? What makes it special?

Doukenie is a family-owned farm winery that welcomes families to enjoy our grounds while drinking our wine and we opened in 1995 by George and Nicki Bazaco.

George’s grandmother was named Doukenie and she told him to grow grapes, so that’s what he did! Doukenie Winery has 360 acres and 30 acres under vine.  There are 16 wines on the menu and they are always releasing something different and trying new things. 

If someone is new to wine, what would you tell them when trying wine?

I highly recommend that you try a full tasting at a winery, whenever given the opportunity. 

Here at Doukenie we have seven wines on the tasting menu. Virginia has so many different varietals (wines made from a single grape variety) and there are so many different things wineries are able to do now with wines. Whether it is keeping reds in barrels longer or aging different whites that are in either stainless steel or oak barrels, there are so many ways to make the wine unique.

Top tips for a good tasting experience?

Everything is worth trying once.  It’s all about what you feel about the wine, rather than what someone tells you. Ask questions to your wine tasting educator. Take a sip and see if you like it. When at a tasting, feel free to tell a wine educator what you like and don’t like, and they are sure to help you find something you will enjoy. 

There is no right or wrong; it’s all about what you like and if you enjoy it. Wine is an experience and meant to be enjoyed.  

What is your favorite part about Virginia wine?     

In Virginia, we can grow so many varietals, and so we can make hybrids and many different blends. Because of where we are located, we are able to have a long growing season, and we have such an opportunity to grow so many types of grapes. 

Doukenie Winery has 14 varietals on the property. Despite some of the frost this spring, 2020 looks to be another great year for Virginia wine!

What is the biggest myth you would like to debunk about Virginia wine?

If you haven’t tried it lately, try it because it is better than you remember! 

What are the details about the upcoming event?

Join us Saturday, May 30th! If you haven’t RSVP’ed for the event, do so here! Curbside pickup is available for the wines featured in the event. 

Taste of Doukenie Winery Virtual Tasting Event, Saturday, May 30th, 2020 at 5PM

Bill Travis, Doukenie Tasting Room Manager, will host the event. 

$127 for a 3 bottle package that includes:

2019 Rose

2015 Doukénie Dionysus

2017 Doukénie Chardonnay

To purchase your package and arrange for curbside pickup, please  call 540-668-6464 ext 201 or email orders@doukeniewinery.com

15% of sales will be donated to the USTA Mid-Atlantic to support our charitable community.

After completion of the purchase, virtual meeting event details and tasting tips will be sent via email to all event participants. 

To learn more about Doukenie Winery, please visit: https://www.doukeniewinery.com/

USTA Mid-Atlantic invites everyone to #ServeItForward both on and off-court, and get involved in helping to support tennis in the Mid-Atlantic Section as part of the recovery process we’ll all need.  Learn more about how you can #ServeItForward and support the USTA Mid-Atlantic, a non-profit organization, as we bring the healing power of tennis to our Mid-Atlantic community.