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. 

Because Every Child Belongs

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section is on a mission to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region by helping people and communities grow stronger, healthier, and more connected through tennis. Our goal is to bring tennis to all, especially children, in the Mid-Atlantic. 

Thanks to you and your gift your tax-deductible donation directly supports increased access to tennis in the Mid-Atlantic through our programs, such as our Youth After School and Summer Camp Tennis Program, our Safe Places to Play Facility Assistance Program and our Junior Competition Scholarship

This year we continue to invest in the next generation by teaching children the benefits of the sport. Tennis is a lifetime sport and our After School and Summer Camp Programs teach tennis to those that may not have the opportunity to play or learn the game elsewhere. We are building a foundation for children to live a healthy life and to learn character skills that they will use for years to come. Watch this video to learn about our program and how, together, we can put a racquet in the hands of more children…because every child belongs.

Make a tax-deductible donation today to support USTA Mid-Atlantic’s charitable programs. 

How Your Donation Supports Tennis

As a non-profit charitable organization, USTA Mid-Atlantic helps people and communities grow stronger, healthier, and more connected through tennis. We aim to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region and want everyone to have the opportunity to experience the lifelong benefits of tennis.

One of the ways we do this is by introducing youth to tennis through after school and summer camp programs.

When you make a tax-deductible donation, you help with program expenses such as these:

Donate today, and make an impact beyond the net.

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.

Amir F: USTA Mid-Atlantic is for Everyone

Amir Head ShotThis month we caught up with USTA Mid-Atlantic volunteer, Amir Frydman.  Amir shared what he loves about tennis, why he thinks it is important to support the growth of tennis and why he donates to USTA Mid-Atlantic.

Why do you choose to support USTA Mid-Atlantic Section? 

Amir F.: I support USTA Mid-Atlantic because it is an amazing organization. There is nothing like seeing the joy people of all ages get from playing tennis. When they say tennis is a sport for life, it is absolutely true. USTA Mid-Atlantic has done a great job getting kids involved from the time they can hold a youth racquet to adults of every age playing tennis. There is no age limit especially when you fall in love with the sport. 

For me, the catalyst for a love of tennis has been the USTA and in particular the Mid-Atlantic Section. The Section is highly organized and makes it easy for every player of every ability and socioeconomic status to enjoy tennis, whether it is to socialize or to compete.

Make a tax-deductible donation before the end of the year to support USTA Mid-Atlantic and our  effort to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region so that EVERYONE can play. 

Why do you feel we make a difference? How so? 

Amir F.: USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis is tennis for everyone. The Section has made tennis an activity without boundaries, especially through its after school and summer camp program. Whether there is a tennis court available or just a parking lot or a school gym, USTA Mid-Atlantic makes it accessible for everyone to play the game. They provide the equipment: racquets, nets, and the balls – all of it. They make it so fun and easy to get involved. There are few sports or activities that are not restricted by age, language, gender, race – tennis brings people from all walks of life together. That is why it is growing; and with the support of USTA Mid-Atlantic there are no limits.

Make a tax-deductible donation today and support the power of tennis to bring people together and change lives in our region.

What do you think about our after school and summer camp program? What do you think is different about this youth program? 

Amir F.: I absolutely love the program. I had the chance to visit the USTA Mid-Atlantic tennis summer camp program this past summer. I was expecting a small group of children playing. Instead I saw a large group of children actively participating and learning with the program coaches. I could not believe how well organized the program was. It is never easy to get 30 kids of all levels excited and participating. Without exception everyone was having fun and everyone was engaged. The coaches did an amazing job teaching without making it look like they were teaching. 

One wonderful aspect was that while I noticed some different levels of talent or experience, the instructors made every kid feel great about themselves. The enthusiasm from the coaches and program director was contagious. I love tennis and seeing Alex, associate director of recreation programs for USTA Mid-Atlantic, get so excited when describing the programs made me a bigger fan than ever. KUDOS to Alex and the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section for getting so many kids excited about tennis from all over! 

Since 2016, USTA Mid-Atlantic has been introducing youth to tennis through summer camp and after school tennis programs and is committed to subsidizing the program so that the cost is lower and more children can participate. Generous donations help us bring more tennis programs to children all across the region.

What would you tell someone who is thinking about donating to USTA Mid-Atlantic? 

Amir F.: If you love tennis whether actively participating in it or you have a child playing tennis or just love to watch tennis, think about why you love it so much. You probably fell in love with it watching the amazing athletes who make it look so effortless or taking a friend to a tennis court and hitting some balls or playing in a tournament or for one of so many many other reasons.  

Tennis opens up so many opportunities for so many to become part of a sport that lasts a lifetime. It provides opportunities to meet people from all walks of life who share the same passion for the sport regardless of age, gender or background. Giving to the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section opens doors to more people, like yourself, to be a part of the world of tennis and the amazing benefits everyone gets from the sport.  

A donation of any size really does make a difference. Just visit a USTA Mid-Atlantic youth summer camp or watch a USTA League match and you will see why USTA Mid-Atlantic Section makes such a difference in so many lives in a fun and healthy way.

Tell us more about you. How long have you been playing tennis? What do you love most about the sport? Where are you from and what do you enjoy when you aren’t playing tennis?

Amir F.: I started playing tennis in lower school, but by 9th grade I fell in love with the sport. 

I think I got most excited about tennis when we lived in North Carolina and hosted a junior team from Israel. At the time, Israel was just developing their tennis program. The kids participating were all 12 and under. I was hoping to play with some of the 12 year olds and show them a thing or two that I, as a Junior in High School, knew about tennis. Well, I got schooled. These kids were amazing and were the best of the best. I just loved the fact how all the kids interacted and became friends so easily with each other and yet still competed fiercely.

I play tennis every chance I can get. It not only satisfies my need to exercise but there is no better way to let some steam out than hitting a tennis ball. Playing singles gives me the opportunity to decompress. The amazing thing about tennis is I can compartmentalize any work problems or other issues that come up during the day. When I am on the court, it is my time to just enjoy. Playing doubles gives me the opportunity to socialize and have fun!

When not playing tennis… when is that?  I love being with my wife, kids and dogs. My wife loves tennis too, so when we travel we usually bring our racquets.

It is through the love of tennis we can change lives together. You can help us continue to make tennis accessible to all in the Mid-Atlantic Section, and help us deliver more after school and summer camp tennis programs to ALL children in our region. With the year coming to an end, now is the time to make an annual gift. You can give a tax-deductible donation 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.

 

After School Program Sparks Love for Tennis

USTA Mid-Atlantic Section partnered  with Belvedere Elementary School in Fairfax County, Va., to introduce tennis as a brand new after school program during the 2018-2019 school year. The program was met with incredible enthusiasm and both the fall and spring sessions were completely full. Many children picked up a tennis racquet and began learning the sport for the first time. 

While tennis brought the student population together and helped create camaraderie through learning a new sport together, one student in particular had an experience that’s proving to be even more meaningful than expected.Maryn-belvedere-3

Maryn P., joined the USTA Mid-Atlantic Section’s after school tennis program at Belvedere Elementary last school year and according to her mom Jaana, it has opened up a whole new love of sport – especially tennis – for the young girl. 

“I am so glad that tennis is offered as an after school activity at Belvedere Elementary here in Fairfax, Va! My husband and I very much enjoy playing tennis and really wanted our daughter Maryn to learn the sport too but didn’t know how to get her started,” explained Jaana. 

“We were very thankful for tennis to be offered after school so she can learn the basics and that she could do it with other kids from school.  We thought it would be a great start, and more fun than just us [teaching her],” she added. 

As a non-profit organization, USTA Mid-Atlantic aims to make tennis the most accessible sport in the region and one way we do that is by providing high-quality after school tennis programs with the support of donations. We want all people, especially children to experience the benefits of tennis, a lifelong sport, so they can develop skills and healthy habits that will pay dividends for years to come.  

For Jaana, the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program has sparked an excitement in Maryn for the sport that has been enjoyable to see blossom, and doors to new opportunities are opening.  

“I think the after school tennis program has really sparked an interest with Maryn.  She was interested in watching Wimbledon this year, and we even went to the kids day at the Citi Open tournament, which we wouldn’t have known about if it wasn’t for the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program. Maryn really enjoyed participating in a tennis summer camp program as well. She is looking forward to playing tennis again as school starts. I’m so glad to have had the program offered so she can at least start learning the basics, and who knows where it will go from there,” Jaana said.

As for Maryn, learning a new sport has been pure fun.Maryn-belvedere-1

“I love learning and getting to the next level.  I was very excited to get to the red level to get a new racquet! I told my friend on the bus and now she is going to play this fall too because she also wants a racquet. I really enjoy hitting the ball back and forth- it’s fun,” she says.

USTA Mid-Atlantic is looking forward to kicking off the 2019-2020 school year of after school tennis at Belvedere Elementary and many other schools across the Mid-Atlantic region. We aim to introduce more children to tennis and spark their love of a new sport they may not have ever known. But we need to help to ensure we can succeed.

Your tax-deductible gift of $100.74 covers the cost to provide equipment, a high-quality curriculum, and instruction for one child in the program. USTA Mid-Atlantic provides all of this so participants just need to come ready to play and have fun.

As the school year is just getting underway, your gift can make an immediate difference. Importantly, you can double your gift when you give thanks to an anonymous donor matching all donations up to $10,000 in 2019.

You can help change lives through the power of the USTA Mid-Atlantic after school tennis program. Give 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.