On July 8, 2022 in downtown Fort Worth, members of the tennis community celebrated the relaunch of the USTA Texas Tennis Foundation (formerly the Texas Tennis and Education Foundation) and shared a night of Wimbledon-themed fun. The event raised funds to support Foundation’s mission: “to change lives and build communities through tennis and educational opportunities.”
Nearly two years ago, the USTA Texas Tennis Foundation Project Team began exploring ways to recharge the philanthropic arm of USTA Texas. Project Team Chair, Sara White, said they were committed to keeping the Foundation up to date as it continues to pursue its mission.
“Today’s charities are making strategic shifts to ensure their long-term sustainability,” she said. “We knew that in order to expand the Foundation’s reach and improve its impact, we needed to think bigger and more creatively about our mission and our brand.”
This would mean updating the Foundation’s web presence, visuals, and changing the name to better align with the USTA Texas identity.
“The first step involved extensive research and gaining buy-in from the USTA Texas Management Committee,” White said. “From there, it was all about branding. We knew that in order to steer the Foundation in a direction where it would be able to drive real change everyday, we would need messaging that was clear, concise and powerful.”
The next step was to launch the new face of the Foundation in an innovative and attention- grabbing way.
“We wanted to host a launch event that would allow us to introduce the reinvigorated Foundation and engage the Texas tennis community in a fun and exciting way,” White said.
The Wimbledon Gala was the culmination of months of work from USTA Texas volunteers and staff who collaborated to plan an event promoting the Foundation while also
highlighting tennis. With the event scheduled on the concluding weekend of the 2022 Championships, the Wimbledon theme was a perfect fit.
At the Gala, the ballroom and tables were adorned with Wimbledon and grass-court memorabilia and decorations. Green, purple and white balloons, flowers and draperies alongside an ivy-covered backdrop were used for photos. White said all these elements helped create an immersive experience for attendees.
“I was taken back at the beginning of the evening when I went up on stage to speak and was greeted by a ballroom packed with attendees, all dressed all Wimbledon white,” she said. “ It was an overwhelming show of support for years worth of work.”
During the gala, time was taken to recognize the impact that the Foundation has made on the lives of young Texas students and players with a video testimonial from past scholarship recipients. In the video, Anmay Devaraj, a student at Case Western Reserve University and 2021 scholarship recipient, said, “playing college tennis is a dream come true. I couldn’t have done this without the scholarship’s support.”
The inaugural event raised over $15,000 for USTA Texas Tennis Foundation scholarships and grants for young Texans. The gala also helped reestablish connections that the organization can build on into the future.
“We know that building relationships with community members, donors and partners will directly affect our ability to create impact,” White said. “We are grateful for the funds raised, but more than anything, we hope that we made a lasting impression on attendees so that they will continue to support our mission and help us to improve lives through tennis.”