By Lynn Lee, The ALTA Foundation President
If you play tennis in the Atlanta area, you are familiar with ALTA. ALTA was first registered in 1934 with the United States Lawn Tennis Association and started league play in 1971, growing from 1,000 members then to approximately 80,000 in the early 2000s. In 1986, The ALTA Foundation was created to promote health, character, sportsmanship and responsible citizenship using the game of tennis. Supported programs are not only for amateur athletes, but for the disadvantaged, the physically and mentally challenged and inner-city youth who are given new opportunities for the future.
For 30 years, the foundation has served the community by supporting charitable programs for adults and children. Through its various programs, the foundation touches thousands of adults and juniors in the Atlanta area as well as some nationally.
During the first decade, a variety of programs were developed to help diverse populations of children and adults by introducing them to the game of tennis. The foundation was restructured in 2005 and, in lieu of operating programs itself, became a grant agency providing financial support for organizations that meet its criteria. The ALTA Foundation welcomes and very much appreciates donations from individuals and organizations. However, the foundation does not actively solicit sponsors. Since ALTA is a nonprofit, 100 percent of funding provides grants. That means that each ALTA member helps support these programs with annual dues.
The ALTA Foundation staff handles the administrative duties and works hand in hand with the ALTA board of directors to make policy decisions. The approved programs that we support are run by directors and, like ALTA, most of these programs are successful because of a huge volunteer base.
If you have any questions about The ALTA Foundation, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail at 770.399.5788, ext. 127. Donations are very much welcome!
Grant applications can be found online at altatennis.org. Download The ALTA Foundation grant application and mail it to the address on the form. Only local, nonprofit tennis programs that directly involve the target population will be considered. If your program qualifies, The ALTA Foundation will be proud to become a partner with you in introducing others to the world of tennis.
SOME OF THE PROGRAMS SUPPORTED BY THE ALTA FOUNDATION THIS YEAR ARE:
Atlanta Youth Tennis & Education Foundation – An effort that serves youth ages 5 to 18 in metro Atlanta with physical activity, academic support and life skills that help prepare them for the future.
Chattahoochee Foundation – Provide support for several programs, including Camp Best Friends, a low- to no-cost summer camp for approximately 80 children, and Volley Against Violence, where uniformed police officers and supportive adults along with youth from the Washington Park area break down barriers and build positive relationships with tennis drills and pizza.
Dunwoody Country Club Special Olympics Day – A special event for 100-plus Special Olympians from the six metro Atlanta counties inspiring them with drills, instruction, games, lunch and more.
Georgia Tennis Foundation – Joe Dorn First Serve provides after-school programs for at-risk children to introduce healthy alternatives to drugs, alcohol, violence and obesity through organized instruction of tennis.
Henry County Geranium Festival Wheelchair Tournament – The 10th anniversary of this program with players from Georgia and the United States was celebrated in 2016. This may become an international event next year.
Peachtree Grand Prix Wheelchair Tournament – A culmination of the wheelchair circuit held at Peachtree City Tennis Center.
Ron Walker’s Wheelchair Clinics – For more than 20 years, these clinics have promoted tennis to the wheelchair community and instilled sportsmanship. Eight-week clinics are held each spring and fall. Many of these players go on to join leagues and play in tournaments.
Roswell Park Adaptive Tennis – A long-standing program teaches tennis and life skills to disabled adults.
Sandy Springs Tennis Association – Through its KidsLuvTennis program, underserved children are taught good nutrition and character building life skills. Held at five local elementary schools, the children compete twice a year in the Battle of the Schools.
Special Olympics Georgia – This weekend-long competition provides children and adults with disabilities an arena to compete in high-quality sports competitions. Tennis is only one of the sports in the Georgia Summer games held at Emory University
Special Pops – This competitive match play tournament is for special needs children and adults in a safe and nurturing environment. It is the culmination of programs that begin in March at 14 locations in eight metro counties.
USTA Girls National Hardcourt Championships – With the 12U girls at Windward Lake Club and the 14U girls at Peachtree City Tennis Center, these tournaments allow metro area and Georgia players the opportunity to take part in a national event without having to travel a great distance.