Grant Recipients Announced in ITA Community Service Month

November 11, 2019

TEMPE, Ariz. (Nov. 11) – The Intercollegiate Tennis Association (ITA) announced the three college tennis programs that received ITA grants based on their participation in the third annual ITA Community Service Month Presented by Limoneira during the month of October.

ITA Community Service Month Presented by Limoneira was created to spotlight all the great community projects ITA member coaches and student-athletes do on an annual basis. The Limoneira Hours Challenge provided a friendly competition by tracking the total number of hours that each school served.

A total of $2,000 in grant money was awarded by the ITA to the Bucknell University and North Carolina Central men’s teams, and the Converse College women’s tennis program.

During ITA Community Service Month Presented by Limoneira, more than 650 student-athletes from all five divisions served 6,523 hours of service in their community or on their campus. Projects ranged from volunteering at Boys and Girls Clubs, visiting senior center centers and elementary schools to participating in community clean-up projects.

“Limoneira is proud to sponsor the ITA’s Community Service Month. Community Service is an important part of Limoneira’s core and we believe it is central to our ongoing sustainability,” Limoneira President and Chief Executive Officer Harold Edwards said. “We applaud the ITA for making Community Service part of its core and are pleased to be a small part of the ITA’s positive influence.”

The Bucknell men’s tennis team won the Limoneira Hours Challenge and $1,000 ITA grant by performing 393.5 hours of service during October. The team worked with the Boys and Girls Club, Central Pennsylvania SPCA Animal Shelter, the Lewisburg Community Garden, volunteered at the Bucknell Center for Sustainability and the Environment Annual River Symposium, and assisted senior citizens and special needs children.

“The student-athletes embraced the idea of the ITA Community Service Month and completely ran with it encouraging each other and looking for additional ways to help in the community,” Bucknell head men’s tennis coach Bruce Myers said. “Being student-athletes I believe they are very competitive by nature and the aspect I really enjoyed was the fact that we were able to complete 16 or 17 different and unique service projects that helped such a wide range and variety of groups in and around our community.

“I do not think any of my players viewed this as “work” and we left each and every project with a small sense of pride that we were able to make a difference and left a positive impression upon those with whom we interacted,” Myers added. “As important, we learned a great deal about so many issues that are facing communities, and I think this is something we will be able to incorporate in many different ways in our everyday lives. It was an eye-opening process to see all the ways and means to serve the greater Lewisburg community.

Myers concluded by saying “it is an extremely proud day for me as a coach of this group of student-athletes – not that we won the challenge, but that we were able to do so much good in such a short period of time. It is a testament to the character of my student-athletes.”

The North Carolina Central men’s tennis program received a $500 ITA grant through a random drawing of programs that used #CollegeTennisServes in their social media posts. The team worked with Brain Center Southpoint and volunteered at the Boys and Girls Club of Durham and Orange Counties.

“Truth and Service is the official Motto of North Carolina Central University and our students, faculty and staff take great pride in giving back to the community,” head men’s tennis coach D. Curtis Lawson said. “The NCCU tennis program takes a keen interest in Community Service and the Limoneira Challenge was a fun-filled way to serve a higher cause. “

The Converse College women’s tennis program won a $500 grant and one free coach’s registration to the ITA Coaches Convention through a random drawing of programs that totaled 50 or more community service hours. The team participated in Walk to School Day with Pine Street Elementary School and A Thousand Thanks Valet event.

“Community service is a big part of our team’s core values as well as the core values of the college,” Converse College head women’s tennis coach said. “We are absolutely thrilled and honored to have won this award.”