USTA Equipment Grant Boosts Aces For Autism Program

By  //  June 21, 2012

Well-Deserved Recognition

BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Florida Tech has received a “Share the Love” grant from the United States Tennis Association Florida for equipment relating to its Aces for Autism program.

“I am very thankful that we were able to receive this grant from USTA Florida,” Florida Tech head men’s and women’s tennis coach Bill Macom said. “Over the years, we were fortunate to have several local tennis professionals loan us their equipment when we ran our events. Having our own portable nets, pressureless tennis balls and junior tennis rackets will allow us to do more tennis skills days with The Scott Center for Autism Treatment children.”

The Aces for Autism initiative developed several years ago after the men’s and women’s tennis team had challenges when serving.

Macom has since personally donated $1 for each ace the Panthers earn throughout the season to benefit the social skills program at The Scott Center.

Wonderful Concept

This idea has led to The Scott Center and Kiwi Tennis Club hosting an annual Aces for Autism Tennis Exhibition in Indian Harbour Beach.

Each year, the Panthers have held a clinic during the exhibition for autistic children and the team also schedules several clinics during the school year for children from The Scott Center’s social skills program.

Bill Macom is the Florida Tech head men’s and women’s tennis coach. (Image courtesy Florida Tech)

“We were thrilled to award Florida Institute of Technology with a $1,250 Share the Love grant to support tennis for children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder,” USTA Florida Director of Community Tennis Linda Curtis said. “Not only will the students enjoy using the modified tennis equipment during the Aces for Autism event, but they will be able to enjoy the sport of tennis throughout the year. The unselfish efforts that have been made by Coach Macom and his teams with the children from The Scott Center mirrors the ‘giving back’ spirit of the Share the Love initiative.”

The Third Annual Aces for Autism Tennis Clinic is scheduled for Saturday as part of the Florida Beer Company Pro Tennis Tournament.

The tournament is scheduled for 10 days through Sunday at Kiwi Tennis Club and benefits The Scott Center.

Major Awards

USTA Florida has awarded 273 grants totaling $557,509 to Florida organizations over the last two years.

Senior tennis, after-school programs, 10-Under tennis, and church, YMCA and police athletic leagues are some of the organizations and individuals that have received funding.

The USTA Florida organization is a not-for-profit tennis association that uses 90 percent of its annual budget to directly support tennis programs in communities throughout Florida.

It is comprised of over 1,000 member organizations throughout the state, with more than 50,000 individual members. USTA Florida relies on membership, sponsorships and fundraising to reach its mission – “To promote and develop tennis in Florida.”