As most of you know, April is Autism Awareness Month. I am very excited to share that we are organizing a fun event called the Racquet Run at several of our locations across the country. Volunteers, participants, families, and supporters will run or walk with their racquet to raise autism awareness and funds for our programs. Please check out our new website, www.aceingautsim.org, or follow us on Facebook to find participating sites.
This spring we will also be holding events and free clinics in conjunction with the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) Tour stops; February 20th at the Delray ATP Tournament, March 5th at the BNP Paribas in Indian Wells, and March 30th at the Miami Open. Behind the scenes, we are hard at work improving our curriculum and producing new training materials, and by this summer, all of our programs will be updated. This spring will be a fun and busy time here at ACEing Autism. Please read on to see what else is happening in our programs!
-Richard Spurling, Founder and CEO of ACEing Autism
Get sponsored, grab your running shoes, and get your racquet ready, the inaugural ACEing Autism Racquet Run is coming April 2016! During Autism Awareness Month, participating locations nationwide will host their own Racquet Run to promote autism awareness and community engagement while raising the funds needed to sustain ACEing Autism’s programs at a low cost to participant families.
Current Racquet Run Locations:
Los Angeles, CA: Saturday, April 30th, Time and Location Coming Soon Charlotte, NC: Saturday, April 30th, 9 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Charlotte Latin School Tennis Courts – 9502 Providence Road, Charlotte
Stuart, FL: Saturday, April 30th. 5K starts at 6:50 a.m., 1K starts at 7:00 a.m.
Juno Beach Park, 14775 US 1, Juno Beach, FL Pittsburgh, PA: Saturday, April 30th, Time Coming Soon
Alpha Tennis and Fitness – 1 Alpha Drive East, Harmar, PAGet Involved! Dates and times for each participating location as well as registration will be available through www.active.com. Teams and individuals can be sponsored through crowd-funding sites such as GoFundMe or JustGiving. It is quick and easy to create your own page which you can share with friends, family, and colleagues to sponsor you. Please email email@example.com if you are interested in participating, sponsoring, or simply learning more about the ACEing Autism Racquet Run!
February 7th, Denver, Colorado: We are very excited to welcome our new Program Director Craig Marshall. Craig became familiar with ACEing Autism through a child he coached privately who was enrolled in one of our programs. Several members of the high school tennis team he coaches volunteered with the program as well. When the role of Program Director opened, Craig stepped up, and he will be leading his first session at the Pinery Tennis Club, starting this month. Welcome to the team, Craig!
January 24th, Flushing, New York: Welcome Tom Tvedt, who is leading our brand new program at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. Tom is a long time member of the teaching professionals staff at the center, and also has prior experience teaching kids with autism. Due to the success of our annual US Open clinic each summer, there was a lot of support for a new program in the area. This year marks the first seasonal session for both Tom and the Flushing community, and we are looking forward to many more.
Program Director Spotlight: Lisa Pugliese of Boynton Beach, Florida
ACEing Autsim could not run without it’s amazing volunteer Program Directors, and this year we’d like to start a new tradition of acknowledging one in each newsletter. Naturally, we had to start with Lisa. In addition to having worked with us since 2011, Lisa is always organizing and representing ACEing Autism at events and fundraisers in her community. Lisa is a Speech-Language Pathologist specializing in children with autism. Lisa says “I want to give back to a sport that has given me so much in life, especially to children who haven’t been given those opportunities. I want to make a difference in their lives so that they reach their true potential, to help give them a voice. Thank you to ACEing Autism for enabling me to teach tennis to these amazing children, who teach us more about life than we could ever teach them.” Thank you, Lisa. We are so grateful for you and all that you do!
Volunteer Spotlight: Megan Wasson of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
Megan’s Program Director Sara Longo could not wait to nominate her for our first Volunteer Spotlight. Sara tells us “Megan has stepped up to the plate to help at almost every single ACEing session that I’ve held over the past two and a half years. Megan is patient, caring, and personable. She explains things so that the kids can understand her directions and she makes sure that each child is interacting with his/her peers. Megan emails a few days before each session to make sure that I have enough volunteers committed to attending. If I don’t, she goes crazy texting all of her Duquesne teammates and friends to make sure that we have enough. Megan has also brought ACEing Autism to the attention of her university marketing and nonprofit classes, increasing ACEing’s exposure and allowing others to learn from the great business model that ACEing has built.” Thank you Megan, for being such a devoted advocate of our program and our participants!
February 20th: ATP Tournament in Delray Beach, FL – We will be returning for our second year to host a free clinic for kids 4-18 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Local supporters, family, and friends are invited to stay and watch the men’s semifinal matches afterward. You can find us at the Clay Courts 13 & 14 at the Delray Beach Stadium & Tennis Center, 201 W. Atlantic Avenue. For more information please visit www.yellowtennisball.com/travel
March 5th: BNP Paribas at Indian Wells, CA – We will be returning to Indian Wells for Kids Day from 12:00-4:00 p.m. The event is free and open to all. We will have a mini-tennis court where children can practice their forehands and have fun with face-painting and balloon animals. Our booth will be located by the practice courts behind Stadium 4. Qualifying matches are also free to the public starting at 9 a.m! For more information please visit www.bnpparibasopen.com
March 30th: Miami Open, FL – We will be holding a free clinic from 5pm – 6pm, at Court #11. More information coming soon!
May 7th: Bryn Mawr, PA – We will be opening our newest program at The Shipley School this spring, with a six week session running until June 11th. Please see our website for details and to register!
ACEing Autism wishes to thank our truly generous corporate sponsors: