The West Side Tennis Club Foundation is hosting the Forest Hills Stadium Tennis Party on August 25 to support the foundation’s physically challenged and youth tennis programs, as well as preserve tennis history through the club's archives.
The West Side Tennis Club, once the home of the Open, will host a number of events from 2 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., including social tennis on the grass, cocktails at the stadium’s speakeasies, stadium banner unveilings, sunset dinner, live music and dancing.
To pay tribute to the club’s rich tennis history, several commemorative banners will honor Maureen (Little Mo) Connolly, Jack Kramer and the Davis Cup in Forest Hills.
West Side Tennis Club Foundation president Roland Meier expressed a desire to get local businesses involved in the party to increase their exposure. Local chocolatiers at Aigner Chocolates have been creating chocolate tennis rackets for the event.
The foundation consists entirely of volunteers. About 95 percent of the foundation’s funding comes directly from club member donations. At last year’s gala, the foundation was able to raise over $40,000.
The foundation is hoping to open a reference library. Currently, they’re working on acquiring documentation from international tennis magazines dating back to 1890. They’ll also need to digitize the documents, which could be a longer process.
“Part of the funds from the foundation this year will go into how to preserve these items, getting a climate-controlled room, and how to secure the objects,” Meier said.
In addition to the reference library and archives, the foundation hopes to host an exhibit this month featuring tennis rackets since the 1800s.
Several times a year, the foundation also hosts a tennis workshop for those in wheelchairs. And due to the club's close proximity to five schools, the foundation holds in-school programs. There’s a follow up program for local children, who can play at the club at a discounted price.
During an event with PowerPlay NYC, a group of 100 inner-city girls were able to learn from players from the Junior Women’s Nationals tournament as part of a mentorship program to improve life skill through athletics.
The relationship between the West Side Tennis Club and concert promoters for Forest Hills Stadium, Madison House Presents, has allowed tennis – and tennis history - to continue at the stadium.
“There is so much tennis history here, along with the concerts and interests for the community, it really makes Forest Hills a destination,” Meier said.
For registration and sponsorship of the Forest Hills Stadium Tennis Party, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit WSTCFoundation.org.