2020 Serve It Forward Award Winners Announced
Every year, USTA Mid-Atlantic recognizes individuals and organizations in the Section that help spread the love of tennis. This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we shifted our annual awards program to honor those that are not only champions in the local tennis community but have gone above and beyond to serve the community, their neighbors, and/or their teammates during the COVID-19 pandemic with the #ServeItForward awards.
As nominations poured in, it indicated that there are many leaders of all ages among us in the Section. We are inspired by the passion and commitment of our Mid-Atlantic tennis community and we are thrilled to introduce the 2020 #ServeItForward Award winners.
Community Champion Award: Ami Chastain is the captain of her 4.0 league team, Smack That Ace. She led her team and others during the pandemic to give back to front line workers. She rallied her team to donate meals across the DMV area to hospital workers who were on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together they donated 500 meals and raised over $4,000.
Youth Leader Award: Corinne Chau is a rising High School Sophomore and has been playing tennis her whole life. When COVID-19 cut her varsity high school season short, she stepped into action and focused on pairing education, tennis, and giving back. She started raising money for the Whirlwind Johnson Foundation and created the “Whirlwind Reading Challenge.” She is using her love of tennis and literacy to raise money to help restore Dr. Johnson’s house and tennis court in Virginia.
Adult Leader Award: Amy O’Brien is the Team Captain of the Mixed Troubles league team and has a passion for organizing events to get people involved in tennis and the community. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the suspension of tennis did not stop her from spreading the love of the game in the community. She connected players around the Section with virtual meet up sessions, kept her teammates informed, and even brought new players into tennis.
Business Leader Award: Angela Goodman is the owner of Famous Toastery in Ashburn, Va., and went above and beyond for frontline workers in her community during the COVID-19 pandemic. Famous Toastery donated over 500 meals to healthcare workers in the DMV area. Beneficiaries included Kaiser, Holy Cross ICU, GW ICU, Fair Oaks ICU, and DC Fire and Rescue. Famous Toastery is also spotlighted on our Mid-Atlantic #ServeItForward business list, and you can learn more about how they mobilized to help others during the pandemic in this story on the USTA Mid-Atlantic blog.
Tennis at Home Provider Champion Award: Elliott Datlow is the Tennis Director at the Aspen Hill Club in Silver Spring, Md. From the beginning of the pandemic and with the closure of the club he has stayed in touch with all the tennis members via email, YouTube, and social media. Elliott has kept his players interested in tennis during the pause of play with at-home tennis training videos and activities.
Rockstar PE Teacher Award: Sharon Gregory is an adaptive physical education teacher at Piedmont Regional Education Program in Charlottesville, Va., and uses Net Generation curriculum to teach her students tennis. During the school year, while all her adaptive students were home for virtual learning, she made sure to give them activities that they could do to keep up with their tennis skills and stay active and engaged. She also is a Mid-Atlantic teacher that was featured for 2020 Teacher Appreciation week. You can find her story here.
Congratulations to all these incredible and inspiring winners. The 2020 USTA Mid-Atlantic award winners will be recognized in a virtual award ceremony on Mid-Atlantic’s Facebook page on August 19, 2020, at 3 PM.