Middle States

CPD League Players do Great Deeds

The tennis community fighting COVID-19.


While playing our game is on hold, members of the tennis community are coming together to fight COVID-19. As we continue to fight the spread of the disease, USTA Middle States is featuring people on the front lines: including hospital and grocery store workers, drivers, first responders, volunteers, and more.


If you know of someone who deserves to be recognized, let us know by emailing communications@ms.usta.com.

Call it team tennis, but with higher stakes. Tennis friends Marci Nelligan, Alyce James and Vy Banh are doing their part to fight COVID-19.


Avid tennis players and friends from the Lancaster, Pa. area, Nelligan, James and Banh are three cogs in a close-knit community, supporting front-line workers and their families. The group first connected through Hempfield recCenter in Landisville, and are now offering support through something that unites us all: good food.


Nelligan and James are individually coordinating donations and raising money to pay for meals. Banh, a restaurant owner, is helping them by donating food.


“I started just by raising some money to support small businesses and get some things out to the people on the front lines,” Nelligan said. “My goal from the beginning was just to be as helpful as I could be. It's good to see how it's been taken in."

After raising money through a GoFundMe fundraiser online, Nelligan approached Banh, who owns two restaurants in the area, including the ever-popular Rice & Noodles, a Vietnamese eatery along the Lititz Pike.


The idea was to order food from her restaurant and coordinate on delivery. Banh added to those donations by offering up food free of charge to deliver to various people in need.


“Running the restaurant, I don’t have time to coordinate and organize a lot of the charitable side,” Bahn said. “But I can find a way to feed people. So, I was very thankful for Marci to come in and deal with that side of things. Organizing and pulling together is her strength. Making sure people are fed — that’s our strength.”


To date, Nelligan has helped organize food deliveries to hundreds of individuals. This includes ambulance drivers, nursing home workers, hospitals, maintenance workers, and even individuals living away from their families in quarantine. Alyce James has done the same — coordinating food deliveries to Lancaster General Hospital and now looking at what other places could use the help.


James deflected much of the credit, attributing the help to the entire tennis community in the area.


“So many of our tennis family stepped up in a huge way to help when asked,” she said. “They were beyond accommodating.”

James mentioned many restaurants in the area: Caruso’s Pizzeria, Trio Bar and Grill, and Café East, along with Rice and Noodles.


All three women play regularly at Hempfield recCenter, where they have gotten to know Director of Tennis Wilson Pipkin, quite well.


“These are amazing deeds that they are doing,” said Pipkin, who currently serves as President of USTA Middle States. “I have to say I’m not surprised. They are great people. This is what they do.”


The group is now working even harder, engaging their local circles to build more support for Lancaster General Hospital and the surrounding community. They don’t plan on slowing down until the virus is no longer an active threat.


“I think it’s the least we can do for each other right now,” Banh said. “As a restaurant we’re lucky to be open to be able to provide this service to people who need it. If you know me, you know you’ll never be hungry. We’d like to keep it that way."

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