Volunteer Spotlight- Kathy Davis
James Maimonis, Communications and Engagement Coordinator | November 14, 2017
SOUTH BURLINGTON, VT- For the past 17 years, Vermonter Kathy Davis has been Jake Agna’s right-hand lady at Kids on the Ball, a Community Tennis Association in South Burlington that creates opportunities for kids to learn about themselves and others through tennis.
Their journey began in 1999 when Davis worked as the accountant at Agna’s club. She took her first lesson from Agna and has been hooked on tennis since. More importantly, she has never left his side.
“Once we knew each other on the court, he felt comfortable asking me for help in the office,” Davis recalled. “I typed and mailed the first letter for Jake asking members to sponsor less fortunate kids for a summer of his Junior Development Tennis program, and from there, Kids on the Ball was born.”
A bookkeeper professionally, Davis serves as the treasurer of Kids on the Ball. ADVERTISEMENT She is responsible for the day to day operations, including planning, fundraising, grant writing and payroll, among other tasks.
Kids on the Ball won USTA’s Eve Kraft Community Service Award and has recently been highlighted for its philanthropic efforts in Cuba— introducing Cuban children to tennis while working to restore the National Tennis Center.
“Kathy has been directly involved with kids but her real impact on growing the game has been as operations manager. She is the behind the scenes reason why Jake Agna has been successful with this program in Vermont, Cuba and now branching out across the United States,” said Donna Griffin, USTA Vermont President.
Davis has seen the Kids on the Ball program grow from 20 kids to becoming an international success story and has kept in touch with the players every step of the way.
“Not all will be hooked on tennis but the opportunities the program presents are many, from adult role models to the chance to simply have fun in a safe environment. I am hopeful that we affect even in a small positive way all participants in the program,” Davis said. “I am still in touch 17 years later with several of the youth we met that first summer, and these lasting relationships are one of the things I am most proud of.”