College Begins

Sara Alebegovic

So I had a really cool moment tonight. I was going though my Facebook posts and I came across our God’s Plan music video that I had shared on my page some time ago. I started watching it and just started crying out of pure gratefulness and joy. I felt the emotions so strongly that I needed to write it done in this note. The video reminded me of all the amazing moments I had while I was an intern. The 2018 BNP trip has been my favorite event/trip I’ve been on with the foundation; that’s why it sparked so much emotion in me. It was my first trip as an intern and it was the first time I became closer to everyone and where I got a clear picture of what the internship actually is. Only now can I say I truly understand and feel what it has done for me. It’s far greater than booking hotel rooms and cold calling people! It’s so powerful that it makes me cry. I came into the internship with a solid base; I was confident and I had already learned how to deal with myself and my thoughts. The fact that I came in pretty strong always led me to think that I couldn’t get that much out of the internship other than an incredible group of peers to bond and interact with. But what I got was much bigger and more meaningful than that. I met people like Trent, Max, Jade, Erin, Ricky, and... well... I could basically just list out everyone, but you get the point! I was placed out of my comfort zone almost all the time and it has allowed me to grow in a way that is only possible through actually putting yourself through those real-life situations. I found and developed passions I never knew I had. I’m also very grateful that I was open minded and brave enough to join this group, be myself, and give all I had. The internship was the best possible last step in completing my journey as a ‘lost’ high school student trying to ‘find herself.’ I wasn’t desperately lost, though. I was just trying to find out where my strengths and weaknesses lie; that doesn’t sound like a big deal but some people spend a lifetime doing mediocre things because they never knew what they were capable of and what they were better off not doing. I can say I found myself and I thank you for creating this organization that allows anyone, whether they are struggling or thriving, to become even better and truly teach them how to always be the best versions of themselves. I am SO excited to be starting this new chapter of my life and I’m SO ready to slap college in the face!



Thank You

Good morning gentlemen,

This is Ricky's mom Dee. Once again, my husband and I thank you both as well as the foundation  for all you have done for the Sypert family particularly Ricky. Since he became an intern, we have seen the growth from a teenager to a young man capable of handling a multitude of tasks. It has been the best year of his life. The experiences cannot be duplicated had he gone straight to college. We  pray for the foundation that God would continue to give success as it makes a Huge difference in lives of those involved. We are Soooo blessed to be recipients and participants of this Great organization.  Words does not adequately describe our gratitude but this is all we have so we say again and again Thank you Ryan, Trent and the foundation. 

INSPIRE, May 18th, Featuring Grammy Nominated Artist Jason Mraz, at Venetian

Las Vegas Sands Launches the Sands Cares Accelerator Program with the Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation as its Inaugural Participant

Sands Cares kicks off the program with ‘INSPIRE’ on May 18 – a charity event featuring an exclusive concert performance by Two Time Grammy- Winning Artist Jason Mraz

LAS VEGAS, March 23, 2018 – Las Vegas Sands Corp. (NYSE: LVS) today announced introduction of the Sands Cares Accelerator Program, a community partnership endeavor that entrenches deeper investment in growing nonprofit organizations that have the potential to more greatly impact the local community with the gift of additional resources and nurturing from a major corporate partner.

The Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation has been named the first member of the Sands Cares Accelerator Program and proceeds from INSPIRE, will benefit The Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation.  This year’s inaugural INSPIRE celebration will feature a concert performance by two time Grammy-winning artist Jason Mraz at The Venetian in Las Vegas on May 18 in The Venetian Theatre.

Las Vegas Sands created the Sands Cares Accelerator Program to forge deeper engagements with community organizations that have potential to grow beyond their current size and stature, and who have demonstrated a strong ability to make impact and inspire change with greater involvement from a corporate benefactor. As part of the Accelerator program, Sands Cares commits expanded resources, such as funding, in-kind services, facility support and volunteers to program participants as a catalyst for acceleration of the great work they do in the community.

“The Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation is an organization that is changing the lives of at-risk youth and building our community’s leaders of tomorrow,” said Ron Reese, senior vice president of global communications and corporate affairs at Las Vegas Sands. “It is the best example of the type of organization we want the Accelerator program to propel into its next stage of growth and development. The Foundation’s mission also is closely aligned with Sands Cares’ focus on education and addressing the social, economic and family challenges many of our community’s youth face.” 

Founded 16 years ago and currently operating with a small staff out of a single room in the Senior Center at Lorenzi Park, the Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation takes at-risk youth off the streets and into greatness by providing them with life-changing opportunities. The Foundation helps children to develop a vision for their life, where they can grow their strengths through project-driven learning, mentoring, apprenticeships, academics, and athletics. The program inspires children to earn their way and discover their passions by helping them create and execute quarterly business plans. Through this process, the leadership and character development program arms youth with a psychology for life that prepares them mentally, emotionally and physically to live happy, driven and inspired lives.

Though the Foundation’s work, hundreds of youth every year are inspired to achieve beyond previously limited beliefs for their lives – 95 percent of the children in the full-time leadership program receive college scholarships, and students in the program have gone onto prestigious universities such as Stanford, Princeton, Oxford, Yale, Georgetown University, Harvard, University of Pennsylvania-Wharton School of Business, Vanderbilt, United States Air Force, The Citadel, Villanova, Williams College, BYU and many others.

“We are grateful to Las Vegas Sands for recognizing the power of the work we do with our children, and making this amazing investment in our future,” said Ryan Wolfington, founder, Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation. “Being part of the Sands Cares Accelerator Program is going to put us on a trajectory to impact many more young lives.”


INSPIRE, presented by Sands Cares, raises funds for the Foundation and is being chaired by LVS President and Chief Operating Officer Robert Goldstein. The event will begin with a VIP cocktail reception inside The Palazzo Theatre featuring gourmet food selections and premium libations, where guests can browse an extraordinary array of local and international auction items. The celebration will be capped by an intimate concert performance by two-time Grammy award winner, Jason Mraz, along with other celebrity appearances.

Ticket prices for the INSPIRE, presented by Sands Cares, begin at $150 for the performance only, with performance and VIP reception tickets starting at $295.  A meet-and-greet with Jason Mraz, along with the VIP reception and performance is $1,500. Proceeds will benefit the Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation as an inaugural Sands Cares Accelerator Program participant.

Tickets are available online at, in-person at any Venetian | Palazzo box office, or by phone at 702-414-9000.  To purchase sponsorship packages, contact the Foundation at 702-767-7531 or

For information about the Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation visit

About Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Las Vegas Sands (NYSE: LVS) is the world's leading developer and operator of Integrated Resorts. Our collection of Integrated Resorts in Asia and the United States feature state-of-the-art convention and exhibition facilities, premium accommodations, world-class gaming and entertainment, destination retail and dining including celebrity chef restaurants and many other amenities.

Our properties include The Venetian and The Palazzo resorts and Sands Expo in Las Vegas, Sands Bethlehem in Eastern Pennsylvania, and the iconic Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Through majority ownership in Sands China Ltd., LVS owns a portfolio of properties on the Cotai Strip in Macao, including The Venetian Macao, The Plaza and Four Seasons Hotel Macao, Sands Cotai Central and The Parisian Macao, as well as the Sands Macao on the Macao Peninsula.

LVS is dedicated to being a good corporate citizen, anchored by the core tenets of delivering a great working environment for more than 50,000 employees worldwide, driving impact through its Sands Cares corporate giving program and leading innovation with the company’s award-winning Sands ECO360° global sustainability program. To learn more, please visit



Kristin McLarty


Jonah's Story

Making a better future - by completely changing the direction of a child's life.

" Hi, I'm Jonah Wafula. I'm from Uganda, a beautiful, but dirt poor, third world country in East Africa. My story is not a hard luck saga, it is an ongoing adventure full of challenges and the equivalent of many third set battles.

I am very proud of being ranked 700 in the nation in juniors. I'm not a 4.0 student, and I won't be awarded a scholarship this year to play D1 tennis… but I am THE success story that does not make the headlines.

The gift given to me was opportunity; I no longer live in a two bedroom shack with 9 other family members, on less than $1 a day. I have shoes on my feet, plenty to eat, enough clothes to share with my entire village, a doctor, and the luxury of a dentist. I had my first birthday celebration at age 16. That was also my very first birthday cake, and I blew out my first candles. The mango leaves I used as toilet paper in the filthy latrine behind my shack are a faded memory, and everyday I spend in the US, I experience something which used to be a dream that would never come true.

In 2014, completely by accident, I met a woman in my hometown while she was teaching tennis at an orphanage. We became friends, and that summer, albeit with great difficulty and courage, she somehow managed to get me out of Uganda. I returned with her to Oregon, and she is now my American mum as well as the person to whom I will always be indebted. She tells me one day she will get a return on her investment… who is she kidding, it costs a fortune to raise a kid in the U.S.!

This spring, I will be the first person in my family to graduate from high school and go onto college. I came here at 15 with the equivalent of a fifth grade education, and what I used to call school was not much more than regular beatings, clumsy old text books, and a hole in my belly

at the end of each day when I ran home hungry . Now I am getting a real education with unbelievable resources, with mentoring, and with teachers who are passionate about their subjects and about their students; teachers who never lose their patience when I ask for extra help, and allow me the opportunity to play drums in the band, and to lift weights in a gym. This is truly Disneyland.

Since coming to the States, I have played tennis. I will never forget the first day I walked barefoot into a huge building in Oregon and saw people playing my sport. The tennis pro said, "Dude, go into my office and get some shoes". It took me a while to realize that "dude" referred to me.

Tennis is one of my greatest joys; I love the daily grind, the competition, and I'm learning to love even the losses… yeah right!

My incredible new life in the U.S. would not be possible had it not been for all the support and help I have had along the way. The reason that I am attending Indian Wells for the first time and being inspired by the best tennis players in the world is because I was given a scholarship by Ryan Wolfington, who is the director of the Marty Hennessy Foundation for Inspiring Children in Las Vegas. I have been part of this elite group of kids since last year.

Being a member of this foundation has helped me grow enormously outside the confines of a tennis court. I am learning leadership, community spirit, creativity, team play, and a commitment to someday paying it forward and help others that will benefit just as I did. The foundation continues to help me realize my ambitions, my goals, and my desire to keep fighting for greatness. One day I will work at NASA, which is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, and I WILL play professional tennis.

It seems only yesterday that I had never heard of The Bryan Brothers, James Blake Tennis, or Billie Jean King; now I have met them all. Today, immersed in the atmosphere of Indian Wells, I have more dreams. I want to play on these courts, and I want to dance alongside my idol Gael Monfils Tennis. Look out Gael you have competition! I can dance, dude!

That's my story. Thank you all for your encouragement, your kindness, and for your belief in me. Asante Sana. "

Kaitlin Reflects

Kaitlin with Foundation Alum Ozzie Tavares

Kaitlin with Foundation Alum Ozzie Tavares

Today was such an amazing day I'm not even sure I can put it into words.  Since I've come back from college I've been doing a lot of thinking.  What I want my summer objectives to be what coming back to the Foundation means to me, where I want to go in life and who I want to be.  And I'd kind of settled into what seemed to a few different themes of my life currently.  The first is starting over.  When I quit tennis, I assumed it would be forever.  My pride was too big to ever go back to the academy or really be associated.  I was young and ignorant.  I didn't see that tennis was so much more than a sport at this point in my life. I got a job and good grades and thought I was doing well for myself.  And slowly Ozzie began to tip toe back into my life and with that he brought the idea of "greatness." Now at the time I was doing fine, but having felt and experienced what I had with the Foundation, deep down I knew it wasn't quite right. I was doing okay, better than most. But I wasn't my best. I tried on my own to be great and seemed to be faced with what felt like a string of just mistakes and tripping over my own feet. I could have sworn the harder I tried to be better at life the worse I got. The beginning of my freshman year of college was a blur of this. Trying to get up and spring only to trip again. Somewhere in there I started to do really well. I thought I was beginning to reach even a small amount of my potential, only to find after winter break I tripped myself again.

A few nights ago I was discussing with my friend Tim the concept of greatness and what it means to be your best and I explained to him how it felt like I might never be able to stand up and stay up in life. And as these words slipped out of my mouth I realized how silly they were. And it was in that moment that I decided to dive 100% in. Not just to work or school, but all of life. I had been afraid to fully emerge myself in these waters for so long. But in doing so now, I've began to feel the ripples slowly hitting me. The absolute best feeling in the world is knowing you gave every last thing you had to give that day, and then going to bed with a smile proud. These past few days I've felt so alive, like I probably haven't since I was 14 or 15. And the worlds through many tough trials and adversities at me already and I've overcome them with stride.  The reason I started this long tangent was because today I was listening to Starting Over by Macklemore. And I think about what I have to offer these kids all the time. I quit. I messed up. And today I realized I'm a perfect example of even if you mess up or fall off the tracks, you can always come back to center and go home. I think that is what I want this summer to be about for me. Coming home and giving back. I know I would not be where I am today without you Wolfington. You saved my life. Coming to this Foundation changed me in ways I will never be able to forget or deny. I have a full ride scholarship to a tier one school. And I started working today at 8 am and I just got home and I've never felt better. I'm still not sure what this summer has in store for me but I know it will lead to great things.

Thank you from Samantha

A few years ago, if anyone told me I had won any form of a sportsmanship award, I would have called them insane. As Ryan mentioned, I was at a crossroads, minutes away from quitting and leaving all the suffering behind. But when I came to No Quit, I eventually felt a change. With help from Tim and Ryan I was finally able to enjoy what I was doing and honestly, for the first time in my life, I was finally putting in the work. Maybe that was why I had felt so uncharacteristically happy. I felt I had finally earned what I had gotten and for the first time in a while, I felt like I had made the right decisions. Everyone in this chat has helped me through these years. My mom would do anything for me and refused to let me quit for all those years, something I am now very grateful for. Trent, for being there and doing anything to help me, no matter how small. Erin, for trusting me enough to help her and making me realize how important it is to pass it on. Nicole, for being my best friend and always giving me that push in the right direction. Ryan, for comforting me when things were tough and truly showing me how to lead a happy and fulfilling life. And of course Tim, someone who over that past few years has become not only my coach, but someone I see as a real friend who has gone above and beyond in helping me reach goals I didn't even know I had. I know this message is long and a bit rambling but I just wanted to express how grateful I am for everyone in this message and how happy my life in Vegas has made me. Thank you all for being you and believing in me when I definitely did not. :)

- Samantha Martinelli

Thank you from Selena

To whom it may concern,

I just wanted to say thank-you so much for giving me this opportunity. This foundation, this retreat, it has a culture to it. And I know I’m young and I haven’t experienced everything yet, but this place, these people are far and away the best I’ve come to know. They see and inspire the best in me. You see others taking initiative, getting the job done, working and expecting such a high level of their own excellence, that it makes me want to do the same.

Furthermore, the kindness, wisdom, and openness on the retreat this year is unlike anything I have ever experienced. Don’t get me wrong, every trip I go on with this foundation is magical, inspiring, and uplifting in its own right, but the 2015 winter retreat has the number one spot in my opinion. I’m not sure if it's because I’m at an age where I can fully appreciate everything the alumni and speakers have to say, but when 35 or 40 of us all open up about our biggest regrets, highlights, and insights of the year, it's incredible. I cried: first tears of sadness for my regrets, and later of joy for the opportunity (which is beautifully strange for me because I’m not usually one to cry!) This opportunity has been such a blessing in so many ways and I feel I have gained so much wisdom and meaningfulness with my friends and mentors. Thank-you so much.

Yours truly,

Selena Williams

Tim Blenkiron elected Intermountain Board President

Congratulations to our Board member and longtime supporter Tim Blenkiron on being elected to serve as the 2015-2016 Intermountain Tennis Association Board President! Intermountain released the following press release:

Blenkiron, a former UNLV tennis alum who won the NCAA Championship in 1997, is the current Executive Director of the No Quit Tennis Academy in Las Vegas, and has coached numerous junior, adult and professional players, including American WTA player Asia Muhammad.

"As we move forward with our strategic plan, it is a huge benefit to be able to turn to Tim's expertise and incredible leadership skills on and off the court," said USTA Intermountain Executive Director Rob Scott. "I'm confident Tim will make enormous contributions to our organization as we continue to support and develop new community tennis programs and strengthening our partnerships in the industry. Tim's professionalism is second to none."

In 2010, Blenkiron was selected as an elite National USTA coach to run a USTA Regional Training Center. He also spent six  years as the Head Pro at Canyon Gate Country Club where he caught the eyes of tennis great Andre Agassi who recruited him to run the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation Tennis Program. Tim's work at the Andre Agassi Boys and Girls Club has been recognized in numerous media outlets including Fox Sports and the Tennis Channel. The program he created resulted in over 20 nationally ranked players, eight of which became Top 25 in the U.S.

ITA Winter Masters Results!

Congratulations to all of our players that placed in the top 6 of the ITA Winter Masters Sectional Championships!  The Winter Masters ran from January 16-20, 2015, in Salt Lake City, Utah.  

B12 Chase Kasday, 4th; Rua Elmore 5th
G14 Kenadee Semenil, Finalist; Madison Moffat 6th
B14 Michael Pasimio, Champion; Blake Kasday, 3rd; 
Michael Safbom 4th. 
B16 Dylan Levitt, Champion; Noah Dufort 3rd; Stefan Lalovic 4th
G16 Audrey s. Boch-Collins Finalist; Sophie Henderson, 5th
G18 Samantha Martinelli, Champion; Nicole Kalhorn 3rd
B18 Clayton Alenik, 3rd 

B12 Chase Kasday-Hartman, Finalists; 
G14 Kenadee Semenik-Turner Finalists; Selena Williams- Wilson Semi-Finalists
B14 Michael Pasimio-Bottcelli Finalists; Blake Kasday-Lemolov Semi-Finalists
G16 Sophie Henderson- Del Rosario Finalists; 
B16 Dylan Levitt-Hillis, Champions
G18 Samantha Martinelli-Nicole Kalhorn, Champions: Chelsea Crovetti-Carlton, Finalists
B18 Clayton Alenik- MikoPasimio, Semi-Finalists

Bryan Bros. Popular V-Grid Tennis Fest To Once Again Feature Tennis, Music, Food, and Wine Tasting

Photo Caption: At last year's event, Bob and Mike Bryan, Dave McKinney and Andy Roddick



Contact: Dave McKinney; (805) 388.5000 at


Bob and Mike Bryan’s Foundation Is Major Beneficiary As Duo Will Again

Make Spanish Hills Country Club Appearance on Saturday, July 19


Camarillo, Calif., (May 20, 2014) – Tickets and tables for the popular V-Grid Tennis Fest featuring Mike and Bob Bryan are now on sale and can be purchased through the all-time winningest doubles team’s website at


The 36-year-old twins will return to their hometown of Camarillo for the event once again being presented by Alexander Cadillac. The date for the day of tennis, music, food and wine tasting has moved to Saturday, July 19, and will take place from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Spanish Hills Country Club. Similar to year’s past, there will be a Pro-Am, exhibition matches and the day will culminate with a concert featuring the Bryan Bros. Band. All proceeds will benefit the Bryan Bros. Foundation.


More than 50 local wineries and restaurants will be on hand and sponsorships are still available. Once again this year, the event is being run by Spanish Hills Director of Tennis Dave McKinney.


Last year’s event was attended by former US Open champion and Bryan twins Davis Cup champion teammate Andy Roddick with more than $100,000 being raised for the Bryan Bros. Foundation, which helps benefit junior tennis in Ventura and Santa Barbara County.


The day after the TennisFest, the Bryans will play three home matches of Mylan World Team Tennis action for their new team, the San Diego Aviators, July 20th, 22nd and 23rd indoors at San Diego’s Sport Arena.


Tickets and exclusive tables can be purchased through the website, as well as sponsorship availability which can be viewed


For more information on the Bryan Bros. Foundation see the website at:


About the Bryan Bros. Foundation

The Bryan Bros. Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 organization, is dedicated to helping support and grow the dreams of children in VenturaCounty and around the world. The Foundation’s mission is to identify and support charities and causes that help at-risk youth survive and thrive. We seek out specific families and children in need, working with them directly to ensure that they have the opportunities they need to succeed. In everything we do, we will promote the ideals of sports, and tennis in particular, to emphasize the values of hard work, dedication and perseverance.

Alumni Victoire Saperstein Named All-BIG EAST in Women’s Tennis

WASHINGTON – Freshman women’s tennis player Victoire Saperstein (Las Vegas, Nev./Odyssey Charter School) was named All-BIG EAST on Thursday morning by the conference office. She became the third player and the first freshman to earn All-BIG EAST honors under Georgetown Head Coach Gordie Ernst.

She was one of two freshman to earn the honor this year; 12 women overall were named All-BIG EAST representing six different schools.
Saperstein went 11-8 in singles matches including a mark of 8-6 at No. 1 singles. She went 4-3 in BIG EAST matches.
The freshman started out the season playing No. 5 and 6 singles matches and took over the No. 1 spot on February 22 against Montana State. The switch coincided with the Hoyas six-match winning streak starting with Montana State and continuing through a conference sweep over Providence on March 22. During that time, Saperstein went 3-3 from the No. 1 single position.
Saperstein went 10-4 in doubles including an 8-2 record with partner Liselot Koenen (St. Charles, Ill./St Charles North).  Saperstein and Koenen won both of their doubles match from the No. 1 position at the BIG EAST Championship.
The Hoyas dropped their opening round draw at the BIG EAST Championship in late April to St. John’s before defeating Villanova in a backdraw victory on Saturday, April 26. Saperstein won both of her singles matches at the championship.


Chloe Henderson

Winning. Starting as young as preschool, I was taught to win. Taught by my parents, family, teachers, and friends. I was taught to be the best in the class, to have the highest grades, to be the fastest runner, to color in the lines the best, and to win. With this impressive imprint of expectation, I have grown up trying to win. But as I continue to age, I speculate the moral definition of winning.

        By dictionary, winning is “gaining or relating to victory in a contest or competition.” If, in my life, all I am trying to do is win a “contest or competition”, what game am I playing? Am I just a pawn in a large game that society pressures me to be in? A game of monopoly where the only objective is to earn money and houses to “win.” Are these artificial materials the goals that every person in this world should strive for to achieve happiness? To meet the conjectures of society and to win?

In life, if my goals and societal expectations are to win, then what am I trying to win? Money? Commodity? Friends? Or is there a deeper meaning to winning? As I grow older, I continue to be taught to win. I am taught to have the highest grades, to win the most matches, to be the best sister, to have the best projects, and to win. Over the past few months, after losing a tough tennis match to a novice opponent, I have started to scrutinize my life goals, personal objectives, and my purpose in the world. With advice from mentors, I have come to the conclusion that winning is not equivalent to materials or even a score board.

By my new philosophy and my ethical definition, winning is being the best person that I can possibly be in all aspects of my life including tennis, school, family, friends, and within society, despite the possible outcomes. The purpose of life is to achieve happiness and contentment. By doing the best I can and always giving one hundred and ten percent, I can be satisfied and prideful with my effort and with myself. As berserk as it may sound, in tennis, I have learned to try not to win, but rather to focus on just trying my best. Giving my utmost effort in life is the only thing I have control over. I cannot control the questions on the test, the shot my opponent hits, the obnoxious comment my sister makes, the college I get into, the job I will get; but I can control the amount of time I study, the shot I decide to return to my opponent, my response to my sister, my time and effort put into college preparation and applications, and my preparation for a job.

Just recently I have been taught to truly win. Taught by my previous failures, my mentors, and my inquisitions. I have been taught to try my hardest in class, to study and prepare for tests, to run as fast as I can, to be creative and draw outside the lines sometimes, and to be gratified by being the best version of Chloe Henderson.

Welcome to the New Home of the Marty Hennessy Junior Tennis Foundation!

We hope you enjoy the website. As is true for most everything we do, this was designed and completed by our alumni and children. We are always looking for criticism and critiques so please let us know if there is something that needs changing.

Thank you and enjoy!


The Website Team

Laurie Steed Letter to McKay Novak

Mckay –

I can’t tell you how much your heartfelt letter means to me.  So many people think that “successful business people” have everything?, but we go through the same personal struggles daily –often times on a much larger scale.   

It’s letter’s like this from someone like you, coming out of nowhere –that helps me put into perspective what I work so hard for everyday seem worth it. 

I have motivational quote’s all over my office – to keep me inspired – one I look at as I walk in & leave is:

When you feel like giving up, remember why you held on for long in the first place.

I never had positive mentors growing up or the financial resources to go to college. 

I find it incredibly rewarding to know that I’ve in some small way helped a young person make, their life a little easier or helped in a small way to give them some tools to get a better education so that they might be able to have a better life. 

I’ve never in my life known anyone like Ryan who gives so much of their personal time & energy towards helping others.  So many people can offer cash donations, but to put their personal time, energy, is beyond any person I’ll ever meet.

It’s knowing that individuals like you realize what the Foundation has done to help them & will continue to help others, makes it all work & will continue to work to help so many others.

I can’t thank you enough for sending this letter.  Your letter has brought tears to me & inspired me when I really needed it. 

You have your whole life ahead and are fortunate to have the wonderful foundation “family” always with you –

You are an amazing young girl & the foundation is fortunate to have you in it for so many years helping others.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.


McKay Novak Thank You Letter to Donor Laurie Steed

Dear Mrs. Steed,

I do not just want to write you a thank you letter. I want to tell you a story of how you have affected my life in a positive way and I hope that will serve as a meaningful thank you. I have been involved with the Marty Hennessy Junior Tennis Foundation since I was ten years old. I was also the first child that they started from scratch; I knew nothing of tennis and really was just following my cousin into the sport. For the first three months I was on a court all by myself just hitting with a ball machine. I worked hard and was ranked #1 in the 10's division in Las Vegas by the end of my first year. I no longer was playing because of my older cousin, I was playing because it was something I had fun with and something I had a passion for. The Foundation subsidized the cost of academy for me and even paid for a lot of the traveling costs. After a while they paid for my tournaments and covered more and more of the payments so that I could continue with the sport. The Foundation taught me about the importance of leadership and how I could apply it to other areas of my life. Consequently, my teachers in school noticed the change in me and nominated me for a leadership trip on the east coast. However this trip was 2,500 dollars and my family simply could not afford the amount. Ryan, recognizing the opportunity for me, said, "let's do some fundraising." I asked family members and friends to donate items for a raffle. I went on the strip and sold these raffle tickets with Ryan for five hours. I went around my church and asked everyone I knew. However I was still short on the total. Ryan then said he could set up a meeting with a donor for me. That donor was you. You paid 500 dollars so that I could attend this leadership trip in Washington D.C. and it was also my first time meeting or even hearing directly from a donor of the Foundation. I still remember you smiling at me and saying, "If you do not come up with enough money to fund the trip please call me. Call me if you need anything." I called my mom and squealed in excitement and told her the news of the woman who gave me more money than I had ever imagined. I was able to go on the trip. The leadership trip was a success and really gave me a lot of tools that I have used over the years. However the trip is not the most important part of the story to me. It was your generosity at a whim after meeting me that really impacted me. And it was not just that one time that I feel you have helped me out of a rut. When I was not in a good place in my life, you invited Ryan, myself, and around ten other kids to go swimming at your house. I was able to bond with the kids over the bubbles in your hot tub. During the Apprentice Competition I worked over 100 hours without a single donation. You allowed Kimberly and I to visit your restaurant contacts and those donations seriously made Kimberly and I smile ear to ear. Both of us really needed that boost to make us feel like our hard work was paying off. Lastly at the retreat, you were the one who made the entire thing possible. I was able to spend time with the alumni; people whom I have looked up to since my days on the ball machine at the Hilton. You also allowed me to aid the younger generation just like myself who are just starting to see their own potential with the help of the Foundation. From the very beginning you have been there; you have been willing to step in just when I needed it the most and I really wanted to thank you for everything: every muffin at tournaments, every contact you shared with Kimberly and me, every time you opened up your house, and every moment you have spent on myself and everyone else in the Foundation. Thank you.

McKay Novak

Tim Blenkiron

We have always known that Tim has the very special ability to make tennis exciting, intense, passionate, fun and very competitive. Now it is nice to see that the USTA Intermountain Section has recognized his efforts and willingness to give so much back to the game of tennis. Beyond his skills as a former NCAA Champion, player on the pro tour, or his ability to develop from scratch countless top 5 national players, he makes tennis fun and exciting to be a partof. Thanks Tim from all of us who you have inspired, guided and mentored. You have left a significant mark on our lives.

Ryan Wolfington Thank you to Donors

Dear donors and supporters,

Every now and then I see something that blows me away and I am led to try and show you what a major impact your support has on these children.

I could not even greet them, the emotion was too great. I cried to myself and enjoyed the incredible moment - Seeing all of the VT Marty Hennessy foundation alumni out on the tennis court, each in their full college uniforms, coming out to help the younger ones over their holiday break. Here they were passing on the tradition to the next generation of children. I did not even have to ask them to do it. They wanted to be leaders. It is now part of their tradition.

In past years alumni would come home for holiday break, I would call them and pass on the vision Adam Carey had given to me years earlier; that alumni should come back, give back by mentoring, coaching and leading the next generation.

Trent, Ryan and Frideric would do it, sometimes reluctantly. Eventually they complied almost every time. Then as the next generation rose and went off to college, they saw this tradition as a badge of honor. Now it was their turn to do for others what Frideric, Ryan and Trent had done for them.

Edgardo Ureta would show up to practice every day when on break freshman year. He took it to another level taking the children to lunch, dinner, spending significant time with them. He later shocked us all with a business plan and idea to intern during the Summer of his Freshman year "to give back to the foundation that helped me so much."

Patrick Kawka, now at BYU, recalled how the annual NateSchulman trip to Palm Springs years ago changed his perspective on life, tennis and who he was. It was during one of our fire side chats with all the children. Patrick was 15. We often ask the children provocative questions, showing them how to express themselves, speak in front of a crowd and get to know one another. We never know what they will say and it often has a big impact on themselves and others.

Such was the case when Frideric and Trent talked about what the foundation did for them, how the children should listen to us and how it would get them a scholarship to college. Patrick later explained how that one talk changed how he approached his life. "All of a sudden I saw I could be like Friderik and Trent one day, giving that talk. That could be me."

At that moment all the leadership talks started to make sense, he explained, where before it hadn't. "I wanted to be that person coming back telling my story, but I needed a story to tell and that motivated me. Everything changed after that."

The change Patrick is referring to is a new found love for tennis and a higher purpose. He saw himself as a developing leader and went out of his way to act like one. According to him he went from someone who "went through the motions" to someone who "now had purpose and meaning in my life. I had no direction, and now I have one, to be a leader!"

Patrick went on to become one of the foundations best captains ever.

"His senior year in high school Patrick showed up and coached every night as a volunteer and was amazing," said his coach Tim Blenkiron. "I was excited to hear he was buying into the leadership message we had been preaching for years. It was inspiring."

Now it was Patrick's turn to come back from his freshman year at college to mentor, coach and show up in his full uniform. He was the leader now passing on the tradition. Needless to say Patrick showed up every morning this past week from 8am to noon, took youth to lunch, then returned every single night from 430pm to 7pm to help the younger children. He was a rock star. 

Close to 30 foundation children have earned scholarships to college for tennis and academics in the last 5 years. It is moving to see them come back in appreciation and be leaders and mentors to the next generation.

"This could stand to be our greatest achievement," said Marty Hennessy. "Mentoring children to be mentors, in all areas of life, including tennis."

We have not only armed them with tools for life, great tennis and life changing opportunities, but passed on the power of leadership, living by example and the pleasure of passing that down to others.

When you see these children come back home young men and women, complete with such confidence, stature, and appreciation it blows your mind away. Dillon Berkabile's mother put it perfectly, "We are beyond proud."

Dillon came home after his first semester at the Citadel. He was so calm, strong and confident looking. His progress as a person blows my mind.

You could see how excited the younger children were too to see the alumni, their teammates, to play with and be like them.

Daily the alumni played soccer, hung out with the children and made a point to make most of the practices. It became a leadership competition, who could be at more practices, this is the positive peer pressure we always hoped for. They wanted to be leaders, this after years of trying to get them to be.

The daily team trips to Jamba Juice and Whole Foods cemented the messages we ingrained in the older ones, eat healthy, be a team, lead, mentor, be kind. I remember having to force them years ago to even try smoothies and Whole Foods. Now they beg for it. I recall having to beg them to come back and be leaders. Now they compete to give back the most.

Edgardo Ureta came in Friday night late and made a point to come out 8am Saturday morning even though academy is not on Saturdays. He brought a teammate from his college team, he wanted to show him our tradition, he was proud. He spent time there all day hitting with the children.

You can see the children connecting the dots,...

" If Edgardo can do it so can I! "

" I want a college scholarship like Patrick. "

" I want to be like Dillon. "

Sarah Lucas was in the pro shop talking to the 12 year old girls, they treated her like a star. Sarah is thriving in her freshman year on $60,000 annual scholarship at Seattle University.

When I asked some of the children during one of our fire side chats who is their hero and why, one young girl said "Sarah Lucas." This is the same 12 year old Sarah was talking to hours earlier in the pro shop. These children don't forget. They remember kindness, they appreciate leadership even though they can not even describe it.

Another child said "Patrick Kawka." I am shocked how these younger children even know Patrick, but he goes out of his way to make them feel special. He hits with them, comes to volunteer coach and just says "hi."

Tanner Berkabile, Dillon's younger brother, broke into tears on the recent Tomchin Family West Coast Leadership Tour saying his older brother Dillon is his hero, how he has always looked out for him and been his best supporter. Kristofer Yee talked about how much his parents have sacrificed for him and helped him. Danae said one of the foundation coaches (James) "has been like a second father to me."

Watching Marty Hennessy, Hilliary Heard, Tim Blenkiron and Adam Carey's vision for these children unfold is the most satisfying experience of my life. Although I no longer run the foundation on a day to day basis it is my most cherished hobby, seeing these children become young leaders, giving back to the foundation that has done so much for them. It's like the circle of life and everyone benefits. There is no greater experience.

I am especially proud of the captains or "Seniors" who had to work so hard as interns and leaders of our team: Frideric Prandecki, Trent Alenik, Edgardo Ureta and Dillon Berkabile. I am also grateful to Marty Hennessy, Tony Bennett, Mike Agassi, Tim Blenkiron and Adam Carey who started this quest with me 8 years ago. They always believed in what we were doing and did it with me every step of the way. Most of all I appreciate the parents who do so much work to raise their children and get so little credit. The driving, resources, support and so much more are so often not recognized. They do all the hard work so we can enjoy the fun work!

That being said none of college scholarships and success stories would be possible without the generosity and support of the countless supporters and donors of's Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation.

Each generation makes the success of the next possible and I am so very proud of their kindness, compassion and leadership. They are a living, breathing testament to what this foundation is about. To date close to 30 children have gotten scholarships to college thanks to's Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation and support from the NO QUIT Tennis Academy. 4 of them have gone on through our internship program to be honored with the moniker "Senior." Four of these children will graduate from college this year.

All of this is made possible by foundation supporters and donors like you.

You have made our work real, you have made our accomplishments possible.

Thank you.

Ryan Wolfington

Chloe Henderson Thank you Letter

Dear Ryan, 
Thank you so much for giving my sister and I the opportunity of going on the Lake Las Vegas trip. I appreciate it very much as well as all your other efforts put forth to tennis. This was one of the best experiences I have had and will never forget. Wednesday night when we went out on the strip, could have been one of the best nights of my life. I have learned so much from this trip, even more than I did at Palm Springs last year. I think looking back on the trip now, I can understand what you, our speakers, and alumni are trying to tell us. 

I think that talking in the conference room about leadership and who we thought demonstrated being a leader has made the biggest impact on me. I noticed that many of the same people were being called and I decided that I wanted to be one of them when I get older. When Sophie said that she thought I was a leader, I didn't understand why other than the fact that she is my sister and I was being nice to her. I noticed that I wasn't being a good role model for Sophie and the younger kids at night academy: talking at practice, not taking practice and tournaments seriously, and never giving my 100%. I realized that I wanted to be that "John" and that "Will" not only to Sophie but other people at the academy. 

Thank you so much for this memorable trip and experience for both my sister and I. Thank you for everything that you do for us, Lorenzi, and tennis. Every thing you do is deeply appreciated and useful for not only tennis but life itself. Thank you again. 

Chloe Henderson