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Northport VA Medical Center Holds Ribbon Cutting for New Tennis Courts

November 7, 2016 04:42 PM

In recognition of Veterans Day later this week, the Northport VA Medical Center held a ribbon cutting ceremony today to inaugurate the facility's newly revamped tennis courts.

The two courts were renovated thanks to a partnership between the USTA, USTA Eastern, USTA Long Island Region, United Way of Long Island and the Serve & Return Foundation.  USTA grants allowed for resurfacing, as well as new lines, new net posts, nets, fence fabric, wind screens, a wheelchair ramp connecting the courts to a walkway and a wheelchair access gate. United Way of Long Island spearheaded the project.

The ribbon cutting ceremony brought together representatives of each organization involved with the project as well as veterans from the Medical Center and children who attend the Wee Luv 'Em Day Care Center on the Medical Center's grounds. Participants included:

  • Philip Moschitta, director, Northport VA Medical Center
  • Theresa Regnante, president & CEO, United Way of Long Island
  • Craig Fligstein, vice president, Grant Development & Strategic Program Initiatives, United Way of Long Island, and treasurer, USTA Long Island Executive Board
  • Steve Kaplan and Keith Kambourian, Serve & Return Foundation and Bethpage Park Tennis Center
  • Mark McIntyre, president, USTA Eastern
  • Chaplain Paul Swerdlow, Northport VA Medical Center
  • USTA Long Island Region Executive Board Members Mike Pavlides, president; Daniel Burgess, past president; and Sunny Fishkind, vice president

Tennis programming for US veterans began earlier this year with free lessons for veterans provided at Bethpage Park Tennis Center. Separately, a USTA grant was issued to renovate two tennis courts on the campus of the Northport VA Medical Center, next to the Wee Luv ‘Em Day Care Center. The Serve & Return Foundation will be providing tennis lessons for veterans at the new courts.

“We are extremely excited about this project because it will put veterans in a place where they not only can play tennis but can interact with other veterans with similar injuries (some physical and some invisible – PTSD, TBI) which will help them get back to a normal life,” said Fligstein. “Over the course of a few years we will be able to touch hundreds of service members, as well as their families and children, through tennis, helping them with their rehabilitation, both physical and emotional, and their community reintegration efforts.”

Highlights of the tennis program will include: becoming a host site for the Wheel Chair Games and the Paralympics and tennis camp for children attending the day care center. The tennis court renovations were scheduled to be completed and a grand opening celebration held in August.

Click here for photos from the ribbon cutting.