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information about the
"Service Above Self" award
As we look back on this year, it is clear that 2019 was the most incredible year for our organization ever. We owe it all to everyone in the One Love family. Our kids, parents, volunteers, donors, supporters, partners and contacts have come together in a truly divine way. Look for our annual Year In Review in January to highlight just how many incredible things took place in 2019. It has been a truly amazing year.
"THANK YOU for making 2019 the best year yet!!!"
The One Love Annual Fundraising luncheon was a great success! We heard from many kids and families, supporters and partners from the community. Special thanks to our hosts, Frances Weller, Joe Catenacci and Joe Conway. It was a wonderful event.
A very heartfelt "thank you" goes to Michael Jordan. Not only did he donate to the 1406 Orange Street restoration project back when it was just getting started, he sent One Love an autographed copy of his book, "Driven From Within" to be auctioned off at the One Love Annual Fundraising Luncheon. This incredible book is a one-of-a-kind piece of history and gives you insight into the life and career of one of the world's most inspiring people from Wilmington, NC. One Love is extremely thankful for the support and generosity shown to us by Michael Jordan.
One Love is proud to report that two needed items have been made possible by the generosity of the audience. Collective pledges will afford One Love a new court roller and windscreen for 1406 Orange Street! Our Academic Enrichment program attracted pledges to sponsor kids to attend the program each week at no charge to them. And we auctioned off two "Keys To The Court" at 1406 Orange Street for exclusive access to the historic and iconic tennis court that hosted World Champions Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe and Fred Perry as well as ATA and USLTA champions. It now is home court for One Love kids! We thank everyone who pledged their support.
Here's more good news! 2020 is going to start out great! We are proud to announce that One Love Tennis Coach Lenny Simpson will be inducted into the Southern Tennis Hall of Fame in January for his lifetime achievements. The Southern Tennis Hall of Fame induction ceremony will be in Atlanta, GA.
Coach Lenny has been selected as the USTA North Carolina "Carlton Harris Tennis Professional Of The Year", to be awarded in January at the USTA Weekend at Pinehurst, NC.
Special Thanks to all of the One Love kids and families that attended the Annual Fundraising Luncheon
Special thanks to Frances Weller for
co-hosting the Annual Fundraising Luncheon and for publishing a story about it on WECT-TV 6!
(WECT Video to the right)
You can see the full story and video at WECT's website HERE.
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You may also donate with a check made out to
"One Love Tennis". Mail to:
One Love Tennis
P.O. Box 3112
Wilmington, NC 28406
Call Lenny Simpson at 910-520-9264 or email
with questions or issues.
Technical issues? Call Mark Sinclair at 910-777-4733.
ONE LOVE's Lenny & JoAnn Simpson returned to Wimbledon the first week of July 2019 with One Love supporters and friends Michael & Sabrina Davis.
HISTORY REPEATS -AGAIN: a comparison of Coco Gauff and Lenny Simpson in competition at age 15.
Click HERE to read the article. Click HERE to view the WWAY Channel 3 news story & video by Tanner Barth.
See the photo gallery by clicking a picture below or
THE HISTORIC ICONIC COURT IS COMPLETE!
For decades, the historic iconic backyard tennis court at 1406 Orange Street had long faded from view, out of memory except by a very few people. It was 65 years ago when a young Lenny Simpson first walked onto the court and was handed a tennis racket by Althea Gibson. The court was the only tennis court in Wilmington where people of color were welcome. Actually, anyone who behaved themselves and treated others with respect and who wanted to play tennis was welcome.
One Love Tennis has been working on restoring the court to its former glory and now we are happy to say the project is complete! The memories and stories the court holds in its foundation (which is still there under a new surface), are the tales of legends, champions, and pioneers of civil rights and sports equality.
The court will be used for tennis instruction by One Love and will be a save haven for neighborhood kids, just as it was when Dr. Hubert Eaton and his wife, Celeste, lived there. The house is being restored and the entire property will be an active reminder of the world-changing history that stemmed from this property.
One Love once again attended the FED CUP matches in Asheville, NC to watch Team USA play Team Australia. The One Love kids participated in pre-match clinics, participated in the Opening Ceremonies and escorted the players onto the court, and cheered Team USA during the competition. One Love played a big role this year!
The Lenny Simpson Tennis and Education Fund (LSTEF) is a Corporation organized and operated exclusively for charitable and educational purposes and specifically to develop educational and athletic opportunities and to foster a character-building environment for at-risk youth.
**One Love is a 501(c)3 organization.
One Love Community Sponsors
One Love Community Partners
On the morning of Tuesday, April 16, 2019, dignitaries from the USTA NC, USTA Southern, USTA National, City of Wilmington, New Hanover County, friends and supporters of One Love surrounded Lenny Simpson as he cut the red ribbon to signify the opening of the historic, iconic tennis court at 1406 Orange Street.
The backyard court is where Dr. Hubert Eaton trained Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Lenny Simpson and so many others. The court had decayed over the years until it was grown over with weeds and there was no visible sign of it remaining. Through the efforts of One Love Tennis, the USTA, and One Love supporters
led by David and Carolyn McLemore, the court has been completely restored to pristine condition.
CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PICTURE GALLERY
Story by WECT, CLICK TO WATCH
PRESS PLAY to view the 60-second Tennis Channel "Court Report" on the court reopening
THE LATEST NEWS FROM
ONE LOVE TENNIS!
Click to read!
Lenny & JoAnn Simpson on stage
Lenny with his daughter, Celeste Slay
Lenny with grandkids Braydon & Bryce Slay and One Love kid, Gabriel Baldwin
Lenny & JoAnn Simpson with the Slay family
Lenny & Ted Reese, Vice President of the USTA Southern
Lenny & Paula Hale of the USTA Southern
One Love served the community food at the MLK Center on 11/21/19. Fantastic event with over 320 people attending!
A HUGE "thank you" to Michael Davis and Ashley Robbins of Party Suppliers for the donation of a new Playmate Ball Machine for use at 1406 Orange Street. These are the best in the business and made right here in NC! Our One Love kids are already loving using it!
2019 USTA NJTL FOUNDER'S SERVICE AWARD WINNER!!!!
Lenny Simpson is only the 8th individual in history to receive the prestigious NJTL Founder's Service Award.
This award means more to Coach Lenny than any other.
To find out why, CLICK HERE.
June 22nd marked the celebration of Richmond, VA renaming a major thoroughfare, "Arthur Ashe BLVD"
Coach Lenny attended the ceremony as one of the few people who knew Ashe as a coach, mentor, teammate, friend and hero
See the NBC interview with Coach Lenny talking about his relationship with Ashe HERE
2019 Inductee - lenny simpson
Congratulations to Coach Lenny!!!
VIEW THE PICTURE GALLERY ON OUR AWARD PAGE. CLICK HERE!
Enjoy the video below of the Induction Ceremony. Katrina Adams introduced Lenny!
You must turn the sound on to hear the speeches.