Click the link to read our 2020 Year In Review.
Coach Lenny & Gabriel the Tennis Kid make cookies LIVE on Citi Taste of Tennis
Click the link to read our 2020 Year In Review.
2019 Inductee - lenny simpson
Congratulations to Coach Lenny!!!
Below is a short video of Lenny Simpson sharing his origin story. This is a MUST-SEE!
Enjoy the video below of the Induction Ceremony. Katrina Adams introduced Lenny!
You must turn the sound on to hear the speeches.
Watch Coach Lenny's full acceptance speech!
CONGRATS TO COACH LENNY on being named the USTA NC Carlton Harris "Professional of the year"
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.
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.
1: Click Red Button to go to One Love's Paypal page
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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.
RIBBON CUTTING CEREMONY ATTENDED BY OVER 150 PEOPLE
The restored court is now open as of Tuesday, April 16 2019
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 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 RETURNS
FROM THE 2019 FED CUP MATCHES
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!
STAR NEWS FEATURES 1406 ORANGE STREET RESTORATION PROJECT IN BUILDING HISTORY SERIES ARTICLE
WHAT IS ONE LOVE?
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 EXCLUSIVELY USES HEAD RACQUETS FOR ALL TENNIS PROGRAMS.
One Love Community Partners
THE LATEST NEWS FROM
ONE LOVE TENNIS!
ActTwo Stories presents 2 short videos about Lenny Simpson, his childhood in Wilmington, NC and then how he returned decades later to form One Love Tennis to give back to young boys and girls. Directed by Brenda Hughes of
Click the images above or below
ONE LOVE was on The Tennis Channel's NEW SHOW:
"Breaking The Color Barrier"
This special episode features One Love in the story of two influential Doctors; Dr. Robert "Whirlwind" Johnson and Dr. Hubert Eaton. Together they changed the world through their tennis programs. Contact One Love to be emailed the link to watch this incredible show.
ONE LOVE has been
USTA NC 2020 DIVERSITY OUTREACH & INCLUSION AWARD
Cape Fear Unearthed Host Hunter Ingram and Coach Lenny have a heartfelt interview about the life and times of Althea Gibson.
Click the player above or HERE.
Beth Rutledge and Carole Bragale visit 1406 Orange Street. They are instrumental in research of the home and moving forward with a historical recognition plaque.
"Althea" Director and filmmaker, Rex Miller, stopped by 1406 Orange Street and caught a practice with Laurryen Lennon and Gabriel Baldwin, two up-and-coming players and One Love Kids!
Congrats to One Love kid George "Luca" Duma for being selected as a winner in the USTA Foundation national Youth Essay Contest! His essay was selected from the submissions from the 9-state Southern Section. That's Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, North Carolina, South Carolina, Mississippi and Tennessee! Read the
One Love was happy to have the Woresley family visit from Winston-Salem and "Tennis For Life Inc." Rising stars John Woresley and Selonia McMillian held a practice with Coach Lenny and were very impressive!
Coach Tuffy Taylor brought three players to 1406 Orange Street for a practice. It's great that One Love has become a must-stop when in town for vacation!
February 23, 2020: Coach Lenny was guest speaker at the New Zion Missionary Baptist Church as part of their Black History Month celebration. He received a plaque for service to the community and we appreciate the recognition!
Lenny & Paula Hale of the USTA on stage
Lenny with his daughter, Celeste Slay
Lenny & JoAnn Simpson with the Slay family
Lenny with grandkids Braydon & Bryce Slay and One Love kid, Gabriel Baldwin
On Sunday, February 9th, Lenny was recognized for his service to the community at St. Stephens AME Zion Church. The award is the Trailblazer's Award given during the Founder's Day Celebration.
It is very special to receive such an honor, especially in your own community and by your peers!
Thank you Brigade Boys & Girls Club for recognizing One Love Tennis at the club's annual Appreciation Dinner. Our good friend Harry Kraly was also recognized for the 2019 "Silent Worker" award! Well deserved!
One Love has a broken heart in the passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter, and everyone aboard his helicopter. One Love was working with Kobe's people and the USTA to read, review, and comment on his book, "Legacy & The Queen", and we were honored to work with them. Our relationship was just starting to bloom through the positive reaction Kobe's people had upon receiving our One Love kid's letters about his book. This is a reminder to us all from God that tomorrow is not promised. So today, put aside any personal issues you might feel towards someone and just give them a hug and let them know that you love and care about them.
-Coach Lenny & JoAnn
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.
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!
This video is from 2016 but the message is very relevant today. Thanks to AJ Ricketts and WECT for the great video.
Roberta Hadley stopped by 1406 Orange Street and even hit a few balls on the court!
ONE LOVE RELIEF ASSISTANCE PROGRAM
The One Love Relief Assistance program focuses on the health and safety of our One Love kids, families and community by providing protective masks and assistance to those who need it most. Because One Love serves so many, we are in a position to be able to directly get help to families with no red tape. We need YOU to help us in this effort. Donate by clicking the "donate" link at the top of the page or the red button wherever you see it. Check the monthly pledge box on our Paypal page and you will make a huge difference in our community! Now is the time to act. Now is the time to join the One Love family!
SMASHING HUNGER CHALLENGE
One Love is continuing to make lemonade out of lemons during this time of the pandemic and what is going on in our city, state and country. We are proud to hold food distribution events at the historic 1406 Orange Street property. We held monthly events in 2020 (Sept, Oct, Dec) and 2021 (Jan-Feb). These events are part of the One Love Relief Assistance Program which has now provided over 2,000 protective face masks for our One Love kids, families, churches, and community. We have distributed over 22 tons of food to date to over 2,500 people in our community.
Look for our next event in late May
Please check your pantry for fresh fruits and vegetables and extra non-perishable food items. We really need fresh fruits and vegetables delivered the day before the event.
One Love sincerely thanks each and every person who donated food and who volunteered to prepare food bags for the One Love Food Distribution Event at 1406 Orange Street on Feebruary 27th. Over 30 volunteers gave out over 500 bags of food filled with non-perishable food items fresh fruits and vegetables between 10am and Noon. Over 5 tons of food was collected and distributed to 55 cars and we fed over 500 people in Solomon Towers, Gresham, White Oak Senior apartments, and the Hispanic community next to Brigade Boys & Girls Club.
The entire community is stepping up which is great to see because no kid or family should go hungry in Wilmington. One Love would like to recognize the following donors that made these events so successful!
WWAY, and 106.7FM The Big Talker for promoting and covering the event.
Mac McLemore from Franklin Baking Company for donating fresh bread.
Sammy Flowers from Eagle Island Fruit and Seafood Co. for donating fresh fruit.
Robin Kramer and the members of the Compass Pointe Tennis Club for collecting food items.
St. James Church for collecting food items
Harris Teeter for donating grocery bags.
We need volunteers
Please call JoAnn Simpson 865-406-2536 to volunteer.
For information about our Food Distribution Events email
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
2020 was quite the year! You can see all that One Love Tennis accomplished despite the pandemic! We made lemonade out of lemons in 2020!
December 3rd, 2020 was a historic day for One Love Tennis. Not only did we celebrate 6 years of serving the Wilmington community in tennis and education, we were honored by the Historic Wilmington Foundation with the unveiling of a plaque to be placed on the front of the iconic home in recognition of its place in the history, not only in Wilmington, but the world.
Click any of the picture below or HERE to watch the entire ceremony courtesy of Wilmington TV8.
MAJOR MILESTONE REACHED!
ONE LOVE ACADEMIC ENRICHMENT FACILITY IS NOW OPEN!
Years in the making, the One Love Tennis Academic Enrichment Facility is open and ready to welcome students and volunteers.
The facility is located upstairs at 1406 Orange Street in Wilmington, where Tennis World Champion Althea Gibson once lived while being trained by Tennis Great and Community Activist Dr. Hubert Eaton (WWAY)
One Love Founder and Executive Director Lenny Simpson says the Eaton House will serve as a safe haven for not only kids in the community but all children in New Hanover County Schools.
To get involved in the Academic Enrichment and Tennis programs, contact One Love via email at email@example.com or call Lenny Simpson at 910-520-9264
WWAY covered the opening of the One Love Academic Enrichment Facility - Click here to read the story!
The first students from the MLK Center gather in the new One Love Academic Enrichment Facility to meet the staff and volunteers that will help them in their schoolwork.
See the restoration pictures below!
Scan with your phone to donate to One Love Tennis via our Paypal. It's easy, fast, and you will be supporting all of the programs only One Love Tennis can provide young boys and girls in the greater Wilmington area.
And "thank you!" for supporting One Love!