Today on The 425 Show I had the pleasure of chatting with Marceil Whitney, Director of Junior Development & Outreach, Eastside Tennis Center (ETC) – and founder of the Tennis Outreach Program (TOPS). Tennis Outreach Programs is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “empowering youth for lifetime success through tennis, education, fitness and character development regardless of economic circumstance”.
Marceil has impacted thousands of youth in the community providing year-round, affordable indoor tennis, including junior programs for disadvantaged youths, ranging in ages 6 up to high school, adult programs and fitness – bringing “tennis to everyone”. In partnership with Northwest High Performance Tennis they are the first and only USTA PNW Regional Training Center .
Coming from a family of teachers, and growing up in an athletic household Marceil saw Billy Jean King – the famous female tennis player, compete on TV and knew instantly she wanted to combine her love of tennis with teaching. As a coach for over 40 years in the Pacific NW, including Redmond High School, and Central Park Tennis club, she knew she wanted to do more for the community.
With over 49% of kids on the Eastside on the free lunch program she saw an opportunity to give back and create designated programs for youths of low income families. She and her dedicated staff provide numerous programs such as “Wake Up To Tennis”, offering breakfast and tennis to all age groups – giving them a sense of purpose, and confidence with their peers.
Along with their youth and adult programs, and public tennis facility ETC offers monthly enrichment programs, bringing in a guest speakers such as a homeless youth, sharing what it’s like to be homeless, and help put kits together for the homeless shelter.
All of this wouldn’t be possible without the help of their annual fundraisers and donations from the community. Each year ETC holds two fundraisers, in April and October – to raise money for equipment, clothing, their organization, and show guests the impact ETC has on the community. If you would like more information on their April 30th Spring Brunch, and more upcoming events you can follow them on Facebook.
If you would like to donate, or volunteer to TOPS, and ETC you can check out their donation page, or give them a call! For a full list of their programs, including adults cardio Monday – Friday from 9:15 – 10:15, youth programs, reserve a court visit their class schedule page.