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The Special Recognition Award
The Special Recognition award should be presented to Samantha B. Wulfson (Founder) and The Vermont Dream Project, Inc. (501(c)(3) for their creativity and success in the promotion and growth of tennis. Through the Racket Replay Program (a division of The Vermont Dream Project, Inc.), used rackets are donated by community members into drop bins distributed to area clubs, schools and businesses. These rackets are available to borrow or check out from local community libraries during the warmer months. In addition, rackets are distributed to individual players or groups who show an interest in the game and may not be able to afford tennis rackets.
Some of the racquets need repair work once they are donated, and Samantha makes sure they are fixed before they are shared with the community. In addition to tennis rackets, monetary donations are greatly appreciated and needed. The money collected is used toward repairing and restringing broken racquets, and sending the racquets to the designated groups. The money is also used to purchase tennis balls. Some of the organizations that receive rackets are the local community libraries, the King Street Youth Center Kids on the Ball Programs, and USTA Quick Start Programs.
This program has been extremely successful locally. Imagine all the interest in tennis that could be generated if everyone who wanted to play tennis could have access to a tennis racket and balls with the ease and simplicity of checking out a library book.
The Vermont Dream Project, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation established in 2009. With the mission to support and create projects and programs that provide healthy, affordable, and educational opportunities that enrich life. Tennis is a game of a lifetime, providing great exercise and many valuable life lessons. Tennis rackets that are easily accessible and available to everyone provide many wonderful opportunities for communities.
Samantha Wulfson is a Junior at South Burlington High School. She is a highest honors student and has always been involved in community service for her school and community. She has translated her passion for tennis into an amazing opportunity for the entire community. In addition, she led her team to the D1 State Championship title this year as captain and first singles player. She is an example of leadership, dedication, creativity, and spirit.
Brilliant Idea! Every Library in New England should endorse this program.