By Todd Goodman
Thursday, November 17, 2016Northport VA Medical Center recently cut the ribbon on two tennis courts that were renovated in late August. The courts, which were in great need of a makeover, were resurfaced, new nets and net posts were installed, along with eight new line and terminal posts. Also, a new path and entrance gate for wheelchair access was constructed to make it more user friendly for Adaptive Sports participants. The courts are located just past the police checkpoint and adjacent to Bldg. 20.
On hand for the dedication were members of the United States Tennis Association, United Way of Long Island, medical center leaders and veterans who will enjoy the courts.
United Way of Long Island submitted three facility assistance grant applications to the USTA. All three grants were approved. The USTA National made a grant award of $10,000; the USTA Eastern made a grant of $10,000 and the USTA Eastern Long Island made a grant of $4,672.50. Construction work began at the end of July 2016.
“United Way of Long Island is an organization that supports our troops and their families and when we heard about the need for new tennis courts at the Northport VA Medical Center we were eager to step in and help,” said Theresa A. Regnante, president and CEO, United Way of Long Island. “Since physical activity is important during the process of rehabilitation, tennis is one of the best activities to exercise the mind and body, but most importantly, it lets our veterans enjoy themselves. It’s extraordinarily important to give back to those who have served and fought for our country. These courts will do just that and will be good for the Northport VA Medical Center, and good for our veterans and wounded service members.”
Susan Pisano, chief of Recreation Therapy Service, coordinated with Serve and Return, a tennis program, to offer veterans tennis lessons on the new courts, which got the ball rolling to renovate Northport VAMC’s two courts. She worked with Craig Fligstein of United Way of Long Island and USTA on the grant proposal and coordinated Northport’s involvement on the court renovation.
“These courts will make a wonderful addition to our Adaptive Sports program, which helps veterans work around injuries to get back into the game,” said Philip Moschitta, medical center director. “This enhancement will greatly benefit all participants who use these courts, including veterans’ families. We are so appreciative of the generous donors who made this possible.”