Written by Massapequa Observer Thursday, 07 November 2013 00:00
Massapequa’s Brendan Henry took to the streets in the 2013 ING New York City Marathon representing USTA Serves, the philanthropic and charitable entity of the United States Tennis Association, helping to raise funds for the programs it supports.
The organization is dedicated to supporting programs throughout the country that utilize the combination of tennis and education to make a difference in the lives of America’s youth and people with disabilities.
Henry is among eight runners to dedicate their marathon experience to support the mission of USTA Serves. He pledged to raise money by seeking donations to support his 26.2 mile run and all of the money raised was allocated to tennis and education programs in the runner’s USTA Eastern Section.
“They do really great things for underprivileged kids and their tennis and school,” said Henry, who finished the marathon in 3:48:12 and raised $4,500. “It’s inspiring and it sounds like while running the marathon I can raise money and give back to an organization that gave me so much through tennis and the opportunity of playing college tennis.”
A current sophomore at Wake Forest University studying math business, Henry said he’s surrounded by a family of runners and was joined in the marathon by his cousin and aunt. Although his aunt is a seasoned pro having run about 10 marathons in the past, this was Henry’s maiden attempt.
His mother, Denise, initially found the opportunity and suggested that her son apply. She’s proud of his achievement, too.
“It is very exciting that Brendan has taken on this challenge to run the NYC Marathon and support USTA Serves. He only started training in July and is excited about participating in such a meaningful marathon,” she said. “The USTA Eastern has been a huge part of Brendan’s life since he was 10 when he entered in the 10 and under tournament all the way through his high school years, which makes this commitment to give back even more rewarding.”
Having started in the USTA’s 10 and Under Tennis program as a child, today, Henry excels in the sport and even enjoyed the chance to play with one of tennis’ most celebrated legends.
“I actually played doubles with John McEnroe a couple times at the John McEnroe Tennis Academy,” he said. “It was fun having someone of that caliber, who’s won seven Grand Slams mentoring you and watching you and giving you tips.”
To date, USTA Serves has awarded more than $16 million in grants and scholarships to people and programs throughout the country in order to provide at-risk and underserved youth with greater opportunities. That total includes more than $12 million to fund 247 programs in 47 states, including $900,000 to adaptive programs for people with special needs, and more than $4.5 million in college educational scholarships and player incentive awards to more than 900 middle school students and high school seniors.
For more information on USTA Serves, visit ustaserves.com.