Mail donations to:
Marty Hennessy JT Foundation
PO Box 60953
Boulder City, NV 89006
501(c)3 Non-profit Organization #C24478-2004
 
Vegas Tennis
Las Vegas Marriott
Las Vegas Venetian
0  Profiles 0
0  Testimonials 0
0  Letters 0
0  Brags 0
 
 
   
In an effort to inspire children to see all the possibilities for their lives the Wolfington Family, including the O’Neills, Gillins, and Mitas, for the sixth year sponsored 9 children from the Marty Hennessy Jr Tennis and Education foundation in Las Vegas to experience the "East Coast Leadership Tour."

The children visit 8 cities in 3 weeks, being exposed to a daily leadership breakfast, Universities, historical sites, and playing tennis at some of the most prestigious Country Clubs in the country.

This year every student achieved the straight A’s and a top forty USTA tennis ranking to qualify for the trip. Among the players attending include four that qualified for this years Junior Davis Cup team and four that qualified for the national championships in August.

One player, Kimberly Yee, is presently ranked #1 in America, another Kristofer is now ranked #4 and just got a scholarship to Vanderbilt. Nicholas Mahlangu ranked #33 got a scholarship to play for Harvard next year, a far cry from his fathers childhood in a black township in apartheid south Africa.

All of the student athletes are part of the Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation’s elite ?Team Bryan? travel and leadership team.

Of the forty five foundation alumni now playing college tennis on scholarship, a large number of them chose the east coast as a result of this special trip.

The children work year long on grades, attitude and leadership development to earn one of the coveted spots on this trip.

The three week trip begins in Boston and goes to Hyannis Port, Nantucket, the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, historical Philadelphia, the beaches of Avalon, New Jersey, the stately halls of Washington, D.C., and thanks to Bruce Eichner, Matt Gillin and Meridian Equity Partners, the culture, art, and excitement of New York City.

To inspire excellence in academics and athletics, children applying for the trip had to have a minimum 3.7 gpa, be ranked top 40 in the USTA-Intermountain 6 State region, and be recipients of the USTA-Nevada Academic-Athletic Leadership Award. This trip is held as a carrot all year to inspire children to reach for these goals.


Leadership Breakfast - Sponsored by Anna & Sean Wolfington

Every morning of the trip the children had a "Leadership Breakfast" with a variety of leaders to discuss how one finds happiness and success.

"What impacts the children the most is hearing the advice from successful people on how to find happiness," explained the trips founder and now USTA-Nevada Executive Director Ryan Wolfington. "As a result of these speakers and the amazing sites and opportunities, the children come back different people, stronger, wiser, more mature and motivated than ever before. It is a life changing experience."

Past speakers included: Pulitzer prize winning author David McCullough of "John Adams," Senator John Ensign, President Bush Sr., Walden Media Co-Founder/President Michael Flaherty (Chronicles of Narnia), Tycoon Brian O’Neill, TV star Kathie Lee Gifford, Governor Jeb Bush and his niece Marshall Bush, Renaissance Man Frank O’Neill, Senator Ted Kennedy, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow and Eric Greenberg, Real-estate Entrepreneur Vince O’Neill, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, International Businessman Mark Wolfington, Pro Martina Hingis, Penske Director Eustace Mita, Pro Todd Martin, Senator Jim De Mint SC, National trainer and motivational speakers Peg O’Neill and Marty Gillin, former Chairman of Aramark Brian Gail, Internet Founder & CEO Matt Gillin, Automotive pioneer Eustace Wolfington, film Producer Sean Wolfington, Film Director Jonathan "Jed" Wolfington, Meridian Equity Partners Columb Lytle and Jonathan Corpina, Villanova and St. Joes Basketball coaches Jay Write & Phil Martelli, Ronald McDonald House founder Jim Murray, Dr. Koidi, Phantom of the Opera lead Kristen Hershberg, MBNA VP Frank Mita, and Harvard Men’s Tennis coach David Fish


Hyannis Port, Massachusetts sponsored by Vince O’Neill

The first few days of the trip were spent in the Cape Cod town of Hyannis Port, known as the residence of the Kennedy Compound. Here they stayed in a beautiful home sponsored by Vince O’Neill, met and toured the studio of renowned artist Sam Barber and received a print of his famous painting. The children were given their first Leadership lecture by national trainer and motivational speaker Peg O’Neill, Renaissance man Frank O’Neill, international businessman Mark Wolfington, and the Real-estate entrepreneur Vince O’Neill.

Island of Martha’s Vineyard - Sponsored by David McCullough & Hy-Line Cruises

The following day the children went to the exclusive Island of Martha’s Vineyard to meet with two time Pulitzer Prize winning author David McCullough, ("John Adams", "Truman").

"Listening to McCullough was like getting a download of tremendous wisdom and ideas," explained Wolfington. "He never gives talks when writing a book, but said he made the exception because he feels the education and inspiration of our youth is paramount."

While on the island they experienced the rare treat of lunch overlooking the bay, and seeing the varied historical landmarks. The children were equally blown away by being on the Hy-Line cruise boat, a sponsor of the trip thanks to the Scudder family. For some it was the first time on a boat, and a thrill.



Newport, Rhode Island Sponsored by Brian O’Neill & Tennis Hall of Fame

Carnegie Abbey is Newport's premier private golf and sporting club, and thanks to its owner, Brian O’Neill, the children were treated to dinner by the harbor, horseback riding, tennis and wisdom from Martina Hingis and Todd Martin. Thomas Reil and Marriott treated the children to two nights at the historical 4-star Renaissance Providence Hotel. Thanks to O’Neill and Carnegie Abbey’s Tennis Director Wayne Turner they enjoyed center court, first row seats to the International Tennis Hall of Fame’s induction of Michael Chang, the Campbell Pro tournament, and a special luncheon at the famed grass court tennis club.The day was capped off by meeting Chang,

Stan Smith and USTA President Jane Brown Grimes. The children also were O'Neill's guests in his luxury box at the prestigious Newport polo match. The business tycoon gave the children a tour and motivational talk about his new development and what it takes to succeed in life.



Philadelphia, PA Sponsored by Philadelphia Marriott West & Matt Gillin

Thanks to General Manager Mike Rodden, the children stayed at the 4-star Philadelphia Marriott West. Here they enjoyed a daily "Leadership Breakfast," which included the children standing up and giving a talk on what they got out of each speaker. Through this process they learned the discipline of writing a journal and articulating themselves in front of a crowd. Most surprising was the meaningful, heartfelt comments shared among the children.

"It was extremely moving to see the children open up and share their feelings with one another," explained Carol and Harry Wolfington, who sponsor and started this trip 3 years ago. "As they listened to motivational talks they began to realize what is important in life, and all they had to be grateful for."

This was highlighted when the children went to an at-risk inner city school, LaSalle Academy, to talk with and inspire the next generation of youth with their stories of success.

While in Pennsylvania they got to see the history of our great nation, including: Independence Hall, Valley Forge Park, University of Pennsylvania, Villanova, Bryn Mawr, and Haverford colleges. All of this was made possible by the Harry Wolfington family, Sharon Wolfington-Brown, Stephanie and John Zigler, Antonelli's, and Mary Ann and Fran Duffy.

Thanks to Billie Jean King, whom they got advice from, and Rose Weinstein, the children were ball kids for World Team Tennis Philadelphia Freedoms, with John McEnroe and the Bryan Brothers. The Bryans talked about the importance of straight A's, avoiding TV and video games, and giving what you do 100%.

Each afternoon the children played tennis at a different Country Club, including the oldest and arguably one of the nicest private clubs in America, Merion Cricket Club, sponsored by Joanie and John Phelan, Pascal Colard and Connie VanHusen. They also enjoyed tennis, swimming, and an elegant dinner overlooking the golf course at Philadelphia Country Club, thanks to Pat Nolan, Carol, Harry and Sean Wolfington.


Avalon, NJ - Sponsored by Marcy and Eustace Wolfington

Marcy and Eustace Wolfington have kept alive a family tradition of converging at the shore that was started by their mother Mary Margaret almost 80 years ago. Sharing that with these children, they gave them the beachfront home so they could fall asleep to the crash of the waves and wake to a cold and refreshing swim in the Atlantic Ocean.

For many this was the highlight of the trip, a time to relax and just enjoy nature. The Ocean City boardwalk and walking the shops of Stone Harbor were part of their downtime on an otherwise busy and educational trip.


Washington, D.C. - Sponsored by Ana & Sean Wolfington

Seeing our nation's Capitol in such an exclusive way was a lifelong memory. Thanks to Sean Wolfington the children had a private behind-the-scenes tour of the White House by President Bush's niece Marshall Bush, and were invited onto the White House lawn to see the President fly off on Marine One.

After this amazing day Renaissance Washington Hotel Manager Joe Stern thrilled the children when they returned to their beautiful rooms with a surprise late night snack.

Thanks to Senator John Ensign, the following morning the children played tennis at the private Senate tennis courts with Ensign and Senator Jim De Mint of South Carolina. Soon after he took them onto the floor of the US Senate, then spent two hours talking politics over breakfast in the Senate's private dining room.

In Washington they met with Director Jonathan "Jed" Wolfington to watch his latest documentary, got a tour of Georgetown University, meeting the coach Gordie Ernst, and walked the historical grounds of Mt. Vernon, George Washington's home.
New York City - Sponsored by Bruce Eichner & Meridian Equity Partners

Thanks to tennis enthusiast Bruce Eichner, the children got to visit New York and stay at his prestigious Manhattan Club for four days. Here they had a leadership breakfast with Governor Jeb Bush, TV star Kathie Lee Gifford, and MSNBC host Larry Kudlow.

Thanks to Columb Lytle and Jonathan Corpina, owners of Meridian Equity Partners, the children had a day on Wall Street starting with a tour of the 9/11 site memorial, the Museum of American Finance, a guided educational tour of the New York Stock exchange, including Meridian's trading Operation, as well as being on Fox TV Live.

The team at Meridian then arranged for tickets to the Sports Museum of America and the Mets game, which included seeing their names on the scoreboard.

New York also meant visiting Times Square, running in Central Park, subway rides, and most thrilling Canal Street, where the children experienced the real meaning of buying and selling.


Boston, Ma. Sponsored by Vince O'Neill

The Tennis, Education and Leadership Tour ended in the best possible way, a walk down historical Boston where in many ways our country began. The last dinner was a special guest, Co-Founder/President of Walden Media Michael Flahery, (Chronicles of Narnia, Charlottes Web) who the children say was extremely inspirational. Then on the last day they had a guided tour of Harvard, one of our countries most prestigious Universities. Here coach David Fish left the children with some sage advice, to not seek out the perfect resume, but instead to make the most out of every moment in their lives.


"I can not thank my parents and brother Sean enough for being the energy and support behind this trip, as well as my whole family, who get more and more involved as the years go by," said Wolfington. "I think we as supporters and sponsors get as much out of this as the children, because there is no better thrill than to witness the growth of greatness in a child."


Special thanks VegasTennis.com’s Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation advisory board members Tony Bennett, Mike Agassi, Marty Hennessy, Winnie and Bob Schulman, Rashe and Jeff Taylor, Laurie Steed, Tomchin Family, Helen and Chip Johnson, as well as USTA-Nevada, USTA’s Dan Limbago, Marriott, Senator Ensign’s staff, Carmen Brady, The Mets, Antonelli’s, and Bertucci’s Italian Cuisine.


A 501©3 non-profit Charitable Organization


How it all started

The Foundation had it's beginnings in 2003 when Ryan Wolfington and Marty Hennessy began to help a few children in Las Vegas with talent but limited finances. The goal was to help children discover happiness through mentoring, academics, arts, and high performance athletic training. Thanks to the support of Tony Bennett, Mike Agassi, The Wolfington family, Winnie and Bob Schulman, Rashae and Jeff Taylor and other key donors they have raised close to a million dollars since then to help at risk youth.

"We use tennis as a vehicle to teach at-risk children the principles of life, and to help them get a college scholarship," explained Executive Director. "So far every child that has come through our 'Elite Leadership program,' has received a college scholarship. With Edguardo Ureta just getting a scholarship to University of Hartford, that totals 19 children that have come through the 'Elite Leadership program' and received a scholarship to play college tennis."

The Foundation helps over 500 children and families a year through their programs, which include:

Mentoring - Tutoring - High performance tennis training - Leadership breakfasts - Tournaments - Positive social life - Nutrition - Drug & alcohol prevention - College seminars - SAT prep - internships - Book Club - Leadership training - Passion identification
Tennis Warehouse
Dartfish
Great Harvest Bread Co.
Luxury Homes
Exposure Photography

  Ryan's Letters to Donors