MVYouth grants $250,000 to Vineyard Youth Tennis

The Martha's Vineyard Youth Tennis Center, destroyed in a March storm, just got a grant for $250,000 from MVYouth to replace the bubble. — Gabrielle Mannino

MVYouth, a community fund founded in 2014 to support Island children, teens, and young adults, has awarded Vineyard Youth Tennis (VYT) a $250,000 expansion grant, according to a press release.

The funds will allow VYT to purchase a new “bubble” to replace the old one, which collapsed during a nor’easter in March. The new bubble will allow the organization to continue to offer tennis instruction in the off-season when outdoor courts are too cold for use.

In order to avoid interrupting winter instruction, MVYouth’s advisory board and trustees voted to support VYT ahead of schedule in their 2019 expansion grant cycle, to expedite the purchase of the bubble.

MVYouth is accepting grant applications through Oct. 15.

VYT recently gained approval from the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, Oak Bluffs selectmen, and zoning board of appeals to allow adult play at the facility when youth programs are not in session. Fees from adult play will subsidize youth programs, in the absence of the programs’s benefactor.

“MVYouth has been aware of VYT’s need to replace their aging bubble for some time. We have been poised to receive a proposal from this wonderful organization,” executive director of MVYouth Lindsey Scott was quoted as saying in the release. “Board president Chris Scott did a terrific job navigating the many hurdles of permitting adult play and ensuring that the organization has a sustainable funding model moving forward.”

VYT board president Chris Scott told The Times he can’t thank MVYouth enough for their help during a critical time. “We are so grateful to MVYouth for their support during a time when we really need it in order to continue our programs,” Scott said.

Scott said the new bubble that will be constructed will have updated technologies, including more modern ventilation systems, better heating, and a higher level of durability.