MTG proudly hosted the 20th annual Matthew Shepard Memorial Tennis Jam (the "Tennis Jam") on Saturday, October 13th at the 119th Street tennis courts in Riverside Park.
The Tennis Jam raises money for the Matthew Shepard Foundation (MSF), which honors the memory of Matthew Shepard, the 19 year old Laramie, Wyoming college student who was a victim of a heinous gay hate crime. Using educational seminars, speaking engagements, and multimedia the foundation pursues its vital mission to "celebrate diversity" and "erase hate". And with her speaking engagements for the foundation, Matthew's mom Judy Shepard leads the charge to instill compassion, encourage understanding, and foster appreciation of people who are "different". Judy's vision, in Matthew's honor, is to create a modern day world where all youth, regardless of race, religion or sexual orientation can feel welcome, safe and proud of their identity.
Over the years, the Matthew Shepard Memorial Tennis Jam has raised more than $70,000. The event has grown exponentially, raising about $500 in its first year to raising almost $14,000 in 2007.
For more information on Matthew’s story and the MSF foundation visit matthewshepard.org.
Many thanks to the 119 Street Tennis Association for their assistance this year and in previous years.
The format consisted of 4 hours of alternating round robin play and socializing. We play for 25 minutes, socialize for 25 minutes, play again for another 25 minutes with a new group of players, then rest, eat and socialize again another 25 minutes etc. At the end of the sessions, we have a raffle prize giveaway and wind up the event with a moment of reflection, gratitude and celebration.
We look forward to seeing you at next year's Matthew Shepard Memorial Tennis Jam!