The Bitsy Grant Tennis Center raised more than $33,000 in a fundraiser that will pay for new shade structures and future court improvements. Meanwhile, new tennis courts are being built as part of the Bobby Jones Golf Course renovation, which began earlier this month.
The money raised at the fundraiser, which was sponsored by Friends of Bitsy Grant, will be used to finish paying for new shade structures and decks, which were built because players and spectators previously had nowhere shaded to sit, Molly Willis, the event chair, said.
About 170 people attended and contributed to the fundraiser by buying event tickets or auction items, Willis said.
The fundraiser’s honorary chair was William King, Jr., a founding member of the 1970s soul band The Commodores. King frequently plays at the courts and donated a gold record presented to the band to the fundraiser’s auction.
United States Tennis Association President Katrina Adams, who played at the courts as a child, happened to be in Atlanta and attended the fundraiser.
The USTA donated two president’s box tickets to the 2018 U.S. Open to the auction.
Some courts are being relocated to make room for golf course renovations and some additional courts are being installed.
In the end, the tennis center will have two more courts than they did previously — bringing the total to 25 courts, the most in metro Atlanta, said Tim Noonan, manager of Bitsy Grant.
A parking deck also is being built as part of the renovations and six courts are being built on top of the parking deck, which some players have expressed concerns about, Noonan acknowledged.
Building courts on top of decks draws concern from some players because they say the vibrations from moving vehicles affect the game, but Noonan said technology has improved and that should not be a concern.