IIn 2013, Simpson returned to Wilmington to make a difference in the community, like Dr. Hubert Eaton had done years before. Simpson started The Lenny Simpson Tennis and Education Fund and One Love Tennis, a nonprofit orga-nization that provides free tennis instruction and academic support for at-risk youth. “That’s what Dr. Hubert Eaton did for me. So I’m trying to give that back,” Simpson says. “By the grace of God, opening up all the doors, and a lot of help from a lot of people — young guys I grew up with in this town, have been willing to help me, when we were not even supposed to be friends growing up because of the color of our skin.” Top: Above, from left: Students practice at the net with Coach Lenny at the Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. Left: Simpson with the One Love Tennis 10-under junior team that won the Wilmington City League and traveled to the state finals in Fayetteville, placing third, in 2014. Back row, from left: Sloane Woolwine, Peyton Philemon and Elena Berg. Front row, from left: Augie Ballantine, “Shark” Harrison Baynard and Jack Snyder. 68 WBM february 2015 PHOTOS BY ALLISON POTTER The Lenny Simpson Tennis and Education Fund (One Love Tennis) needs community support and resources to continue making a difference in Wilmington. Since April 2013, this nonprofit has been providing year-round tennis instruction and life skills/mentoring free of charge at seven locations that cater to at-risk youth. To date, One Love Tennis has made more than 10,000 youth tennis contacts. The One Love program also screened the acclaimed documentary “Althea” to every middle and high school in New Hanover County, reaching as many as 12,000 stu-dents with the story of Wilmington’s trailblazing world champion. See the website www.one-love-tennis.org for information on how you can help and for details about the First Annual One Love Tennis luncheon to be held in spring 2015. PHOTO COURTESY OF LENDWARD SIMPSON PHOTO BY ALLISON POTTER Lenny Simpson stands with some of his students in front of Dr. Eaton’s former home on Orange Street, Wilmington. Back row, from left: Ciera Roseboro, Augie Ballantine, Tione Damon, Elena Berg and Peyton Philemon. Front row, from left: Maya Roseboro, Jack Snyder, Laurryen Lennon and Alijah Miller.
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