Editors, Vineyard Gazette;

The Friends and Associates of Chilmark Tennis (FACT) would like to provide additional information in response to last week’s Gazette article, Chilmark Tennis Group Seeks Autonomy.

The newly proposed committee is advocating for the establishment of a town tennis committee to better manage and operate the tennis courts located on the Chilmark Community Center grounds.

The Friends and Associates of Chilmark Tennis has garnered support from 130+ Chilmark voters for a citizens’ petition aimed at creating a tennis committee under the town’s authority. This committee would manage the town-owned courts year-round at no cost to the taxpayers. In addition, FACT comprises 250-plus summer playing members.

A town tennis committee is seen as essential to the vibrant year-round tennis community, fostering collaboration and strong input from various stakeholders, including the Community Center. This committee would use membership fees to keep the funding in tennis programming, and would contribute to free after-school programs, free summer tennis for children under age 18, mentorship initiatives for Island children, and fundraisers for community development. There has been a long history of philanthropy associated with tennis on the Island that has led to great success for the girls and boys high school teams that we want to continue.

We also believe that more regular oversight would address structural maintenance issues, ensuring the courts remain in optimal condition, and that improved year-round programming would lead to a better year-round experience on the courts.

We look forward to engaging with the community this winter through outreach sessions to learn more about how the proposed committee can strengthen tennis programming throughout the year.

Jay Grossman


The writer is chair of the Friends and Associates of Chilmark Tennis.