Scottsdale family earns USTA ‘Family of the Year’ award

Family of the Year Award, from left, Nancy Alfano, USTA chair of Awards Committee; Jesse and Pam Ponwith; Katrina Adams, USTA president and CEO.

Family of the Year Award, from left, Nancy Alfano, USTA chair of Awards Committee; Jesse and Pam Ponwith; Katrina Adams, USTA president and CEO.

The United States Tennis Association has presented the Ponwith family of Scottsdale with its Ralph W. Westcott USTA Family of the Year Award.

The Ponwith family was recognized for its outstanding contribution to helping grow tennis at the local level and was honored at the USTA Annual Meeting and Conference, April 10-13 at the Boca Raton Resort & Club in Boca Raton, Fla.

The award, created by the USTA in 1965 is given annually to a family that volunteers its time to promote amateur tennis, emphasizing the theme that tennis is a family game.

According to a USTA release, the Ponwith family and tennis go hand in hand in the Scottsdale area. Pam, her husband, Jesse, and their two sons, James and Nathan, all are involved in the sport. All four members donate their time, energy and money to bettering the sport on a daily basis.

Pam and Jesse own and operate All About Tennis, Arizona’s largest retail tennis store. Over the last 20 years, the Ponwiths have given in-kind donations and sponsorships of nearly a quarter of a million dollars.

Pam has been involved in the game of tennis for the majority of her life in a variety of capacities, including serving on several volunteer committees, assisting as tournament director in various local events and as a team coach. She played tennis in high school, attended Stetson University in DeLand, Fla., on a tennis scholarship and has had several Top 10 national rankings over the years.

Jesse continues to give back to the tennis community on a daily basis, serving as a volunteer and assistant tournament director for the last 20 years. On the court, he has made three USTA League National Championships appearances and was the 2014 Men’s 35 Indoors doubles champion.

James, 18, attends the University of San Diego on a tennis scholarship. He was a member of his high school tennis team for four years, capping off his high school career as the Arizona state high school singles champion. He has also helped his parents however he could with the store, and in 2009, he had the honor of being the Fed Cup Flag Bearer.

Nathan, 16, helps his parents run tournament desks of local events and participates in the Generation Gap fundraiser. He always assists with stuffing player bags for various tournaments that All About Tennis sponsors.

“The long-term commitment the Ponwith Family has for tennis has made a tremendous impact on the Scottsdale community which is felt daily,” said Kurt Kamperman, chief executive, Community Tennis, USTA.

“Their ongoing efforts on and off the court have helped grow and expand tennis programs throughout the Southwest. We are humbled to present them with the Family of the Year award.”

The USTA is the national governing body for the sport of tennis in the U.S. and the leader in promoting and developing the growth of tennis at every level — from local communities to the highest level of the professional game.

A not-for-profit organization with more than 715,000 members, it invests 100 percent of its proceeds in growing the game. It owns and operates the U.S. Open, the highest-attended annual sporting event in the world, and launched the Emirates Airline U.S. Open Series, linking eight summer tournaments to the U.S. Open.

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