WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The Winston-Salem Open is serving good news this holiday season.
The tournament donated $25,000 Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools middle school athletics. This is their largest donation in history.
"We're providing the foundation for these kids to be successful in that space," said Jeff Ryan, Winston-Salem Open tournament director.
The donation was possible because of the funds raised at the tournament. Ryan said it was a combination of the crowds, players and tennis community that made this year's successful.
Ryan credits chairman Don Flow for wanting to focus the donation on middle school sports. He said it's not tied to a particular sport, rather, to help kids be active.
"Young folks are at a really critical age and athletics can really provide a meaningful outlet for them," Ryan said.
Alexis McCoy, assistant athletic director for WS/FCS, said this donation was a huge surprise. They're still trying to figure out how it will be used, but they're so thankful for it.
There are 16 middle schools in the district with sports like baseball, basketball, softball, volleyball and cheerleading. This money will directly benefit those programs and student-athletes.
"I think with this donation it's going to help us reach out to more kids that might be struggling, who need athletics more than athletics needs them," McCoy said.
The next Winston-Salem Open is scheduled for August 2022.