Interview by Jan Osborn. Photos Courtesy of Madison and John Isner.
Dallas tennis player John Isner has been ranked in the Top 25 Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) for the 12th year in a row. John holds 16 ATP titles, serving over 12,000 aces and continues to represent the United States in the ATP. John met his future wife, Madison, while she was watching a tennis tournament in Houston, and they settled in Dallas to raise their family. The Isner Family Foundation has created an endowed fund to support Indigent Family Assistance managed through the Social Work Department at Children’s Health.
After returning from the Australian Open last week, we had the opportunity to visit with Madison and John about their upcoming charity event.
What brought you to Dallas and what was the catalyst for getting involved in the nonprofit world?
What brought me to Dallas is simple, my amazing wife, Maddy. We dated long distance for a very long time and when we got engaged we started planning our life to be in Dallas. As soon as I started to settle in here, I quickly realized the passion this community has for the sport of tennis. And soon after realized how charitable and amazing everyone is here. I just thought it would be a good idea to use my platform for good in our community and we’re so excited for what the future holds.
When it comes to the Dallas community, The Isner Family Foundation has stepped up to support Children’s Health. How do your personal values inform how to prioritize giving through your foundation?
Both Maddy and I try to be as selfless as possible because we’re both extremely blessed in so many ways. There’s no shortage of amazing causes to support but being the parents of three young kids really made us want to do good for children in our community that haven’t been dealt the best hand in life up to this point.
From your point of view, what is the best way for the North Texas community to follow your example of providing financial support for qualified families to obtain necessities, while their children are under the care of Children’s Health?
This is quite easy. The best way would be to come out and support on Friday night February 4th at the SMU Indoor tennis center. You will be treated to some great tennis and great fun while supporting this incredible cause that is close to us. From there, we would hope you have some connection to our foundation going forward as we continue to raise more funds.
What are some of the ways you’ve been inspired by other well known athletes in Dallas?
Fortunately for me I’ve gotten to know Dirk Nowitzki well and I’ve seen the incredible work he’s done with his foundation. He’s just a great example to follow, as we all know, and we can only hope to have some of the success he’s had with his foundation.
How important has it been to collaborate with other nonprofits and foundations in order to see a larger impact in the Dallas community?
Very important. When we had the idea to start a foundation, a lot of options were on the table. Partnering with Children’s makes it super easy and it gives our foundation a clear and detailed path for what we want to accomplish. We hope there’s no confusion with it and think we’ve accomplished that.
Madison, you grew up in Dallas and have always given back to the community. How do you instill this in your children and the community around you?
My grandmother always taught me that the best way to teach others is to lead by example. So I try my best to do that and let my actions speak louder than words – serving others who need it.
Your family has a history of supporting nonprofits across North Texas. What are some of the other causes and organizations that are close to your heart?
Some of the other local Organizations that my family and I have loved being apart of is Austin Street Shelter, Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center, Jubilee Park and the Ronald McDonald House.
Tell us about The Isner Charity Cup on Feb 4, 2022 at the SMU Tennis Complex.
The Isner Charity Cup will feature 5 other amazing colleagues of mine coming together to play some super fun and competitive tennis. Tommy Paul, Sam Querrey, Nick Kyrgios, and Bob and Mike Bryan will be joining me. Fans can expect some fast pace tennis while having lots of laughs.
For more information about the Isner Family Foundation or to purchase tickets to The Isner Charity Cup, go to johnisner.com.