Tennis Ball

May 6, 2016
Sponsors Build Life Champions

Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) will hold the 16th annual Tennis Ball on Friday, May 6, 2016, at The Ritz-Carlton in Washington, DC.

It is our largest fund-raising event of the year. Sponsors, in particular, provide critical support for WTEF’s award-winning afterschool programs that help underserved children achieve their potential. WTEF builds life champions!

Please be a part of the Tennis Ball.  Sponsorship opportunities are available from $3,000 to $25,000.  Sponsors who commit by March 21 will be included in the printed event invitation mailed to more than 4,000 supporters.

Sponsorship comes with an array of benefits including box seats or suite tickets to the Citi Open tennis tournament in late July, player spots in the VIP Round Robin Tournament, advertising and publicity before and during the Ball, and, of course, seats at the Tennis Ball. 

Best of all, sponsors have the satisfaction of knowing that their support is helping underserved children and youth achieve brighter futures.

The Tennis Ball is chaired this year by Manuel Ortiz and Kristin Solheim, and Henry and Lee Fonvielle. Mr. Ortiz and Mr. Fonvielle are volunteer leaders of WTEF, with both serving on the Executive Committee of the Board. In addition, Mr. Fonvielle is our Vice President for Development. Mr. Ortiz is shareholder at Brownstein Hyatt Farber Shrek and considered one of Washington’s top lobbyists. Mr. Fonvielle is President of Rappaport, a leading commercial real estate company.

A highlight of the evening will be the presentation of our awards to our distinguished honorees

Jackie Joyner-Kersee, recipient of the Life Champion Award, is one of the most decorated athletes of all time and winner of six Olympic medals, spanning four Olympic Games. She helped create the Jackie Joyner-Kersee Youth Center to assist underserved youth in her hometown of East St. Louis, IL, and co-founded Athletes for Hope.

U. S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito, recipient of the Distinguished Service Award, is Co-Chair of WTEF’s annual Congressional Charity Tennis Tournament.  In the Senate, she represents West Virginia and serves on the Appropriations, the Energy and Natural Resources, the Environment and Public Works and the Rules and Administration committees.

WTEF is honored to bestow the Lifetime Achievement Award on the late philanthropists Sylvia and Saul Ritzenberg.  Without their leadership and extraordinary generosity, it is hard to imagine that WTEF would have been able to build our impressive East Capitol Campus with its 15 courts (6 indoor) and educational wing.

Tennis Ball 2016 promises to be a delightful evening. To add to the fun, this year we’ll have a live band and dancing after the dinner program!

Top sponsors will gather at 6 p.m. in a private VIP reception to enjoy cocktails and hors d’oeuvres and swap tales of their adventures during the Round Robin Tournament, a spirited competition held earlier in the day.  During the next hour and a quarter, guests will peruse an expansive display of enticing Silent Auction items, including weekend getaways, signed sports memorabilia, and fine wines. 

A gourmet dinner in the ballroom will be highlighted by brief remarks from a current WTEF student.  Following that will be our annual Fund a Future portion of the program, when hundreds of guests pledge their additional support to the children at WTEF.  Last year, Fund a Future raised over $200,000 in about five minutes.  This year, we are engaging our entire community of supporters to try to break the $250,000 mark; so, even if you cannot attend the Tennis Ball, you can make your presence felt by your donation to Fund a Future.

The really special items – like tickets to Wimbledon – will be offered during the Live Auction.

We hope you will join us at the Tennis Ball 2016.  Please become a sponsor and invest in the remarkable children and youth who we serve.  These youngsters deserve the opportunity to achieve their potential – in school and in tennis – through the support WTEF provides. 

WTEF began more than 60 years ago as an effort to provide a healthy outlet for youth and a means of supporting talented young players who couldn’t afford tournament fees.  Today, we are Washington, DC’s premier academic and athletic organization working with underserved children and youth.

Join 700 generous friends of WTEF at the Tennis Ball 2016!  We look forward to seeing you there!

Can’t attend the Tennis Ball?  Be a part of the action by making your donation to Fund a Future today!