The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation (WTEF) will host its annual fundraising event, the Tennis Ball, on May 10, 2013. All proceeds benefit WTEF, its programs, and the children it serves. It will be comprised of two events: The WTEF Tennis Ball dinner on Friday night and the VIP Round Robin tennis tournament on Saturday morning.
The evening at The Ritz-Carlton consists of a live, mini-live and silent auction, dinner and recognition of honorees. WTEF will honor Robert L. Johnson, Founder and Chairman of RLJ companies, with The William H.G. FitzGerald Distinguished Service Award. Mr. Johnson is an American visionary who has used his success to promote minorities in the business community and to help open the doors and remove the glass ceiling so that others may reach their highest potential.
WTEF is also pleased to present Mark Ein with the Champion of Tennis Award. Mr. Ein is the Founder and Owner of the Washington Kastles, his hometown’s World TeamTennis (WTT) franchise. After just five years in the league, the Kastles have already captured the coveted King Trophy three times by winning the WTT Championship in 2012, 2011 and 2009. Mr. Ein is also Co-Chairman and Principal Shareholder of Kastle Systems, LLC, the country’s leading provider of managed security systems for commercial office buildings.
Former Secretary of the Navy, The Honorable Paul Ignatius, will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award Award for modernizing WTEF and helping transform the organization into what it is today. Ignatius is a past President and an active Board Member (now Director Emeritus) and has been involved with the WTEF since 1969.
We hope you will join us this year as we celebrate the many achievements of the WTEF children and showcase the opening of the new Tennis, Education and Community Center in the heart of Ward 7. This state-of-the-art $10 million facility, which sits only minutes from our nation’s Capitol, is another sign that a community too often known for gang violence and failing schools can and will change if we all work together. With six indoor courts, nine outdoor courts, multiple classrooms, a 50 seat computer lab, a fitness room and a large all purpose room, children and adults alike can gather for a purpose. The location, within walking distance for most, will become a gathering place in which parent participation is encouraged, teachers and mentors are easily accessible and individualized programming can be developed. The WTEF center will symbolize healthy minds and healthy living, for both young and old. Our partnerships with the local preschools, public schools and charter schools will help us stretch beyond the children and families enrolled in our programs and touch the entire community.
The morning after the Tennis Ball the VIP Round Robin Tournament features doubles competition among tennis celebrities, members of Congress, Tennis Ball sponsors, media, and other VIPs from the DC business community.
By sponsoring the WTEF Tennis Ball, one can receive benefits at the Citi Open, held every year at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Washington, DC, benefiting WTEF. Created in 1969, this ATP World Tour 500 & WTA International Tournament is held at the William H.G. FitzGerald Tennis Center in Rock Creek Park in northwest Washington, DC, home of its non-profit owner and beneficiary, the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation. The event is one of only eleven 500 level tournaments worldwide (the only 500 in the US) and is therefore recognized as one of the top 20 events on the ATP World Tour. In addition, the Tournament is a member of the prestigious Emirates US Open Series, the summer hard-court Tournaments leading up to the U.S. Open Championships. With the addition of an International Level WTA tournament in 2012, the tournament provides its 75,000 fans the chance to see both of the men’s and women’s top tennis stars.
Left to Right: Redskins Legend and Tennis Ball Honoree Art Monk, Tennis Ball Co-Chairs Linda Spirtos and Marcella Jones, Sponsorship Co-Chair Hillary Baltimore and Redskins Legend and Tennis Ball Honoree Charles Mann
Thank you to those who joined us for the Washington Tennis & Education Foundation's 2012 Tennis Ball on Friday, May 11 at the Ritz-Carlton. We appreciate your very generous support whether through a sponsorship, a ticket purchase, a gift to Fund a Future or participation in the auctions. This fabulous record-breaking evening raised over $1 million for WTEF programs, the most successful fundraiser in WTEF's history. This amazing evening included WTEF student honorees who were awarded for their academic excellence and a heartfelt speech from WTEF alumna Nicole Johnson. The audience also viewed a video about our new Tennis, Education and Community Center in Ward 7 which can be viewed on our homepage.The evening featured wonderful speeches from the evening's honorees Jonathan Vegosen (representing the USTA) and Washington Redskins Legends Art Monk and Charles Mann. As you know, we are growing into Ward 7 with a brand new tennis and education facility opening in the fall. These much needed funds will support our efforts to double the number of children we serve in Washington's most underserved neighborhoods in the coming year.