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USA Tennis Florida Joins Stars to Celebrate Andy Roddick Charity Weekend

December 20, 2004 09:39 AM

photos by Andy McFarland

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It was a “sold-out” crowd of thousands at the Fourth Annual Andy Roddick Charity Benefit, December 11-12 at The Polo Club Boca Raton. Tennis Superstar, Andy Roddick, currently ranked #2 in the world and the 2003 US Open Champion, received help from many celebrity friends to raise money for children in need. Tennis stars who joined Andy this year were Anna Kournikova, John McEnroe, Chris Evert, Sebastien Grosjean, Aaron Kricktein, and Brenda Schultz. Other celebrities included Ali Landry, actress and former Miss USA, Jeff Conine, Florida Marlin and two-time World Series Champion baseball player, Darcy Hordichuk, as well as Florida Panther left wing ice hockey player.

On Saturday evening, the Polo Club served a gourmet surf and turf dinner, while the Pure Energy Live Band rocked the night away. The Dinner was spectacular with dancing, auctions and raffles throughout the evening.  Oscar tickets to Elton John’s private party raised over $20,000 alone. A day with Ali Landry was a live auction “to die for” and went to a lucky thirteen year old girl from New Jersey. Deluxe baskets from Hollywood were donated by stars including Cindy Crawford, Donna Summer, Sharon Stone, Vanessa Williams, and Shania Twain. They all received record breaking bids and raised more than $800,000 for the 2004 weekend.

The $10,000 cash prize was won by Scott Walkawitz of Boca Raton, who purchased a single ticket of the 300 limited for sale. After winning the cash prize, Scott dropped to his knees and slid the entire length of the dance floor in the sheer enjoyment of winning $10,000 and leaving at midnight with the grand prize.

The weekend continued on Sunday with a free kids day for 300 children sponsored by MSE Events and USA Tennis Florida. The brand new Bobby Curtis Tennis on the Move presented by the Andy Roddick Foundation was unveiled at the Kids Day.  The bounce house was a favorite for Anna Kournikova. Andy Roddick enjoyed the rock climbing wall and 52 foot obstacle course. Sebastien Grosjean brought his two children, Lola and Tom. Chris Evert came with her son, Colton, and Brenda Schultz brought thirteen of her tennis students.

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Hollywood actress, Ali Landry, who is in the middle of filming her comedy hit “Eve,” flew in from California for the weekend to donate her time. Florida Panther, Darcy Hordichuk arrived from Phoenix and even called a local young fan on the phone during the Saturday night gala. Olympian, Logan Tom arrived from Torino, Italy, where she is currently playing professional volleyball.

On Sunday, the tennis exhibition featured John McEnroe against Andy. Jeff Conine, the veteran Florida Marlin who returned Andy’s serve in last year’s event, was selected as the chair umpire. Andy won the set 6-4 and the “sold out” crowd was thrilled. Sunday finished with forty lucky players who paid $100 each for three chances to return Andy’s world record serve.

The weekend was best summarized by an avid fan, Marty Stein of Boynton Beach. He said “the celebrities were awesome, the crowd was packed, the tennis terrific, and the weather unbelievable, in other words, PERFECT!”

Grand Slam Sponsors for 2004 were Reebok, Jim and Linda Mc Ingvale, Sun-Sentinel, MSE Events & Pure Energy Entertainment Group, American Express and Edwards Management.  Other major sponsors include Polo Club Boca Raton, Grossman and Roth, Vital Spring Technologies, USTA, Rolex, ATP Tour, USA Tennis Florida, SFX, Babolat, The Tennis Channel, Adelphia Cable, Wachovia, Hawks Cay, Hawks Landing, Aquasol and Jeweliards.

More than $1.3 million dollars have been raised to date to help abused and neglected children. As a 100% volunteer organization, the Andy Roddick Foundation is extremely proud of its unique ability to give back to the local community. According to Executive Chairman, Blanche Roddick, “all proceeds will continue to benefit local children’s charities including the Sun-Sentinel Children’s Fund.”

For More Information: Go to website arfoundation.org or contact Doris Porter at 561-392-2652 at the Andy Roddick Foundation.

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