Champions of a Cause

Gala

From left to right: Chris Evert, Eva Hafstrom and Mats Wilander

The symmetries are striking.

Both are tireless advocates for those without a voice.

Both founded charitable events that benefit the underserved.

Both are raging tennis fanatics who ascribe to the belief that the sport can change a life.

Both are quintessential Champions.

On Wednesday, May 15, the Junior Tennis Champions Center was proud to honor Hall of Famer Chris Evert and former Senator John Breaux as part of the 2013 GEICO Champions Celebration at the Swedish Ambassador’s Residence.

Senator Breaux and Evert were recognized for pouring tremendous energies into giving back to the game.  Senator Breaux founded the Senator’s Cup (an annual charity tennis event featuring Members of Congress) and he serves on the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation Board.  Evert is the first female owner of a high performance youth training facility and has raised over $20 million through Chris Evert Charities.

The Champions Celebration is an annual fundraiser that benefits Game On!, a community outreach partnership that sends JTCC senior coaches and players to inner-city schools and recreation centers in Washington, DC.   Game On! is a crusade to provide educational opportunities, spread the game of tennis and engender a love for the sport among at-risk youth in Washington, DC.

The action-packed night featured demonstrations of Game On! academic enrichment curriculum (called ACE or Academic Creative Engagement), an on-court exhibition with JTCC juniors, an auction of US Open President Suite tickets and a video tribute by Oscar Nominee Elisabeth Shue.

The star-studded affair included former DC Mayor Adrian Fenty, WTA CEO Stacey Allaster, former world No. 1 and JTCC Senior Adviser Mats Wilander, Hall of Famer Donald Dell, Washington Kastles Owner Mark Ein, GEICO VP of Public Affairs Rynthia Rost, former world Top 10 Kathleen Horvath and former world No. 1 doubles player Jim Grabb.