LONDON — Nine charitable causes, nominated by ATP World Tour tournaments, players and alumni, will receive $/€15,000 grants through the ATP ACES For Charity programme in 2015.
This year’s recipients include the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta, the Special Olympics and Fight Aids organisations in Monte-Carlo, the Swedish Cancer Society, Officine Terenzio, and the Tomas Berdych Foundation, which aspires to develop human potential through sports activities and projects. A trio of grants have been awarded to programmes assisting the impoverished: Magic Bus in Chennai, India; HomeAid OC in Orange County, California, and the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center in Newport, Rhode Island.
An ATP ACES For Charity grant will also support the “Brad Drewett Motor Neurone Disease Charity Day”, which will bring together members of the ATP family this February in Australia to raise money and awareness for the Motor Neurone Disease Foundation.
Entering its fifth year in 2015, the ATP ACES For Charity program is a global initiative aimed at giving back to communities where ATP World Tour events are played, as well as recognising and supporting tournament, player and alumni charitable initiatives. Since 2011, the grant programme has awarded 51 grants totalling more than $620,000 in donations.
The recipients of the 2015 ATP ACES For Charity grants are:
Tomas Berdych: The Tomas Berdych Foundation, established in 2013, aspires to develop human potential through sports activities and projects which encourage the active spending of free time. One of the main priorities of the Endowment Fund is for sport to become a part of the everyday life for a majority of the population. It aspires to achieve its vision through: implementing programmes and activities that will motivate children and adults to play sport; providing equipment for athletes, teams and schools; developing public education in the area of healthy lifestyle and sports; and improving training conditions for talented young athletes.
Marin Cilic: The reigning US Open champion supports two causes in Monte-Carlo: Special Olympics and Fight Aids. Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. Fight Aids, founded by Princess Stéphanie in 2004, assists those living with HIV/AIDS and aims to prevent and de-stigmatise the disease through education. During the Monte-Carlo Rolex Masters, Cilic will host a Marin & Friends exhibition along with coach Goran Ivanisevic to raise funds for both organisations.
Michael Chang: HomeAid OC, supported by the Chang Family Foundation, aspires to end homelessness in Orange County, California, by building new lives for homeless families and individuals through housing and community outreach. Orange County has the third highest rate of homelessness in the United States, with more than 12,000 people – 2,500 of which are children – living on the streets annually. The Michael Chang Tennis Classic raised $60,000 for HomeAid OC last year, and will take place again this summer with a goal of raising even more money to financially support the construction of HomeAid OC’s 51st project for Orange County’s homeless.
Simone Bolelli: Officine Terenzio, nominated by Simone Bolelli, operates in the field of education and was recently founded on the principle of assisting young people lacking the financial means to pursue further education. The Association has many educational programs to develop, and it currently offers scholarships for economically disadvantaged students wishing to attend university, organises cultural exchanges between schools within Rome, and provides guidance on the career opportunities available in different professions and trades.
Wally Masur: The “Brad Drewett Motor Neurone Disease Charity Day”, in honour of the late ATP Executive Chairman & President, aims to expand awareness of the disease and raise funds for the Motor Neurone Disease Foundation. To be held in February at Australia Tennis Academy on the Gold Coast, Wally Masur and other members of the ATP family will come together to reach out to the greater community to seek financial support for MND. Funds raised will go to providing free services, support and equipment to those with the disease, as well as MND research.
BB&T Atlanta Open: The tournament and their title sponsor, BB&T, support the YMCA of Metropolitan Atlanta to help promote tennis in the region and to ensure an outreach to a diverse and underserved audience. Over the course of the last ten years, Y’s across Atlanta have introduced the sport of tennis to more than 60,000 children, empowering healthy living – one of the YMCA’s main initiatives to help children reach their full potential and prepare themselves to connect to and serve the community. The BB&T Atlanta Open kicks off with “Tennis Night on the Town”, benefitting youth tennis programs at Ys across Atlanta.
SkiStar Swedish Open (Bastad) & If Stockholm Open: Cancerfonden, The Swedish Cancer Society, is a charity partner for the ATP World Tour’s two tournaments in Sweden. Founded in 1951, the organisation has a mission to beat cancer and focuses on raising funds for research, providing education on cancer in society and how to decrease one’s own risk, and improving health care in the community. The SkiStar Swedish Open and If Stockholm Open assist with fundraising and educational efforts during the tournament and throughout the year, collecting donations, selling official clothing and auctioning items.
Aircel Chennai Open: Magic Bus, the charity partner of the 2015 Aircel Chennai Open, has a mission of breaking the poverty cycle, one child at a time. The organisation equips India’s poorest children and youth with essential skills and behaviours so that they can take control over their lives to move from poverty towards a life of dignity and employment. Starting with a single programme in a Mumbai slum in 1999, Magic Bus now has one of the largest poverty alleviation program in India, working with 250,000 children across the country. The ATP ACES For Charity grant will empower 1,000 children from Chennai communities using the sports for development approach, focusing in the area of education and life skills, and will expose them to tennis at the Aircel Chennai Open.
Hall Of Fame Tennis Championships (Newport): The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Center (MLKCC), founded in 1922, provides urgent food services, educational programs for children, programs promoting self-sufficiency for adults, and general social service support for the 10.8 per cent of Newport’s population living below poverty. The ATP ACES For Charity grant would be applied to MLKCC’s hunger relief programs, which use various strategies and delivery methods to accomplish the goal of decreasing the number of food insecure individuals in Newport County. More than 2,500 different individuals are served annually.