Ready! Set! Go! Time to start thinking about plans for this winter season and what better activity than to be in Florida in December, attending one of the most exciting and fun-filled events of the season.
Love says it all ... perhaps the use of the word Love for the tennis score began because people just Love the game! We have no idea but we do know that you will Love being present at the 12th annual Pro-Celebrity tennis tournament, The 2001 Chris Evert / Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic, ... www.raymondjames.com ... in association with the Chris Evert Women and Children's Center at Broward General Medical Center. Chris Evert, one of the greatest players in the history of tennis and the winner of 18 Grand Slam Championships and 157 tour singles titles, is hosting her special celebrity event, December 1 - 2, 2001, in Boca Raton, Florida.
Last year's Pro-Celebrity raised another $1,000,000 for those in need. The 2001 festivities include a Friday afternoon Pro-Am with Chris Evert and an evening Cocktail Reception hosted by Chris Evert and Andy Mill, two full days of tennis at the Delray Tennis Courts and a black-tie dinner dance attended by pros and celebrities at the Boca Raton Resort & Club.
That is the basic information so you can make your plans now but we have to fill you in on what happened last December.
Just picture this ... Chris Evert, Regis Philbin, Chevy Chase, Donald Trump ... for starters ... all there to help raise monies for worthwhile Florida charities ... and all delightfully warm and charming to the crowds of autograph seekers and instamatic cameras being flashed at them.
The weekend began with the Friday, Pro-Am sponsored by ..... Jaguar Cars ..... http://www.jaguar.com .... a fun-filled afternoon playing tennis with the stars. It is a round-robin arrangement for a limited number of participants, so you play with different partners and celebrities for each round. Everyone taking part plays at least one round on the court with Chris. Memento photos are taken of each round and then of the whole group as well as lots of candid photos as everyone relaxes after the matches and enjoys a sumptuous buffet lunch. All this and the fun of playing with and socializing with some of the people we usually get to see only via a TV screen.....what a wonderful afternoon for everyone!
There were usually two amateurs and two celebrities on each court. We are sure you would love to play with the likes of Regis and Joy Philbin! ... Luke Jensen! ... Dan O'Brien! ... Carling Bassett-Seguso! ... Michael Rapaport! ... Caryn Kadavy! ... Brenda Schultz-McCarthy! ... and, of course, Chris Evert! ...who were present and playing last year. We have no idea who will be there this year but for as long as we can remember, the list of celebrities makes this afternoon play fantastic.
Friday evening the J.P. Morgan Co. again hosted an elaborate cocktail party at the Boca Raton Hotel and Resort for the sponsors and box holders. Many others were also invited. We are not sure of the categories, but it is a nice sized group that attends. A towering ice-sculpture of a tennis player with racquet (perhaps Chris?) highlighted the magnificently displayed food tables filled with all kinds of delectables, and the several bars were serving up whatever you could dream of. Bud Collins took on the role of M.C. and introduced those celebs who had arrived for the weekend’s activities. Regis Philbin and his delightful and talented wife, Joy; Chevy Chase and his beautiful wife, Jayni; Stone Philips with his breathtaking wife, Debra; Caryn Kadavy with her husband Brett Johnson; Alan Thicke; Dan O’Brien; Luke Jensen; Carling Bassett-Seguso; Brenda Schultz McCarthy; Wendy Turnbull and, of course, Chris and Andy Mill. Chris spoke of the real purpose of this event ... to help the Moms and children who are at risk. Everyone looked great ... in comfortable but slightly dressy clothes. We did not see any tennis shorts. :)))
Make note of this date: Friday, November 30, 2001 ... you will not want to miss all the fun of this afternoon and evening. In fact, you had better make reservations early as the spaces for the Pro-Am fill quickly and there are only participants present at this event.
Bright and early ... well, not so early ... everyone likes to have a relaxed start on the weekends so the first of the matches begins at 11AM both Saturday and Sunday. There is plenty of time to get to the Delray Tennis Center and enjoy some coffee with ... and browse the booths before heading in to the stadium. The stadium is a permanent professional stadium that houses some of the top tennis competitions yearly. Seating is comfortable and there are good sight lines from anyplace. Just bring along a hat, sunglasses and be sure to drink a lot of water as the sun does shine brightly in Florida.
The matches played are just one set (6 games) ... moving everything along nicely. All the players have microphones attached so everyone in the stands can hear all the little "personal" comments they make to their team-mate or the opponents. The banter is all in fun as well as the tennis playing. You would not call this tournament play but it is great to watch people who we know are experts in other areas get out on a court and hit the ball .... like we all do! There is lots of heckling, applause, cheers and jeers from the players and the crowds in the stands.
We can tell you the tennis is lots of fun to watch. There are lots of laughs for all ...especially when you have Regis Philbin or Chevy Chase on the court. Last year the tennis participants were ... President George Bush, Sr.; Regis & Joy Philbin; Chevy Chase; Alan Thicke; Caryn Kadavy; Tava Smiley; Stone Philips; Michael Rapaport; Dan O’Brien; Bud Collins and super-star tennis professionals ... Mary Pierce; Tommy Haas; Mary Joe Fernandez; Carling Bassett-Seguso; Robbie Seguso; Luke Jensen; Wendy Turnbull and Brenda Schultz-McCarthy ... along with Chris and Andy.
In 1999 Chris said, "Last year I played both my matches with President Bush and we won," said Evert. "This year I played both my matches against him and I lost. I know who my partner will be next year!" We can tell you in 2000 ... Chris did partner with President Bush ... and they did win both matches.
Is that a list or what??? And though we do not know yet who will be there this year (2001) ... we know it will be a super list of celebrities and professionals. They all come to support a wonderful, charitable cause and give their "all" for the fans....smiling, laughing ... shaking hands ... posing for photos. As a fan, you have the best time and place to see your favorite celebrities up close.
Each day they try to have one match pitting four of the professional tennis players against each other. This is where you see some "real" tennis being played ... still only one set ... but each team hits the ball with the abilities they have. Some great playing here but you would be amazed at the skills of the celebs and how well they can play.
Some of the "gets" are phenomenal and exciting and some are just lots of fun to watch. Follow Pres. Bush with his strong concentration, eye always on the ball, purposeful, strong, professional swing and his exuberance when he hits a winner. He returned a ground stroke with a behind-the-back volley to Chevy Chase, and then put away Chase’s lob with a powerful overhead to win the point. The crowds jumped to their feet to applaud. Catch Chevy Chase on the court and watch him as he dances and prances before a serve. Hear Regis’ comments as he hits a "killer" down the line. Hear Chris as she tries to coach Regis. Even Andy Mill gets on the court and the banter between husband and wife (Chris and Andy) ... is priceless. And if you think it is only the men out there, you should see the terrific game that Joy Philbin plays.
Each and everyone is here to please the crowds. Even President Bush, with all his security guards around him, insisted on signing autographs before he left the court.
Saturday evening is the big Health Foundation of South Florida Inc., Gala Black Tie Dinner Dance and Auction. Chairpersons for the evening were H. Wayne & Marti Huizenga, John H. O’Neill, Patti Carpenter and Carole and Richard Siemens. Donald Trump joined in the evening festivities, along with Melanie Knauss. The men were handsome in their tuxedos and the women outdid themselves in glamour. The long gowns, mini-dresses, mid-calf and short dresses were all present. The coifs were elegant, the jewelry breathtaking but the atmosphere was relaxed, exciting enjoyment.
A display of the Silent Auction items had long lines during the cocktail hour as all the guests had to study the remarkable array of items up for grabs. Bids were placed by your own personal number so no one really knows who is getting what and for how much. However, there is a live auction during the dinner hour and that always turns into hysterics as the guests and the auctioneer and even some of the bidders try to move the bids higher ... knowing all the money goes to the charities. There were diamonds, pearls, a turn as an "extra" on the TV show The Practice and another on the TV show Walker Texas Ranger; the use of the Huizenga Suite for 32 at a Panthers Game; an FAO Schwartz sleepover; Wimbledon center court; Australian Open odyssey; French Open for 2. Lots of money came pouring in. Even with the high bidders, several items are purchased below cost. Of course, everything is donated so all the money collected goes to the charities to fight drug abuse, child neglect .. and to give former drug dependent mothers a second chance. Great causes. What a wonderful feeling for those whose bids were successful, or for that matter, for all who attend who are helping to support these worthwhile efforts.
The dinner itself is a gourmet’s delight. The hotel chefs do a superb job with unusual presentations of scrumptious foods and always a dessert ... to-die-for! The headline entertainment in 2000 was The Pointer Sisters. They sang a few numbers and then it was just too much to sit and listen. Everyone got to the dance-floor to dance along as the group continued to perform till the wee hours of the morning. It was obvious that no one wanted the evening to end. We can also let you in on a little "behind the scenes info" .... the talent for 2001 will be a real super-star.
From Friday through Sunday all we heard was extravagant praise and rave reviews about each and every activity. It has to be so satisfying to Chris to hear all this and know she is doing such a great job. This is one gal who really deserves all our accolades. As a tennis star she was always a lady and someone who could be admired as a role model. Today, as the caring mother of three terrific young boys, still as a tennis player and her desire to give something back to the community ... she continues to be that role model.
In Year 2000 Chris was again able to present a check for $1,000,000 to the charities!!! Everyone had such a good time... and to be able to raise all that money for a good cause ... what a weekend!!.
Chris has stated, "I always get excited when this event rolls around and know that we are all here to help women and children get back into the mainstream of life by getting them off drugs, getting them jobs, getting them an education and getting them off welfare."
Chris Evert Charities partners with the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, a public-private partnership in conjunction with the State of Florida to raise money for programs for at-risk children.
We do know the dates ... for the Pro-Am ... November 30, 2001 and the tennis and other events will be December 1st and 2nd, 2001. Be sure to make your plans early. You really do not want to miss this one. We can tell you, if you do nothing else when you come to Palm Beach, plan to be here.
JUST THE FACTS PLEASE .......
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 30
Pro-Am (only for those who have previously signed up)
12:00 PM-2:00 PM. Boca Raton Resort & Club
Champions' Cocktail Reception for Boxholders, Sponsors, Celebrities, and Pros
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM. Boca Raton Resort & Club
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 1
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Delray Beach Tennis Center
Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction
6:30 PM. Boca Raton Resort & Club
Gala Black-Tie Dinner Dance and Live Auction
7:30 PM. Boca Raton Resort & Club
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 2
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Delray Beach Tennis Center
Skyview Box Seat Package - $905.00 (includes handling)
Platinum Box Seat Package - $655.00 (includes handling)
Individual Box Seat Package - $165.00 ... 2 days (includes handling)
Series Ticket - $65.00 ... 2 days (includes handling)
Daily Club Ticket - $45.00 (includes handling)
Daily Reserved Ticket - $35.00 (includes handling)
Gala Black-Tie Dinner Dance
Dance Invitation - $750.00
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