picture this ... Chris Evert, Regis Philbin, Chevy Chase, Donald
Trump, Mike Wallace ... 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.
That's what it was like at the 10th Annual
Chris Evert/Tyco International Pro-Celeb Tennis Classic.
new time period for the event proved to be a huge success.
Held in December for the first time in its ten year
history, the weekend events were extremely well attended.
We are sure that is because so many more have discovered
what we have been saying all along .... that this is one of the
most exciting events held in Palm Beach County. In association
with the Chris Evert Women and Children's Center at Broward
General Medical Center monies are raised to fight drug abuse and
assist neglected and abused children in South Florida.
weekend starts with an outstanding Pro-Am tennis afternoon at
the Boca Raton Resort and Club.
Jaguar, the new official sponsor of the day, hosted the
celebrities and tennis playing aficionados played round-robin
style ... mixing partners, celebs and professionals on each
go-round. This year
had Chris, Regis & Joy Philbin, Keith Hernandez, Luke &
Murphy Jensen, Johan Kriek, Vince Spadea, Brenda
Schultz-McCarthy, Wendy Turnbull and Erik Silver of the Boca
Hotel playing. One
of the guests playing was Howard Schnellenberger, the well-known
football coach. 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. Also this year,
lovely tennis sweatshirts were given to each participant. 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!
evening the J.P. Morgan Co. hosted an elaborate cocktail party
at the Boca Raton Hotel and Resort for the sponsors and box
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 (perhaps Chris?) with
racquet, sitting in a sleigh highlighted the magnificently
displayed food tables filled with all kinds of delectables, and
the several bars were serving up whatever you could dream of.
This year, Andy Mill took on the roll of MC and was
being Chris' husband and a gold medal ski champion, he is a
terrific raconteur and to the delight of everyone present, let
us all in on some inside family goings-on.
Those celebs who had arrived for the weekend's activities were introduced. Regis
Philbin and his delightful and talented wife, Joy; Chevy Chase
and his beautiful wife, Jayni, Luke & Murphy Jensen, Keith
Hernandez, Carling Bassett-Seguso, Brenda Schultz McCarthy,
Vince Spadea and dashing across the platform just in the nick of
time was Mike Wallace, right in from his plane.
The dress ranges from comfortable to slightly dressy,
just no tennis shorts.
fun-filled evening after a glorious afternoon was enjoyed by
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.
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.
day there is 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.
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 one of Chris'
ground strokes 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. See Keith
Hernandez hit the tennis ball almost as well as he does that
baseball. Hear Regis' comments as he hits a "killer" down the
line. Hear Chris as she tries to coach Regis. Watch Mike Wallace run for the ball like a teenager. Take in
Eric Braedon, our handsome leading man from the soap The
Young and the Restless, always smiling, serving up an ace.
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.
professional tennis players, Monica Seles, Jimmy Connors, John
McEnroe, Jana Novotna, Jennifer Capriati, Mary Joe Fernandez,
Luke Jensen, Murphy Jensen, Bud Collins, Carling Bassett-Seguso,
Robbie Seguso, Johan Kriek, Brenda Schultz-McCarthy, Pam Shriver,
Tracy Austin, Vince Spadea and Wendy Turnbull .... whew!!
Is that a group of top players or what!!
when you get to see these"greats" here, they are also enjoying themselves. Jimmy laughs and winces when he thinks he will get hit with
the ball in all the wrong places; Johnny Mac throws his racquet
down and grimaces when he playfully disputes a line call.
Jimmy and Chris play opposite each other and switch for several games
... playing as team-mates ... something that tennis fans waited
years to see. Jana Novotna and Chevy Chase teaming up to confuse
and bemuse their opponents. Monica Seles, with a twinkle in her
eye, being a little mischievous as she gently hits the ball
across the net, ... and high fives her partner, Pres. Bush when
they win the point. There are smiles, laughs, practical jokes
and pure enjoyment on the court.
The crowds in the stands really appreciate this different
kind of look at the celebs and professional players.
Each and everyone is here to please the crowds and they
autograph and pose for photos.
Even President Bush, with all his security guards around him, insisted
on signing autographs before he left the court.
for who wins and who loses, there are no trophies for the
winners but the satisfaction of knowing they won that match.
John McEnroe teamed with Chevy Chase to defeat Luke Jensen and
Eric Braeden, 5-3. President
Bush had one victory teamed with John McEnroe to defeat Chris
and Chevy Chase, then went on to pair with Monica Seles and win
the last match of the day against Chris and Bud Collins.
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!"
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. This
year, because the date had been changed to December for the
event, the theme was a winter wonderland setting. 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.
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; Sports
Illustrated swimsuit party; VIP seats for a shuttle launch and
much, much more. 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
dinner is always out of this world 5 Star delectables and the
desert this time was a three-dimensional old fashioned sleigh made
of chocolate and filled with a passion fruit chiffon of
caramelized pineapple and orange mandarin coulis ... and
absolutely no calories.... hah!
Trump kissed Monica Seles'
hand and appeared
onstage with Regis
and Chevy Chase trying to answer Chris' Million Dollar Question
with the now well-known line ... Are you sure that is your
final answer? Mike Wallace was the Master of Ceremonies.
And Mary Wallace and Chris did some bantering before
talking about the serious side of the evening ... the charities
that benefit from the monies raised during the weekend.
Anthony and the Imperials took the stage, 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.
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.
year Chris was able to present a check for $1,000,000 to the
had such a good time... and to be able to raise all that money for
a good cause ... what a weekend!!.
the years over $8.3 million has been raised by this tennis event. It is really an entertaining time for all, and the ticket
prices for the day matches are not high so everyone can attend.
has stated, AI 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.
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.
know this is an event we absolutely love.
The dates for next year's
event have not been set as yet but it will probably be sometime in
December again. We
can tell you, if you do nothing else when you come to Palm Beach,
plan to be here. The
Pro-Am fills up early so get your requests in soon.
can phone the office for any information: 561-394-2400
look forward to seeing you at Chris'
Year 2000 event.
© 2000 Alese & Morton Pechter
WEBSITE DESIGN AND
PALM BEACH ON-LINE