Chrissie, the darling of the tennis world in her teens, continues
to charm the world. With the catastrophe of September 11th we
had thought there might be a pall over the annual Chris Evert/Raymond
James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic in December of 2001. However,
what we found was that Chris was able to, once again, play the
role model ... and show the world that we could all go on and
lead our lives ... not let terrorists rule.
Chris and husband,
Andy Mill, our hosts, along with all the celebrity guests, professional
tennis players, volunteers and spectators were determined that
this would be the “best ever” event. And it was! The star-studded
lineup for this 12th annual event included former President
George Bush and soccer superstar Mia Hamm taking to the courts
while music superstar Gloria Estefan entertained at the Black
came from all over the country ... flying in when it was not
the most popular mode of transportation ... to join in the festivities.
The program this year had a slight change as a Kids Day Tennis
Clinic was added on Thursday. Hundreds of kids piled in to the
Delray Tennis stadium to get first hand lessons from Chrissie
and several other professional coaches. The highlight for the
afternoon ... in addition to the tennis and meeting Chris Evert
... was the presence of Tony Hawk.
have to know that Tony Hawk is an icon in the children’s world.
He is the guru of the skateboard, has won almost every major title
given for skateboarding maneuvers and even has several video games
out centering on his skateboarding skills. The
kids idolize him and could not believe that they would be able
to be up-close-and-personal to their hero. Tony spoke with the
kids and answered their questions. He could not give a full demonstration
of his skateboarding as his jumps, twirls and tumbles would damage
the surface of the tennis court but he did show Chris Evert a
few basic moves....mainly how to stand and roll on the skateboard
without falling off! Chris was a real trouper and did conquer
the basics ... much to the thrill of the onlookers. After that,
Tony signed autographs for every child that was present and posed
for photos. It was a fantastic afternoon and a great addition
to the event.
was the day for the Pro-Am which was sponsored by Jaguar Cars,
... and once again held at the tennis courts of the Boca Raton
Resort & Club. We have stated before that we think this is one
of the best “buys” at the event. This year participants had the
opportunity to mix and mingle with Chris, Alan Thicke, Dan O’Brien
(Decathlon Gold Medalist), James McDaniel (Lt. NYPD Blues), Luke
Jensen, Brenda Schultz-McCarthy and Wendy Turnbull and several
other professional tennis coaches. Not only do you get a chance
to play tennis with some of the top players, get some personal
instruction, match strokes with the celebs but each participant
gets to play on the court with Chrissie. It is a round-robin format
with lots of running, chasing, laughing and comradery.
When everyone is just about exhausted from play all climb the
steps to the terrace for a delightful lunch where they are able
to relax, enjoy each other’s company and extol the virtues of
that “great placement shot.”
was the elaborate cocktail party at the Boca Raton Hotel and Resort
for the sponsors and box holders. Magnificent ice-sculptures decorated
the elaborate food tables and all
were able to eat, drink, relax and socialize while watching beautiful
models from Saks 5th Avenue show off the newest and latest in
resort fashion. The highlight for everyone is getting to see all
the celebs who will be playing on the courts. Andy Mill, served
again as the M.C. and it is always so much fun when he does. He
is not only handsome, an Outdoor Sportsman Fishing Expert and
TV producer and an Olympic skier, but
also a great speaker. Of course, he always adds a few footnotes
about Chris and the family that Chris would just as soon not be
made so public. It makes for a lot of fun and laughs. The celebrities
present this year were: Tom James, CEO of Raymond James Associates,
Chevy Chase, news anchor Stone Phillips (NBC Dateline), Alan Thicke,
Dan O’Brien, James McDaniel, figure skater Caryn Kadavy, Mia Hamm,
Katherine Harris, Tony Hawk and professional tennis stars ...
Hana Mandlikova, Luke Jensen, Mark Philippoussis, Carling Bassett-Seguso,
Brenda Schultz-McCarthy and Wendy Turnbull. What a super evening!
the tennis began ... but not that early. The matches began at
11AM so there was plenty of time to get to the Delray Courts
and enjoy the midway of booths that attract you with food delicacies
and lots of goodies to peruse or purchase....as well as many
Roddick, the newest tennis phenom, and Mia Hamm teamed up for
an exciting 6-5 win over our host Chris Evert and partner Chevy
Chase. Mia also partnered with ATP Tour player, Mark Philippoussis
to defeat fellow gold medalist Dan O’Brien and Hana Mandlikova.
Roddick won another match teaming with
Stone Phillips against James McDaniel and Mark Philippoussis.
Never fear though ... Chrissie did win one match when she teamed
with Alan Thicke and managed to outplay Luke Jensen and former
New York City Mayor, David Dinkins. Also taking to the courts
were Brenda Schultz-McCarthy, Carling Bassett-Seguso and Robbie
Sound like fun?
It certainly was. Many of these “celeb” players are excellent
on the tennis court but what makes it fun are the comments,
strategies and remarks they make while embroiled in the dynamics
of winning the game. They all wear mikes while they play so
that the spectators are on the “inside” to all the court planning.
The amusing part is ... so are their opponents!
evening was an evening we shall always remember. The Health Foundation
of South Florida Gala Black Tie Dinner at the Boca Hotel Resort
and Club was awesome. Chairpersons for the evening were H. Wayne
& Marti Huizenga and Carole and Richard Siemens. Along with all
the other celebrities, golf legend Greg Norman and his beautiful
wife, Laura joined in the festivities. A cocktail reception begins
the evening. The guests arrive and that in itself is an eyeful.
The men look oh-so-handsome in their tuxedos and the women sport
the newest and latest in fashion’s evening wear ... spangles,
crashing necklines, bare backs, sides, long trails ... magnificent
looking shoes, evening bags, accessories ... and jewelry to-die-for!
Background music is played, food and drink served as the guests
place their bids for some of the exciting auction items that lucky
bidders will take home.
On to the main
dining room and we just gasped. The theme this year was African
Safari. Tablecloths and table decorations were either leopard
or zebra motif and animal figures and paintings paraded around
the perimeters of the ballroom and hung from balconies and chandeliers.
A gourmet’s delight dinner graced the table while soft dance
music played in the background. It is one of the few dinners
we attend where you can actually talk with your tablemates during
dinner. Just before the most eye-catching, scrumptious dessert,
Stone Phillips took to the lectern and then Chrissie. With everyone
having such a great time partying, Chris wanted to be sure they
all remembered why they were there. This was a charity event
that has raised more than $9.3 million to fight drug abuse and
assist neglected and abused children in South Florida. A short
film was shown so that all could see where the monies go and
how successful the programs are.
Live Auction followed dessert and it is here that the numbers
fly and the bids go higher and higher. There were several contests
among the guests for some of the super items ... an autographed
photo of the Bush Family/Former President George Bush & Barbara
with President George W. Bush and Laura; a Rolex watch; Super
Bowl Tickets; tickets for the French Open; tickets for Wimbledon;
but Luke Jensen was determined to win the prize he had set his
sights on. He bid bravely and won the invitation to the Sports
Illustrated Swimsuit Party!
After all the
excitement of the bidding quieted down ... Gloria Estefan was
brought on stage. Much to everyone’s delight, Gloria was not
going to perform just one number and walk off ... she did her
full show!!! When we first heard that Gloria was to be the performer
and that she was going to do a full show ... we envisioned this
exquisitely dressed audience sitting in their chairs at their
tables listening and watching this fantastic performer.
Were we wrong!!!
We were standing right in front of the stage so we could get a
few photos and
then move off to the side so everyone would have a clear view.
To our amazement, even as
Ms. Estefan was taking to the stage, the crowds filled the dance
floor and crowded the edge of the stage. At first it was pure
admiration for this glamorous gal with the glorious voice and
stage presence ... then the dancing began and did not stop. As
long as Gloria sang, the crowds danced and twirled. Some, with
those gorgeous high, spike heels, took off the shoes and danced
barefoot. It was exciting, whirling dervish merriment. What a
day was Super Sunday at the tennis courts as Former President
George Bush joined the players ... along with Caryn Kadavy and
tennis superstars, Jim Courier and Tommy Haas. They joined with
the stars and celebs from Saturday to “play more tennis.” The
popular rock band “Sister Hazel” started off the festivities for
the day with a rousing pre-game concert.
Chris has said
that when she plays with President Bush she wins ... guess that
was right on again this year. As his partner they won their
match and President Bush went on to partner with Mark Philippoussis
for the next match ... winning that one also.
super gal running a super event. Chris
also announced that she has earmarked some of the event proceeds
to benefit the victims of the Sept. 11th attack.
“Our event is
about helping children and their families to have a second chance,”
she said. “While we will continue to raise funds to help families
in South Florida, the events of Sept. 11th are just too big,
too tragic not to do all we can to help.”
All the celebrities come to help
Chris and her charities. They all lead very busy lives and have
extraordinarily heavy schedules but they give freely of some
of their own “quiet” time to be part of this event. They laugh,
they play, they sign autographs and pose for photos with the
fans who are present. Even President Bush, surrounded by his
security, insisted he wanted to sign autographs and pose for
some photos before he left the area.
We must have told you this is a super event that you should
not miss. Well, we can repeat that suggestion. It just gets
better each year.
Chris Evert Charities
partners with the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, a public-private
partnership administered with Florida to raise money for needy
programs which otherwise would not be fully funded by the state.
The Ounce of Prevention Fund matches moneys raised through the
Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic.
In addition to
the title sponsor Raymond James Financial Services ( www.raymondjames.com),
Chris Evert Women and Children’s Center at Broward General,
the Health Foundation of South Florida, the Boca Raton Resort
and Club and the City of Delray Beach also support Chris Evert
Charities as sponsors.
can give you some advance word for the next event. Chris Evert,
Andy Mill shall be there ... and you can be sure we will be also.
We would not miss this one.
The dates are already
The Pro-Am ... November 22,
Tennis ... November 23& 24, 2002
The Gala Black Tie ... Saturday
evening, November 23, 2002
We suggest you
make your plans early. Tickets and information can be obtained
by calling.... 561-394-2400 Ask for Susan.
... when there please say hello. We are the ones running around
the place loaded with cameras.
See you in Delray
Beach next November.
FACTS PLEASE .......
FRIDAY, November 22, 2002
for those who have previously signed up)
12:00 PM - 2:00 PM. Boca Raton Resort & Club
Reception for Boxholders, Sponsors, Celebrities, and Pros
6:00 PM - 7:30 PM. Boca Raton Resort & Club
Competition 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Delray Beach Tennis Center
Cocktail Reception and Silent Auction
6:30 PM. Boca Raton Resort & Club
Dinner Dance and Live Auction
7:30 PM. Boca Raton Resort & Club
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM. Delray
Beach Tennis Center
can phone the office for any information: 561-394-2400