The Washington Tennis & Education Foundation will honor tennis legend and philanthropist James Blake with its 2014 Champion of Tennis Award. The honor will be presented at the annual WTEF Tennis Ball on May 9, 2014 at the Ritz Carlton in the District.
James Blake inspired the world during a 14-year tennis career that featured 10 singles titles, a Davis Cup Championship and a New York best seller for his memoir, Breaking Back. James turned pro in 1999 while he was the #1 collegiate player at Harvard University. In 2004, he overcame a potential career ending injury and a case of the shingles that temporarily left his face paralyzed and vision blurred. Just one year later, he climbed from outside the top 200 in the ATP rankings to his career highest ranking of #4.
In memory of his father who lost a battle to stomach cancer in 2004, James created the Thomas Blake, Sr. Memorial Cancer Research Fund at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. He holds an annual celebrity tennis and entertainment event, Serving for a Cure, to raise funds for cancer research and prevention.
Event co-Chair Mary Stevens said, “We are so pleased to be honoring James. He is a shining example to the children we serve of how to persevere in the face of adversity and come out a champion, not only in tennis but in life.”
The WTEF Tennis Ball is the major annual fund-raising event for WTEF, with all of the proceeds benefitting WTEF and the children it serves. Event chairs for the 2014 WTEF Tennis Ball are Habib and Hind Debs and Mary and David Stevens.
Past honorees include Andre Agassi, Andrea Jaeger, Pam Shriver, Mary Carillo and Patrick McEnroe.
For information on tickets, sponsorships or to donate an auction item, please call Bill Hawthorne at 202.291.9888, Extension 222 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.