Justin Gimelstob Children's Fund
by Justin Gimelstob|
The Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund was established in 1998 when my success in professional tennis presented me the opportunity to help others who were less fortunate. The JGCF was established with the mission to provide financial support to a variety of children’s charities and related causes in Northern New Jersey and the New York Metropolitan region.
To date, the JGCF has held seven events and raised more than a million dollars to donate to a variety of charities. Some of the greatest tennis players in the world have supported my initiatives and I'm very appreciative. Pete Sampras, Andy Roddick, John McEnroe, Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan, Jim Courier, James Blake, Lindsay Davenport, Mary Joe Fernandez, and Todd Martin are some of the tennis legends that have flown to NJ to help us raise important funds.
I am very proud of the creation of the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund in 1998. I am well aware of how fortunate I am to have been able to make a living playing a sport I love. I’ve travelled the world while playing against and with some of the best athletes in the world, experiencing things I could only dream of when I first picked up a tennis racquet at seven years old. Tennis has provided me with an unparalleled opportunity to travel around the world, explore new cultures, and experience the excitement and challenges that this sport presents. Through the high points and low points of my career, I have remained tremendously grateful for these experiences and I feel truly blessed.
Professional tennis has bestowed upon me two immense and wonderful gifts: the opportunity to maximise my own potential, and the means to exert a beneficial effect on others. In today’s society, the aura of professional athletics has provided my fellow pros and myself with an almost larger-than-life soapbox from which to be heard. Together, we share the responsibility to use this forum to exert a positive influence on the lives around us. My desire to enable the children of our world to realise their own dreams prompted me to form the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund. My personal interaction with the many generous people involved in organising and planning these events, as well as the pure joy I experience as a result of my personal participation, have combined to provide me with a wealth of emotional fulfillment.
My coaches, parents and friends have always urged me to aim for the highest echelons in tennis. My goals for the Fund are equally grand. I am personally elated at the amount of money we have been able to raise in our first five events and I look forward to raising more at our next event. I’ve spent a lot of time at Saint Barnabas Hospital with the children of The Valerie Fund, and to see young people sick is one of this world’s cruelest realities. I know that a little bit may not seem like much, but every little bit helps, and that is why I am proud to contribute whatever I can to The Valerie Fund and other organisations through the work of the Justin Gimelstob Children's Fund. I sincerely thank everyone who has contributed time, money, participation, and effort in our past events and I look forward to continuing our work in the future.
The main beneficiary of the JGCF is The Valerie Fund, whose mission is to provide financial support for comprehensive health care of children with cancer and blood disorders. The Valerie Fund was established in 1976 as a not-for-profit organisation in memory of nine-year-old Valerie Goldstein by her parents, Ed and Sue Goldstein. Their grass-roots effort began in their basement with the help of dedicated friends and family. Today, The Valerie Fund Children’s Centres, located at major hospitals in the tri-state area, comprise one of the nation’s largest networks of health care facilities for children with cancer and blood disorders, treating more than 5,000 children annually. I am also proud that through the funds generated by the JGCF, we have been able to support many of the philanthropic initiatives of my peers, including the Andre Agassi Foundation, Andy Roddick Foundation, and the Bryan Brothers Foundation.
In 2010 I took on a unique fundraising endeavor and decided to run the ING NYC Marathon, creating a "JGCF Team" and through that experience was able to supplement our 2010 fundraising efforts significantly. I also consistently run auctions throughout my travels with player memorabilia and tickets at premier tennis tournaments and that has also helped subsidise the JGCF Fund.
Tennis has always been on the forefront of philanthropy. I'm very proud of my peers for their conscious decision and commitment to helping others in need. I am appreciative that the JGCF is one of the many worthy charities being recognised by the ATP Charity program.
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