Stars Step Out To Raise Money For Cancer Research
New York, U.S.A.
by Josh Meiseles|
Tennis returned to the New York City area for a good cause this week, as former World No. 1 Andy Roddick teamed up with James Blake, Justin Gimelstob and current U.S. No. 1 John Isner to raise money for cancer research.
On Thursday, The James Blake Foundation held its ninth annual Serving For A Cure event at the 69th Regiment Armory in midtown Manhattan. First held in 2005, the fundraising endeavor, which featured a doubles match pitting Roddick and Isner against Blake and actor Boris Kodjoe, raised more than $200,000 for early detection research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.
“I’m really proud of this,” said Blake following the event. “Andy was one of the first to sign on when I started it in 2005 and he’s been a supporter ever since. I’m proud to have people out there who I consider friends and are so giving of their time.”
Learn More & Donate: The James Blake Foundation
All of the net proceeds benefit the Thomas Blake, Sr. Memorial Research Fund, named in memory of Blake’s father, who died of gastric cancer in 2004. To date, the former World No. 4 has amassed more than $3 million through his exhibitions, merchandise sales and donations.
On Friday, the action moved across the Hudson River to Centercourt Athletic Club in Chatham, New Jersey, which played host to the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund Tennis Exhibition for the sixth time. Blake, Roddick and Isner were accompanied by fellow pro Alex Bogomolov, Jr., actor David Duchovny, model Anne V., New York Mets star pitcher Matt Harvey and former New Jersey Nets standout Kerry Kittles.
“These guys are really doing great things,” said Roddick to ATPWorldTour.com. “We’ve had a very big culture in tennis of giving back, starting with Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King, Andre Agassi with what he’s been able to do, and Roger [Federer] of course. There has been great leadership as far as this goes and these guys are continuing to pave the way.”
Roddick also commented on the legacy of the late Nelson Mandela and what the former South African president meant to him. “You can point at very few people and say that that person is genuinely better than everybody. There are certain people that are irreplaceable and he’s certainly one of them.”
Gimelstob’s exhibition raised over $300,000 for a variety of children’s charities, including The Valerie Fund, a non-profit organisation supporting comprehensive healthcare services for children with cancer and blood disorders. Gimelstob, a current sports broadcaster and player representative on the ATP Board of Directors, founded the Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund in 1998.
Also included in the event was a free 10 & under clinic.
Learn More & Donate: The Justin Gimelstob Children’s Fund