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Champions and Celebrities Shine at HJTEP 52nd Charity Gala

For Tennis Now | @Itenisi_Manje | Tuesday, May 14, 2024

The champions met in New York City for a proper tennis match on Tuesday night.

Kim Clijsters, HJTEP Executive Director Katrina Adams, Rennae Stubbs, Stan Smith and Patrick McEnroe were among the players in attendance to support the Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program's 52nd Annual Gala on May 13 at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York City.

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The sold-out event attracted more than 350 guests, including tennis stars, celebrities, several New York Knicks, philanthropists and tennis fans.

A WCBS-TV reporter was contacted Maurice DuBois, the star-studded gala celebrates the achievements of nearly 1,000 youth who benefit from HJTEP's tennis and academic programs each year.

Famous faces walked the HJTEP red carpet including a singer, actress, former Miss America and devoted tennis fan. Vanessa L. Williams, former Knicks guard Allan Houston, former world No. 1 and US Open champion Kim ClijstersHall of Fame Stan Smithwho signed his signature Stan Smith shoes to the fans, a double Grand Slam champion and broadcaster Rennae Stubbsa two-time French Open champion and former US Davis Cup captain Patrick McEnroeformer Knicks center Herb Williamsand former WTA professional Ahsha Rolle.

The 52nd annual charity event was held $1 million for HJTEP programs.

Auction highlights:

US Open President's Box Tickets 2 tickets: $13,000

Indian Wells VIP tickets for 2: $16,000

Golf Hall of Fame Outing and Shoe Icon Stan Smith: $16,000

ESPN US OPEN Behind the Scenes VIP Experience with an ESPN analyst Patrick McEnroe: $14,000.

The gala honored two of HJTEP's most ardent fans by introducing i Shining Star Award to Stan Smith, tennis Hall of Famer and shoe icon; as well as James R. Kelly III Chair Award to Michelle Blake WilsonHJTEP alum and Board Member.

HJTEP develops champions in tennis education and wellness, brings tennis to youth from high-risk, low-income urban areas and provides opportunities for self-development, emphasizing education and a good code of conduct.

A non-profit organization is opening a new door for many city boys and girls between the ages of 6-18, to learn the game of tennis. Since 1972 the numbers speak to its success with a high school graduation rate of 95%, a 3.1 GPA, and 80% of students attending college.

Working with local schools and community centers, HJTEP serves students year-round during the school year and in summer programs. Experiences on the courts and in HJTEP's academic programs develop the “whole child”—in sports, school, and life. Tennis teaches children important life skills, sportsmanship, self-discipline, social and emotional skills, and how to fight obesity and live a healthy life. In their after-school program, participants also learn to improve communication skills and increase their fitness levels. For more information visit

Photo credits: All Photos by Fred Mullane and Susan Mullane

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