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Kim Clijsters, Patrick McEnroe to Attend Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program Gala

US Open champion Kim Clijsters will be back in New York City this month for a good cause.

Tennis champions and stars will celebrate the impactful work the Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program (HJTEP) does helping and inspiring youngsters through tennis and education at the HJTEP Annual Gala on May 22nd at the Ziegfield Ballroom in New York City.

 Tickets for the gala are available at www.HJTEP.org or info@dwightjohnsondesign.com.

Among the star-studded line-up of celebrity tennis fans walking the red carpet for the gala are Hollywood stars Vanessa Williams and Malik Yoba; tennis greats Kim Clijsters, Rennae Stubbs, Patrick McEnroe, Shenay Perry and Ahsha Rolle; and NY sports personalities Alexei Kovalev, Sara Kustok, Allan Houston, John Starks and Herb Williams.  In addition to celebrating the success of the nearly 1,000 youngsters who benefit from the HJTEP annually, the event will also honor a pair of its most ardent supporters.

It will present the Shining Star Award to Rennae Stubbs, a former number one ranked doubles players and 6-time Grand Slam champion; and the Chairman’s Award renamed this year as the James R. Kelly III Chairman’s Award to James R. Kelly III, the former HJTEP Chairman of the Board who retired last year after serving in this role for 16-years.

“The success of the HJTEP for the past 50-years would not have been possible without the selfless commitment from scores of people like Rennae and Jim who have supported our mission and helped us grow,” said Katrina Adams, HJTEP Executive Director. “We are looking forward to this opportunity to thank our friends and supporters and introduce them to many of the youngsters that are directly benefitting from our programs.”

A highlight of the gala will be the live auction which last year helped the event raise nearly $1 million. Some of the unique auction items are: two US Open tickets with a behind the scenes ESPN tour with Rennae Stubbs; two French Open quarterfinals tickets with round-trip business class transportation; two box seats to the 2024 BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, CA; a hit session with The Bryan Brothers; and a pair of autographed Stan Smith Adidas tennis shoes – a must-have collectible for any tennis fan.

About HJTEPThe Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program develops champions in tennis, education, and wellness. HJTEP continues to bring tennis to youth from high-risk, low-income inner-city neighborhoods while offering opportunities for self-development, emphasizing education and a positive code of behavior. Tennis teaches kids essential life skills, sportsmanship, self-discipline, social and emotional competence and how to lead healthier lives. HJTEP insists on academic achievement, and the average GPA of participants is 3.1. The not-for-profit organization opens a new door for many inner-city boys and girls, ages 6-18, to learn the game of tennis. And the numbers speak to its success with a 95% high school graduation rate, 25% earning a tennis scholarship, and a 3.1 GPA, and more than 80% of program graduates attending college.  

Partnering with local schools and community centers, it serves students during the school year and in its summer program. What they experience on the courts, and in its education programs, develops the whole child—in sports, school, and life. Tennis teaches kids essential life skills, sportsmanship, self-discipline, social and emotional competence and how to fight obesity and lead healthier lives. In their weekly sessions, participants also learn to improve communication skills and raise their fitness levels. 

For more information visit www.HJTEP.org