Charity night of tennis co-hosted by Billie Jean King and Sir Elton John
New York, N.Y. (August 21, 2013) — Former world No. 1s Venus Williams and Andy Roddick will headline Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO, a charity night of tennis co-hosted by longtime friends Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King on Sunday, Nov. 17 at the HP Field House at ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World Resort near Orlando, Fla. The event is hosted locally by Robert and Tricia Earl.
Tennis action is set for 6 p.m. ET with the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction kicking off at 4:30 p.m.
Last year’s Mylan WTT Smash Hits in Pittsburgh raised a record $1 million, bringing the 20-year total to more than $11.5 million for the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) and various local AIDS charities since 1993. This year’s 21st annual event will benefit EJAF and the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida. A portion of the funds raised at the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction will be specifically targeted for local programs.
“For more than 20 years, Mylan WTT Smash Hits has been one of the most rewarding and meaningful events in tennis,” said King. “Having both Venus and Andy as part of this year’s event and returning to the Orlando area will help us continue the momentum we set with last year’s record-breaking event.”
“It is always such a great pleasure to co-host this wonderful event with my dear friend Billie Jean King,” said Sir Elton John. “I’m so pleased that we will be teaming up with the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida to raise awareness about the continuing challenges of the HIV/AIDS epidemic both locally and nationally and to raise urgently needed dollars for community-based HIV prevention, education, treatment, and care services. I urge all of the tennis fans and concerned citizens in the Greater Orlando area to support this event and bring their families for a wonderful evening of tennis for a great cause.”
Mylan CEO Heather Bresch said, “Mylan is excited to be sponsoring Smash Hits for the second year in a row. Mylan’s mission is to provide the world’s 7 billion people with access to high quality medicine. By partnering with WTT and the EJAF, we are able to help raise funds in direct support of this mission. Further, as a leader in providing affordable treatment for HIV/AIDS, this is a cause close to our hearts and we look forward to another great event.”
Tickets for Mylan WTT Smash Hits go on sale at 10 a.m. ET on Monday, September 9. All seats are reserved and range from $50-$125. Order tickets through www.WTTSmashHits.com or ticketmaster.com. For group sales of 10 or more tickets, call (407) 574-2599. For a special presale offer, fans can sign up at www.WTTSmashHits.com.
Special VIP ticket packages, including VIP courtside seating and admission to the VIP Reception and Auction, will also be available for $500 and will directly benefit the Hope and Help Center. John, King and all players will participate in the pre-match live auction, which will include an Elton John signed piano bench and King’s Wimbledon tickets among other items. To buy VIP ticket packages or for more information, call (407) 574-2599.
Roddick, who is playing in his 9th Smash Hits event, is a former world No. 1. Roddick won 30 singles titles on the ATP World Tour, including the 2003 US Open and was ranked in the top 10 for nine consecutive years. In 2001, Roddick started the Andy Roddick Foundation (ARF), a charity dedicated to improving the quality of life and enhancing educational and economic opportunities for all children based on the principles of respect for family, education and morality. Along with Williams, Roddick joined the World TeamTennis ownership group in May 2013, and helped lead his Springfield Lasers to the 2013 Mylan WTT Finals.
Williams participated in her first Smash Hits in 1997, the only other time the event was held at Disney. The 4-time Olympic gold medalist has also won 44 career singles titles on the WTA Tour, including five Wimbledon singles championships. Williams is a long-time supporter of Mylan World TeamTennis and a member of the 4-time champion Washington Kastles.
Additional players will be announced in the coming weeks. Over the past two decades, many of tennis’ biggest stars have participated in Mylan WTT Smash Hits including Roddick, Venus Williams, Serena Williams, Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, Pete Sampras, Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, John McEnroe, Bob and Mike Bryan, Jimmy Connors, Anna Kournikova and Lindsay Davenport.
King and John have split the two-decade series with 10 wins each. King’s squad bested Team Elton last year 19-17 in Overtime.
Official event sponsors include Mylan, GEICO, Adecco, Wilson, DecoTurf, Zebra Coalition, SUNNY 1059, Orlando Magazine and Planet Hollywood Foundation.
For more information on Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO, visit www.WTTSmashHits.com.
Rosie Crews, Mylan WTT (firstname.lastname@example.org), PH: 817-684-0366
Ben Yarrow, Elton John AIDS Foundation (email@example.com), PH: 718-530-0508
2013 Mylan WTT Smash Hits presented by GEICO – Organizations & Charities
About Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF)
At the Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) we believe that AIDS can be beaten. We act on that belief by raising funds for effective programs and policies, and also by speaking out with honesty and compassion about the realities of people’s lives. Sir Elton John created EJAF over twenty years ago, first in the United States in 1992 and then in the United Kingdom in 1993. Through hard work and with the help of our network of kind, amazing, creative, and generous friends and supporters, the two foundations together have raised more than $300 million over the past two decades to combat stigma, prevent infections, provide treatment and services, and motivate governments to end AIDS. The U.S. foundation focuses its efforts on programs in the United States, the Americas, and the Caribbean, while the U.K. foundation funds HIV-related work in Europe, Asia, and Africa. Join us in speaking out, taking action, and contributing to our efforts to achieve a world without AIDS. For more information, please visit www.ejaf.org.
About Hope and Help Center of Central Florida:
Since 1988, the Hope and Help Center has proudly provided comprehensive and compassionate support in Central Florida for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS. As the premier HIV/AIDS service organization in the region, Hope and Help Center offers a full range of care services, as well as education and prevention initiatives that save lives, refute the stigma, and offer hope to all those touched by this disease. Throughout the years Hope and Help Center has grown with eight locations throughout Orange, Seminole, Lake and Osceola Counties.
Mylan is a global pharmaceutical company committed to setting new standards in health care. Working together around the world to provide 7 billion people access to high quality medicine, we innovate to satisfy unmet needs; make reliability and service excellence a habit; do what’s right, not what’s easy; and impact the future through passionate global leadership. We offer a growing portfolio of approximately 1,100 generic pharmaceuticals and several brand medications. In addition, we offer a wide range of antiretroviral therapies, upon which approximately 40% of HIV/AIDS patients in developing countries depend. We also operate one of the largest active pharmaceutical ingredient manufacturers and currently market products in approximately 140 countries and territories. Our workforce of more than 20,000 people is dedicated to improving the customer experience and increasing pharmaceutical access to consumers around the world. But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself. See inside. mylan.com
About Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT):
Mylan World TeamTennis (WTT) showcases both the best in professional and recreational team tennis with the innovative coed team format co-founded by Billie Jean King in the 1970s. Mylan WTT is a showcase for many of tennis’ top players, with virtually every major champion of the Open era playing WTT through the years. The Mylan WTT Recreational League also operates coed team leagues and events. For more information, visit www.WTT.com.
About ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex
ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex, which hosts more than 350 events a year, is the leading multi-sport venue for amateur and professional sports in the nation, accommodating 70 different sports and athletes from more than 70 countries. Designed to take youth sports to the next level, the 230-acre facility features multiple competition venues, including Champion Stadium, the HP Field House, the Jostens Center, the Hess Sports Fields, a track & field facility, a tennis complex and a baseball/softball sportsplex. It is also home to the ESPN Innovation Lab, a real-world testing ground for the ESPN Emerging Technology Group that develops ground-breaking on-air products like Ball Track and ESPN Snap Zoom, as well as development of its new 3-D television channel. In addition, the complex features 56 high-definition cameras and 40 high-definition video screens, including three jumbo screens, which can capture and display footage from any event taking place at the complex. The camera and video screens, as well as a 20-zone audio system, are controlled through the state-of-the-art HD and 3-D Production Center with direct links to ESPN facilities in Bristol, Conn., New York and Los Angeles. For more information, visit www.disneysportsnews.com for press releases, photos and videos. Follow us on Twitter at @DisneySports and on Facebook.