Creating a Positive Impact in the Community

Over the past 31 years, the Family Circle Cup has helped a number of charities and non-profit organizations raise awareness and money for their worthwhile causes.  Through the years, the Tournament has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charities, both local and nationwide.  Family Circle Cup has also donated merchandise to help support local organizations and groups.  “Our charity/community mission statement focuses on making a positive impact in the community by empowering and enhancing people’s lives with an emphasis on women, families and children,” stated Frankie Whelan, Executive Director of the Family Circle Cup. “Each one of us can make a real difference in the lives of others and here at Family Circle Cup we try to accomplish that - whether it be through our staff’s volunteering efforts or through financial contributions to organizations committed to helping others.” 

Since moving to the City of Charleston in 2001, numerous local charities including Communities in Schools, Crisis Ministries, American Red Cross, Camp Happy Days and Special Time, Henrick Marrow Foundation and Boys and Girls Club have benefited from special events prior to and/or during the tournament.  In that time tickets valued at over $15,000 dollars has been distributed to charities and non-profit organizations who in turn use them for those individuals that they help or they are used to help generate much needed funds for their services.  Through out the year many charities and non-profit organizations receive in-kind donations of merchandise (especially clothing) from the tournament. 

Since 2001 many educational organizations and civic groups have benefited from working the concession stands at the Family Circle Cup and during the fall concert series in 2002 and 2003.  Over $26,000 has been donated directly back to the community through these groups who participate in the program.

In 2004 the Family Circle Cup will work with three organizations during the tournament to help raise money and awareness for their causes. Listed before are descriptions of the non-profit organizations and what projects/events will take place during the tournament. 

2004 Tournament Charities

 

     Boys and Girls Club of America

This national organization focuses on “building the future, one child at a time”.  The Boys & Girls Clubs of America accomplishes this through a variety of means including after school homework sessions, drug and alcohol prevention programs and sporting skills development.  This year, the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Trident Area, Inc. will receive the proceeds from the L’Oréal “Kids Count” Auction to be held on Stadium Court on Friday, April 16.  For more information on the Boys & Girls Club please call 843-534-1500, or see their website at www.boysandgirlsclub.org  

 

     Communities In Schools

A non-profit organization dedicated to reducing the dropout rate in Charleston County, Communities In Schools (CIS) provides community resources to help students overcome out-of-school problems - which often cause in-school failure.  CIS is the nation’s largest stay-in-school network, providing access to services for more than 1 million young people.  If you are interested in volunteering, or to learn more about CIS in Charleston County, please call 843-720-2346 or e-mail them at cischas@bellsouth.net and visit www.cisnet.org.  This year CIS will benefit from two fundraising projects going on prior to and during the tournament.  The “Players Who Care” website auction will start on Friday, April 9th and will be featured on the tournament’s official website at www.familycirclecup.com.  A variety of items will be available for fans to bid on including autographed items from tennis greats such as Billie Jean King, Steffi Graf, Chris Evert and many more.   CIS will also hold during the week a “Photo with the Champion” raffle.  Spectators buy a chance to have their picture taken with the 2004 Family Circle Cup Champion that will take place immediately following the Singles Final, on Sunday, April 18.   The lucky winner will win two tickets to the Finals and one of the Bauer International Inc. couches located on Stadium court.  Tickets are $5.00 each, and raffle tickets can be purchased at the Charity Booth located on site.  Proceeds from both fundraising projects go directly to Charleston’s Communities in Schools organization.   

 

     The Susan G. Komen Foundation

The Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation was established in 1982.  The Komen Foundation is an international organization with a network of 75,000 volunteers working through local affiliates and events to eradicate breast cancer as a life-threatening disease by advancing research, education, screening and treatment.  Breast cancer deaths are second only to lung cancer among women  40-59.  For more information on the Susan G. Komen Foundation here in Charleston, contact their website at www.komencharleston.org , or visit their national foundation website at www.komen.org.  Wednesday, April 14th will be designated as “Pink Ribbon Day to benefit the Susan G. Komen Foundation”.  Pink ribbons will be given out to the first 1,000 spectators and the Family Circle Cup will donate a percentage of walk-up tickets sales for that day to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  Pink Donation boxes will be located around the site throughout the week for spectators to give cash donations to help fund the efforts of the Foundation.

 
Family Circle/Prudential Financial “Player Who Makes A Difference” Award

This annual Award recognizes a past or present WTA Tour player who has made outstanding contributions of time and energy to worthy causes.  Co-sponsors of this award, Family Circle Magazine and Prudential Financial, both donate $10,000 to the winner’s charity of choice.  This year’s recipient is Serena Williams. 

L'Oreal "Personal Best" Scholarship Winners

As co-sponsors of the "Personal Best" Scholarship program, both Family Circle Cup and L'Oréal  contribute to the education of young women by awarding “Personal Best” scholarships to be used for this coming year's college tuition. The scholarship honors the efforts of a female high school student who gives back to her community through extracurricular activities, volunteer commitments and role modeling. Three students from three states (South Carolina, Georgia and North Carolina) were selected as the 2004 winners and each will be awarded a $2,500 scholarship.

This year's winners of the "Personal Best" Scholarships are Kelly Brier San Miguel from Greenville, South Carolina; Sonya Lorenson from Raleigh, North Carolina and Whitney Ryan Lee from Lafayette, Georgia. The money generated by the scholarship will help each of them with their first year tuition costs.

Family Circle Cup  Community Outreach Program

Family Circle Cup

Celebrates 3rd Year of Sponsoring

the WIN4LIFE Program

WIN4LIFE Class of 2004

In 2002 the Family Circle Cup joined forces with former player Leslie Allen on bringing her WIN4LIFE Program to the City of Charleston.  Through her Foundation (Leslie Allen Foundation) she created this program to help young people youth through tennis develop the life skills needed to become successful on and off the court.  Family Circle Cup became the first WTA Tour event to fully fund a WIN4LIFE Program.

“What makes this project so rewarding for the tournament is to see first hand the positive influence the WIN4LIFE program has on the kids,” commented Frankie Whelan, Executive Director of the Family Circle Cup. “We are proud to be part of a program that nurtures individual growth in children and makes them realize their full potential.”

Since January of 2002 more than 50 kids have participated in the Charleston WIN4LIFE program.  Many of the past WIN4LIFE students return to serve as Team Leaders to help the new kids who are just starting the program.  The WIN4LIFE program spans over a ten-week period and centers around five sessions starting in late January, which focus on life skills, mentoring seminars and expert tennis training sessions.  The culmination of the WIN4LIFE Program is attending the Family Circle Cup where a select group of kids get a behind the scenes look at how a major sporting event runs.  Four kids from the program will be awarded a once in a lifetime opportunity to go behind the scenes at the Family Circle Cup.   In 2003 four students met with key professionals who worked behind the scenes to put on this internationally recognized Tier 1 event including journalists, computer technicians, cameramen, television producers, event staff and WTA Tour staff.    The students were also able to meet television commentators Pam Shriver and Mary Joe Fernandez as well as tennis legend Martina Navratilova. 

 

Tennis in the City …A Memory for a Lifetime

For the past two years, tennis star Serena Williams has taken time out of her busy schedule to meet with Charleston youth at an event called  “Tennis in the City”.  This event, which is organized by the Family Circle Cup and the City of Charleston Parks & Recreation Department, is held at the Jack Adams Tennis Center in downtown Charleston.  “Tennis in the City” is a great opportunity for the young children in Charleston to meet and ask questions from one of the world’s most recognizable athletes.  Over 100 kids attend the event and get the chance to see Serena in person and even have the chance to ask her a question.  “As professional tennis players our schedules are extremely hectic but I try and make it a priority to be a part of events where I get the opportunity to meet and speak with children,” stated Williams. “One of the reasons I wanted to come to Charleston was to try and make an impact on the children in this community.  If my presence here inspires kids to stay in school, study hard and set positive goals in their lives then I will be happy.”   The event is a magical moment for all the children who attend and judging by the smiles on their faces the event is a huge success. 

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