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|ATP World No. 1 Roger Federer accepts special recognition fromUNICEF at Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day, while Rafael Nadal adds another $15,000 to the new ACE Program.|
Flushing, New York, 27 August 2005 – UNICEF, the world’s leading children’s organization, today presented World No. 1 Roger Federer with a plaque as a token of its appreciation for the efforts of the ATP and pro tennis to rapidly raise funds to support UNICEF’s relief efforts in south Asia immediately after the tsunami struck the region.
Federer accepted the framed photograph at the US Open’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day on behalf of all players, while World No. 2 Rafael Nadal added to the growing tally of ATP contributions by donating an additional $15,000 today.
“I’m very honored to accept this from a great organization like UNICEF,” said Federer, top seed at next week’s US Open.
Charles J. Lyons, President of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, made the special presentation to Federer. Lyons and Federer were introduced during the ceremony by Kids’ Day host Summer Sanders, a UNICEF Ambassador who praised the work of the organization and the players who have helped support it.
Earlier this year the ATP launched a three-year global partnership with UNICEF, the United Nations Children’s Fund, to harness the power of tennis to ensure the health, education and protection of every child. The partnership, called ACE (“Assisting Children Everywhere”) already has raised approximately $250,000, most of it directed to the survivors of the tsunami.
“The ATP, its players, employees and fans have raised significant funds and awareness to support our mission,” said Lyons. “As soon as the ATP and the players heard about the disaster, they wanted to help in any way they could. This partnership will continue to go a long way in helping children around the world lead happier, healthier lives and develop to their full potential.”
Lyons cited several players and highlighted the work of Federer, who organized a tsunami fundraising exhibition in March at the Pacific Life
Open in Indian Wells—called ATP All-Star Rally for Relief—and secured the participation of nearly every Top 10 player in the world, including Andy Roddick, Andre Agassi, Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin and several leading Sony Ericsson WTA Tour players. Federer also donated money and memorabilia for fund-raising auctions. His on-going charitable work in South Africa on behalf of the Roger Federer Foundation was featured on the stadium’s big screen.
“We all did individual things, but I wanted to get all of us together to do something as a group,” Federer said. “It was great fun, but more
importantly it raised more needed funds for the tsunami victims.”
The USTA provided players participating in today’s activities with the ability to donate money to the charities of their choice. Nadal donated the $15,000 to the ACE program that he earned as a member of the “losing” team at Kids’ Day. “I’m a big supporter of UNICEF and the program that the ATP has developed with them to help children worldwide,” he said.
Among the other 2005 fund-raising activities by ATP players, Carlos Moya donated all of his prize money after winning the Chennai Open in January; Roddick, Hewitt and Agassi were among those donating signed racquets for on-line auctions; Gustavo Kuerten signed a pledge on behalf of the rights of children and adolescents to play sports in July at the Joinville Tennis Club in Brazil; and ATP partner Penn Racquet Sports donated $50,000 to benefit UNICEF in a special segment on the "The Ellen DeGeneres Show“ in January. A Penn Racquet Sports ball — autographed by Taylor Dent, Jim Courier and Federer — and a racquet signed by Agassi were auctioned on eBay to raise additional funds.
Meanwhile, the ATP and UNICEF are developing a line of teddy bears designed as tennis players to be sold to raise additional funds. Federer and Roddick are among the “bears” being produced for next year.
For more information about all ATP charitable activities, visit http://wwww.atptennis.com/charity.
For nearly 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 157 countries to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for poor countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, quality basic education for all boys and girls, access to clean water and sanitation, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of governments, businesses, foundations and individuals, and through our National Committees for UNICEF we sell greeting cards and other products that help advance humanity. For information about UNICEF’s work, please visit http://www.unicefusa.org/.
With 64 tournaments in 31 countries, the ATP showcases the finest athletes competing in the world's most exciting venues. From Australia to Europe and the Americas to Asia, the season-long INDESIT ATP 2005 Race unites players and tournaments in a quest for success. The world's premier stars compete all season for INDESIT ATP 2005 Race points as they seek to secure a coveted spot in the Tennis Masters Cup, the year-end championship to be held November 13-20 in Shanghai, China, and a chance to claim the title of World No. 1. For more information, please visit http://www.atptennis.com/.
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