When Billie Jean King hits the first ball on the Victor Kiam Court and kids rally on the Pershing Square Court at the NYJTL Cary Leeds Center for Learning on Sunday, April 9, the vision of committed supporters of New York Junior Tennis & Learning will be fulfilled and in full swing.
"For 45 years, NYJTL has been delivering services in this community," said NYJTL Chairman Martin Goldberg. "The opportunities to help children and their families have increased exponentially now with the completion of the Cary Leeds Center."
NYC officials present and past, including Mayor Bill de Blasio and former Mayor David Dinkins, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Bronx Parks Commissioner Iris Rodriguez-Rosa, and social justice pioneer and tennis legend Billie Jean King will participate in a ribbon-cutting ceremony and will address the audience.
Two stadium courts seating nearly 800 spectators will be dedicated on Sunday. For former NYJTL Chairman Tory Kiam, the day will be intensely personal with the naming of the Victor Kiam Stadium Court in honor of his father. Funding for the Pershing Square Stadium Court was generously provided by passionate tennis supporter Bill Ackman.
"With the completion of the stadium courts, NYJTL is committed to bringing back an annual professional tennis tournament" said President and CEO George Guimaraes."NYJTL is all about the kids. By 2019, our goal is for the children to see world-class tennis players who are role models for what can be achieved with hard work."
Larry Leeds, who led the successful $13.5 million capital campaign with co-chair Kiam, will be joined by donors and friends including Tommy Hilfiger, Leonard Lauder, Donald Newhouse, Henry Buhl, Eric Hadar, former NYC Council Speaker Peter Vallone Sr., and John Rosenwald, who will serve as the Master of Ceremonies.
NYJTL offers more than 6,000 hours of free tennis annually to the residents of the South Bronx and surrounding areas. Nearly 30,000 children and their families live within a three-mile radius of the Cary Leeds Center for Tennis & Learning.
For additional information, to confirm attendance, interview and media requests, please contact Joe Ceriello, firstname.lastname@example.org.