The New York Junior Tennis League (NYJTL) will present its annual Leadership Awards to Cantor Fitzgerald Chairman and CEO Howard Lutnick and to Hall of Fame tennis legend John McEnroe on Nov. 17 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.
“We are proud to honor two recognized leaders of the New York City business and sports community, “ said NYJTL President and CEO Dr. Deborah Antoine, “and we are also pleased to celebrate NYJTL’s significant recent accomplishments.”
Lutnick guided the rebuilding of Cantor following the devastating Sept. 11, 2001 World Trade Center terrorist attacks that claimed the lives of 658 of the firm’s 960 New York-based employees. Since then, Cantor has provided over $180 million to help the families of the firm’s colleagues who perished. Each year on their annual Charity Day, Cantor and BGC donate their entire global revenues to charitable causes, commemorating their employees who perished on 9/11 by reaching out to help others.
McEnroe has made a major commitment to growing the sport of tennis in New York City with the opening of the John McEnroe Tennis Academy, which is located on Randall’s Island. In addition to his Academy, McEnroe continues to play international competitive tennis on the ATP Champions Tour and for the NY Sportimes. He is widely acclaimed as the face of tennis broadcasting for CBS, NBC, ESPN2 and Tennis Channel.
“We will be announcing a new partnership which John has initiated to benefit NYJTL’s tournament players,” said Antoine. “We are thrilled to have his commitment to coaching our youngsters. This is a life-changing opportunity for NYJTL’s at-risk youth.”
NYJTL is one of the founding chapters of USTA’s National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) organization. USTA selected NYJTL as the NJTL Chapter of the Year in the budget category of $500,000+ and honored NYJTL at its Community Tennis Development Workshop in Washington, DC in March, 2011. NYJTL is the largest of more than 500 NJTL chapters nationwide serving more than 100,000 youth ages 6-18 in New York City’s five boroughs.
In addition to utilizing the USTA NJTL First Serve educational curriculum, NYJTL partnered with the USTA to spearhead First Lady Michelle Obama’s Presidential Active Lifestyle Awards (PALA) by qualifying 75,000 children to earn certificates by playing tennis. In its 26th year, the expenses of NYJTL’s annual Leadership Awards luncheon have been underwritten annually by Lawrence Beneson and his family, resulting in all proceeds from the event going directly to fund programming.
Among several “priceless” live auction items is a trip for two to the upcoming USA vs. Switzerland Davis Cup tie to be played in February in Switzerland. The package includes courtside tickets for the three-day event as well as invitations to the Davis Cup team dinner. Celebrity auctioneer C.K. Swett of Phillips De Prury will lead the bidding. NFL broadcaster Boomer Esiason will introduce Lutnick and McEnroe’s longtime broadcast partner Ted Robinson will be the emcee. McEnroe’s mother, Kay, a longtime supporter of NYJTL, will introduce him.