Family Circle Cup to Support Youth Tennis

September 20, 2010

CHARLESTON, SC — The Family Circle Cup announced its partnership with the City of Charleston Department of Recreation’s Courting Kids inner-city youth tennis program at a press conference held at 1:00pm today at the Charleston Tennis Center, committing over $50,000 in financial, material, and promotional support to this important program. Dunlop Sports and Vapor Apparel, year-round sponsors of the Family Circle Cup, have contributed a significant amount of tennis equipment and clothing to the program. Marking its 39th consecutive year on the WTA Tour and 11th year in Charleston, the Family Circle Cup, a Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Premier Event and the first clay court tournament of the year, will be held April 2-10, 2011 at the Family Circle Tennis Center in historic Charleston, South Carolina.

Mayor Joseph P. Riley, Jr. said, “The Courting Kids Tennis Program is an amazing opportunity for inner city youth to learn a game for a lifetime. Family Circle Cup and their contributions certainly up the ante in the ability of this innovative program to provide healthy and vigorous recreational opportunities for our youth. Family Circle Cup understands the importance of opening a door for a growing generation to the great sport of tennis. We are grateful for their support.”

The Family Circle Cup has provided Courting Kids with a wide array of year-round support, totaling over $50,000 in annual value to the organization. This donation includes a selection of high-quality tennis equipment, training tools including 10 Instinctive Tennis Academy (ITA) Eye Coach machines, clothing, tennis shoes, hats, season-ending parties, Terrace Level tickets to the Family Circle Cup, and professionally designed marketing materials such as signage and promotional brochures. The Family Circle Cup has also provided 250 tickets, a pair for each Courting kids participant, to the upcoming Patti LaBelle / Boyz II Men concert scheduled Saturday, October 2nd, 2010 on Daniel Island.

The Family Circle Cup will also implement two major fundraising programs during the tournament each April. The new “Serve & Return” ticket program will give patrons the opportunity to donate their unused tickets as upgrades for re-sale inside the venue. The Cup will also facilitate the on-line auction of event merchandise and autographed memorabilia, with 100% of the proceeds benefitting this important charity. In addition, the Family Circle Cup will ask ticket patrons to donate tennis rackets, new cans of tennis balls, and other tennis supplies, all to be donated to Courting Kids participants so they can enjoy tennis beyond the Courting Kids program. Courting Kids program administrators will also be given a prime location on-site during the Family Circle Cup where they will be able to promote their programs and recruit volunteers each year, as well as implement fundraising activities at the event.

“We commend Delores Jackson and the City of Charleston for offering this great program, and we believe whole-heartedly that the values and lessons instilled through tennis can truly make a difference in a child’s development,” said Bob Moran, General Manager, Family Circle Cup. “Courting Kids has done so much to grow the game of tennis in Charleston, and the Family Circle Cup’s support will help them advance their programming, as well as expand their offerings to other locations in Charleston, so that even more children can enjoy this sport of a lifetime.”

Dunlop Sports and Vapor Apparel, two South Carolina companies and year-round partners of the Family Circle Cup, have both made generous donations to the Courting Kids program. Dunlop Sports has provided a wide array of much-needed tennis equipment including 70 junior and adult tennis rackets, 10 ball carts, 25 cases of new tennis balls, and 350 hats embroidered with the Courting Kids logo. Vapor Apparel has provided 400 Dry-Fit T-shirts adorned with the Courting Kids logo, which will be worn by all participants, instructors, and volunteers at each of the programs locations.

Kai Nitsche, General Manager and VP of Dunlop Racket Sports said “We’re very excited to expand our partnership with the Family Circle Cup in helping to provide athletic opportunities for youth throughout this great tennis city. Courting Kids has been a vital community program for almost twenty years in Charleston, and we hope the tennis equipment we’re donating helps children enjoy this game for years to come.”

“This tremendous donation has grown our operating budget by more than twenty times, and I know that both the children and instructors appreciate all of the brand new equipment we now have in this program,” noted Delores Jackson, Courting Kids Program Founder and Coordinator.”

Delores Jackson, Courting Kids Program Coordinator, founded this Inner-city Youth Tennis Program in 1992 through a $12,000 grant obtained from the Paul Newman Foundation. Jackson has served on the SCTA Multicultural Committee for thirteen years, and the Courting Kids USTA/NJTL Charleston, SC Chapter has won the USTA/ NJTL Southern & National Chapter of the Year. The goal of this program is to provide recreation and a competitive tennis experience for youth ages 5 -17. The program has been expanded from the inner city area of the peninsula, to include all city residents in Charleston.

The Family Circle Tennis Center, home of the Family Circle Cup, is a public facility owned by the City of Charleston and operated by Meredith Corporation that also hosts a variety of additional events including concerts, festivals, tennis tournaments and other activities throughout the year. The Family Circle Cup receives four days of live broadcast domestically on ESPN2, and is viewed internationally by over 25 countries, featuring over 140 hours of live and delayed global broadcast time, reaching 4.33 million viewers worldwide. With over 21 million readers, Family Circle is one of the most widely read monthly magazines in America and is one of 14 leading subscription magazines owned by Meredith Corporation. The Tennis Center features a 10,200 seat stadium, Grand Lawn, 17 tennis courts lighted for night play, and a Pro Shop. For tickets or more info, call (843) 856-7900 or visit