Annual Raise a Racquet event returns at Englewood Field Club

The Bryan brothers on-court with NJTL students during 2021 Raise a Racquet.
August 26, 2021 12:00 PM

Nearly 200 supporters of the USTA Foundation gathered at the Englewood Field Club on Wednesday to kick off the US Open with its annual Raise a Racquet event.

Presented by ESPN, EY, Benzel-Busch Mercedes and Jersey Mike's, this longtime fundraising event, which was not held in 2020, once again featured longtime USTA Foundation supporters, Bob and Mike Bryan, as the guests of honor. The legendary brothers retired from tennis last year, but the pair got on the court for a good cause as a part of the event's festivities. In partnership with local coaches from New Jersey-based CourtSense, both gave highly personalized pointers to NJTL students from two New York-based NJTLs: Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program and New York Junior Tennis & Learning.

"We’re here tonight to celebrate the mission of the USTA Foundation to bring tennis & education together to change lives. You saw that mission in action on the courts tonight eight Excellence Program students from two of our New York chapters, Harlem Junior Tennis & Education and New York Junior Tennis & Learning," Dan Faber, Executive Director of the USTA Foundation, said in his welcome remarks.

"It's really fantastic to see Bob and Mike on the court with the students... The Bryans have been great friends of the USTA Foundation for years and we’re grateful to have them here tonight."

The Bryan brothers also entertained the guests with a live Q&A session hosted by Jeff Harrison of the USTA Foundation. The Bryans recently hiked Mt. Whitney in California, and spoke about their decision to retire, life now and the time spent with family recently, and laughed at a question from the crowd that asked who is the better musician. The event also featured live music from the Neil Diamond Experience, fronted by award-winning musician Robert Neary, and special guest, singer-songwriter Zia Victoria, who also played last year's Virtual Thank You Event.

I have the opportunity to be here in two roles: with EY, and also as a proud board member of the USTA Foundation," said Molly John, partner of EY, USTAF Board vice president and committee chair. "The work and efforts of the USTA Foundation demonstrate values of community building, student achievement, and healthy behaviors for youth – all values that align with EY."

Guests were also treated to a signature cocktail, the Topspin, presented in a commemorative glass; sandwiches in the Jersey Mike's Lounge; and show cars on display from Benzel-Busch Mercedes. In addition, Davis Cup warm-ups and racquets signed by Bob and Mike Bryan, US Open tickets and a one-hour hit with the Bryans went up for live auction, with all proceeds going to benefit the USTA Foundation. 

"It's great to see the kids out here playing," added Bob Bryan, "and thank you for everyone here tonight to support the USTA Foundation."

 

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