Pete Sampras and James Blake face off in Baton Rouge for ‘Duel Under the Oaks II’ Fundraising Event
First-time Face-off on December 14 to Raise Funds for Hurricane Gustav Recovery
Baton Rouge, LA (September 25, 2008) – The Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation is proud to announce that this winter, tennis greats Pete Sampras and James Blake will meet across the net for the very first time at the ‘Duel Under the Oaks II’ fundraising event. Organized by Paula Pennington de la Bretonne, the exhibition match will take place at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center (PMAC) on LSU’s campus on Sunday, December 14.
This is the second time Sampras has participated in the 'Duel Under the Oaks' exhibition match. In October 2006, Sampras helped raise money for LSU Medical Center students that were displaced by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. This year, Sampras returns to Baton Rouge to take the court with Blake to raise funds for non-profit organizations aiding those impacted by Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike.
The December event will be funded by the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation in hopes of raising money through sponsorships and ticket sales. The proceeds from the event will go to the 'Duel Under the Oaks Hurricane Relief and Recovery Fund,' at the Baton Rouge Area Foundation which will award grants to Gulf Coast area non-profit organizations and programs that shelter, feed and provide necessities to people impacted by the storm. The fund will also provide grants to organizations that aid residents returning to the impacted areas.
"The Pennington Foundation is deeply committed to assisting Gulf Coast area non-profit organizations that are now facing even larger challenges and are in dire need of more resources to help communities recover after Hurricane Gustav and Hurricane Ike," said Paula Pennington de la Bretonne, Chairman of the Committee.
The event will feature:
11:00 to 1:00 Children’s Clinic
Pete Sampras and James Blake, along with the LSU women’s and men’s tennis teams will give tips and instruction to community children at LSU Dub Robinson Tennis stadium on LSU campus
1:00 to 1:45 Ryan Harrison/ Michael Venus
Originally from Shreveport, LA turned pro, Ryan Harrison (16) will face off with Michael Venus, currently ranked number one on the men’s LSU tennis team in PMAC
2:00 to 4:00 Sampras/ Blake Exhibition
"Best of three" exhibition match
Tickets range in price from $10 - $75 and will go on sale on Friday, October 3. To purchase tickets, visit www.lsusports.net
or call 225-578-2184. To inquire about sponsorship opportunities, please call Lori Bertman at 225-928-8346 or visit www.DuelOaks.com
About Pete Sampras
Sampras turned pro at the age in 1988, won his first pro tournament in1990 and reached the # 1 ranking for the first time in his career in 1993. Pete has gone on to win more Grand Slam titles (14) – Wimbledon (7); U.S. Open (5); and Australian Open (2) – than any other men’s player in tennis history, including his idol, Rod Laver. He has held the year-end # 1 ranking for a record six consecutive years (1993-1998). Pete has won many awards during his career and was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 2007. He retired from the professional tour in 2002 however continues to play selected exhibitions such as “Duel Under the Oaks.”
About James Blake
Blake turned pro in 1999 while he was the number one collegiate player at Harvard University. He has lead the Davis Cup team since joining in 2001, with a record of 20-9. Blake was ranked number four in the world, making him the highest ranked American tennis player in 2006 and is currently ranked number eight. Blake was named the 2005 ATP Comeback Player of the Year after a near-death incident and case of the shingles left him partially paralyzed with blurred vision. One year later, he climbed from number 210 to become one of the top ten players in the world. Recently, James won perhaps the biggest match of his career by beating World # 1 and 13-Time Grand Slam Champion Roger Federer at the Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
About the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation
During their lives, Claude B. “Doc” Pennington and his wife, Irene Wells Pennington were noted philanthropists and volunteers. In 1982, their private family foundation, the Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation, was established to share their success with the community that had been an important part of their lives.
The Irene W. and C.B. Pennington Foundation provided philanthropic support through organizations who promote the overall well-being of families and communities. Much of the foundation’s support is given to nonprofits and agencies that provide direct service to people in need, from disadvantaged youth to the medically underserved.
The foundation’s giving primarily focuses on the organizations and agencies within or new the Greater Baton Rouge area and surrounding parishes. This includes East and West Baton Rouge, East and West Feliciana, Ascension, Livingston, Pointe Coupee, and Iberville Parishes.