Who will be the big winners at The Ritz-Carlton’s 4th Annual Charity Tennis Weekend, December 1-4? It may be the surprise celebrity pros and amateurs who will demonstrate their skills at the tournament, or the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre, which will receive the proceeds. Or maybe even the winning bidders in a spectacular silent auction of over 20 prizes, including a silver 2005 Jaguar X-Type luxury automobile, jewelry valued over $10,000 and tennis lessons from legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri.
‘It is a real pleasure for me to be able to combine my passion for tennis with my desire to bring some tangible benefit to the community through supporting the Crisis Centre,’ said Michael Ryan, developer of The Residences at The Ritz-Carlton and sponsor of the annual event for the past four years. ‘This has been a source of pride for us over the years and it is great to see it keep growing and getting better every year. We look forward to hosting it here at the Ritz-Carlton after many years of tremendous support from the Cayman Islands Tennis Club, and we are most proud of the many local people and businesses who dig deep to make our silent auction so tremendous, the proceeds from which benefits one of our most valuable organizations, the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.’
In addition to the Jaguar and numerous pieces of jewelry, auction items include: A two-night stay at The Ritz-Carlton, with dinner for four at Periwinkle and two one-hour spa treatments; a fishing trip on a 65-foot luxury Yacht; private catered dinners for six people; paintings; dive equipment; broadband internet service for a year; Tiffany jewelry and a vase; a helicopter ride to Stingray City; cash awards; a $500 certificate for automotive service; a beauty salon gift basket, and dinner for two at Grand Old House.
For the many tennis fans attending, a week’s worth of tennis lessons at IMG Academies in Bradenton, Fla., with expert professional Nick Bollettieri will also be auctioned. Nick, who is considered by many to be the number one teacher in the world, has trained the likes of Andre Agassi, Monica Seles and Maria Sharapova.
Among the generous donors who contributed items to the silent auction of Tennis Weekend are Vampt Motors, Magnum, Island Companies, Kirk Freeport, IDG, Woods, Animal House, Kennedy Gallery, Cayman Helicopters, Queensgate Bank, Dart, Appleby, GT Automotive, Grand Old House, Divers Supply, Telecayman, Vanity Beauty Salon, Balaclava Jewelers, Kaibo Restaurant, Mise en Place, Columbian Emeralds, Cayman Distributors, The Wharf Restaurant, Se7en Magazine, Humane Society, Island Vets, Cayman Helicopters and Cayman Airways.
The silent auction will take place on Friday, December 1st, following an ‘Invitation Only’ cocktail reception in The Ritz-Carlton’s ballroom. Other special weekend events include a Golf Scramble on Saturday afternoon.
On Saturday, December 2nd, Tennis Weekend will welcome the Grand Cayman community as Nick Bollettieri officially opens The Courts at The Ritz-Carlton prior to the Celebrity Pro-Am (previous stars have included Jimmy Arias, Johan Kriek, Patrick McEnroe and Murphy Jensen). This year their will be an even bigger line up of tennis greats, including current tour player Justin Gimelstob, Grand Slam Champions Peter Korda, Eddie Dibbs, Gene Mayer and many more. On Sunday, December 3rd, tennis instruction for adults and kids beginning at 8 a.m. will precede the finals of the Pro-Am and the always-entertaining Charity Exhibition Match in the afternoon. Space in the clinics is limited to 30 participants per clinic.
Tickets for both events are available for CI $20 in advance and CI $30 at the gate. Single day tickets are CI $10 in advance and CI $15 at the gate. For more information about tickets or the weekend events, please call Ruth Harris at 525-3633 or Tracey Fentem at 516-3699.