Pacific Palisades residents are invited to participate in a charity “Fun-Raiser” event at the Palisades Tennis Center next Saturday, February 27, to raise money for Glenn Wong, owner of 1st String Pro Shop in Santa Monica, who is battling Stage 4 lung cancer. “Glenn has been stringing racquets at his tiny little shop for close to 20 years and he has so many longtime clients here in the Palisades,” said event organizer and Palisadian Bill Schwartz. “This is about a community rallying behind one of its own to help pay for some of his treatments and expenses. It’s a chance for those of us who know Glenn and his fiancee–or even folks who don’t–to show our love and support.” The event will feature a “Live Ball” doubles tournament, a raffle, and silent and live auctions in which $25,000 worth of services and merchandise will be up for bid. There will also be exhibition play by current and former touring pros, and many former collegiate All-Americans and NCAA champions, including Justin Gimelstob (former UCLA standout, ATP pro, and current tennis commentator), Derrick Rostagno (former No. 13 in the world); Zack Fleishman (current ATP pro); Lloyd Bourne (former No. 73 in singles; No. 43 in doubles); and the Palisades’ own Chris Schoop (top doubles player at UC Berkeley and former satellite touring pro), as well as many of the fine teaching pros at Palisades Tennis Center and other courts around town. “We welcome all tennis players to join in this fun and worthwhile event,” said organizer and Palisadian Joyce Ng, who added that people who want to register for the tournament can e-mail email@example.com. “Glenn is a great guy and really deserves this.” Among the auction items will be two box seats to the upcoming Indian Wells pro tennis tournament (valued at $1,000 each); a two-night stay at La Quinta Resort & Spa; a limited-edition autographed tennis racquet autographed by Rod Laver (valued at $10,000); a tennis racquet signed by Maria Sharapova; three Head tennis racquets donated by the Malbu Racquet Club; three month-long training packages at the Spectrum Club (each valued at $1,900); a signed copy of Andre Agassi’s new autobiography ‘Open’; $2,000 worth of hand-crafted jewelry from Rock Star in Malibu; gift certificates to FrontRunners, Marmalade Restaurant, Michael’s Eyewear and Denton Jewelers; 10 DVD feature films from MGM; a luxury condo timeshare anywhere in the world; and USC varsity tennis memorabilia donated by assistant coach Eric Amend. A $75 dollar donation is requested for anyone wishing to play in the “Live Ball” tournament, for which 75 people have already signed up. The tournament will run from 2-5:30 p.m. while bidding for the auction will be from 2-4 p.m., with pick-up at 4:30 p.m. To offer auction items or make a tax-deductible gift, call Schwartz at 310-451-1220 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. To donate money, make checks payable to Talbert Family Foundation, a 501-C nonprofit organization, on behalf of Glenn Wong. “I know these are tough economic times,” Schwartz said, “so for people to put up $75 to play tennis we want to make sure that every player receives a gift bag full of coupons, tennis balls and special offers from local businesses. Our motto is ‘Think globally, act locally.’ We want everyone to feel like a winner.” For updates on the tournament, readers can check out “Glenn’s Benefit” page on the 1st String website at http://www.1ststringproshop.com/friends.html or his “Caring Bridge” site, where event announcements are posted periodically at http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/glennwong.
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