The 21st Annual Mylan World TeamTennis Smash Hits charity event had many famous faces this year: Venus Williams, Elton John, Billie Jean King, Andy Roddick, Marion Bartoli, and more. The celebrities participated in a variety of singles and doubles tennis matches on Nov. 17th in Orlando, FL, to raise money for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida.
A total of 3,662 guests were in attendance at the event, which raised more than $700,000 for the two organizations. And though there were pros like Williams and King playing in the matches, the event was lighthearted and fun.
“It’s not your typical tennis match, said John Isner, who is the top-ranked American male tennis player. “It’s more of a basketball game type feel.”
“It brakes the monotony of just going out there and playing a typical match with your typical crowd, where it’s very quiet,” he added. Indeed, music played between points, the crowd cheered, and players egged each other on throughout the day. And celebrities like Elton John might not have been up to par with the pros, but the crowd went just as wild for his big plays—like hitting the ball for the first time.
The Hope & Help Center of Central Florida aims to save lives through treatment and prevention of HIV/AIDS in Central Florida. It was established in 1988 and today has eight locations throughout Florida. The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF) was established by Sir Elton John in 1992, and has headquarters in both New York City and London. The U.S. and U.K. organizations function as separate entities with the same mission: “to reduce the incidence of HIV/AIDS” through various prevention programs, treatment, support services, and more.