UNICEF thanks Association of Tennis Professionals for tsunami aid

“I’m very honoured to accept this from a great organization like UNICEF,” said Mr. Federer, top seed at the 29 August to 11 September US Open, as he accepted the award on behalf of all players from Charles J. Lyons, president of the U.S. Fund for UNICEF, on Saturday at the US Open’s Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day. “The ATP, its players, employees and fans have raised significant funds and awareness to support our mission,” Mr. Lyons said. “As soon as the ATP and the players heard about the disaster, they wanted to help in any way they could. This partnership will continue to go a long way in helping children around the world lead happier, healthier lives and develop to their full potential.” World No. 2 Rafael Nadal added to the growing tally of ATP contributions by donating an additional $15,000.Earlier this year the ATP launched a three-year global partnership with UNICEF to harness tennis to ensure the health, education and protection of every child. The partnership, called ACE (“Assisting Children Everywhere”), already has raised approximately $250,000, most of it directed to the survivors of the tsunami. Included in the 2005 fund-raising activities by ATP players were Carlos Moya’s donation of all of his prize money after he won the Chennai Open in January. Andy Roddick, Lleyton Hewitt and André Agassi were among those who donated signed racquets for on-line auctions and Gustavo Kuerten signed a pledge on behalf of the rights of children and adolescents to play sports next July at the Joinville Tennis Club in Brazil.ATP partner Penn Racquet Sports donated $50,000 to benefit UNICEF in a special segment of the “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” in January. A Penn Racquet Sports ball – autographed by Taylor Dent, Jim Courier and Federer – and a racquet signed by Agassi were auctioned on eBay to raise additional funds. read more