Elton John Foundation, WTT to have charity bash in Las Vegas

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 Elton John, Billie Jean King to host 24th annual event at Caesars Palace on Oct. 10

The Elton John AIDS Foundation (EJAF)  announced in New York on Wednesday that tennis stars Lindsay Davenport, John McEnroe, Martina Navratilova, and Andy Roddick will headline World TeamTennis (WTT) Smash Hits at Caesars Palace, a charity night of tennis co-hosted by longtime friends Sir Elton John and Billie Jean King on Monday, October 10, 2016.  Tennis action is set for 7 p.m. PT on a specially-constructed tennis court in the valet parking lot off of Caesars Palace Drive with the pre-match VIP Reception and Auction kicking off at 5:00 p.m.

“Last year’s WTT Smash Hits in Las Vegas was one of the most electric and entertaining events of the year, and I look forward to being part of an even bigger event this October at Caesars Palace,” said Billie Jean King.  “While the tennis is always competitive, one of my favorite parts about this annual event is the work we do for the HIV/AIDS community globally and especially here in Las Vegas.  I look forward to being part of Smash Hits every year because it really is the complete package of sport, entertainment and community support.”

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Last year’s event at Caesars Palace raised more than $1 million, bringing the historic total to more than $14 million for EJAF and various local AIDS charities since 1993.  Elton, Billie Jean, and all players will participate in the pre-match live auction, which will include an Elton John signed piano bench and Billie Jean’s Wimbledon tickets among other items.

Captained by Elton and Billie Jean, the players will form two teams and play a WTT match featuring singles and doubles matches. Elton will participate in a celebrity doubles match to open the event. Additional participants will be announced in the upcoming weeks. Last year, Team Elton took a 12-11 edge in the overall series with a 17-11 win over Team Billie Jean.

Continuing challegnes of AIDS epidemic

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“It is always such a great pleasure to co-host this wonderful event with my dear friend Billie Jean King, and I’m absolutely thrilled to be returning to Caesars Palace for some more amazing tennis,” said Sir Elton John.  “This family-friendly event helps to raise awareness about the continuing challenges of the AIDS epidemic both locally and nationally and to raise urgently needed dollars for community-based HIV prevention, education, advocacy, treatment, and care services.  I urge all tennis fans and concerned citizens in the Las Vegas area to support this event and bring their families for a wonderful evening of tennis for a great cause.”

Tickets for WTT Smash Hits go on sale at 10 a.m. Pacific on Monday, July 18. All seating will be reserved and have chairbacks. VIP seats, which include admission to the pre-match VIP Reception and Live Auction, are$500. F

“We are honored once again to host World Team Tennis Smash Hits for the second time in Las Vegas,” said Caesars Palace President Gary Selesner. “This prestigious event will be an extraordinary edition to our exciting year here at Caesars Palace as we celebrate the resort’s 50th anniversary. Throughout the past 50 years, Caesars Palace has earned its title as the ‘Home of Champions’ by hosting hundreds of signature sporting events featuring some of the legendary athletes and sports figures of all-time. WTT Smash Hits is another groundbreaking event to add to our illustrious history. We thank Billie Jean King and our resident headlinerElton John for including Caesars Palace in their noble cause.”

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Official event sponsors include host sponsor Caesars Palace. Additional sponsors and partners include Core Academy, DecoTurf, GEICO, Marty Hennessy Inspiring Children Foundation, and Wilson. Ryan Wolfington and USTA Nevada are promotional partners of WTT Smash Hits. – USNewswire

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