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Westport To Host Charity Tennis Tournament

The 2013 Autumn Classic Tennis Tournament on Saturday is set to benefit Norwalk Grassroots Tennis.
The 2013 Autumn Classic Tennis Tournament on Saturday is set to benefit Norwalk Grassroots Tennis. Photo Credit: Tom Renner

WESTPORT, Conn. -- A Connecticut group formed to help provide programs to inner-city youth is set to host its annual charity event Saturday.

The event known as the Autumn Classic Tennis Tournament starts at 10 a.m. Saturday in Westport and Weston to benefit Norwalk's Grassroots Tennis, an organization that "provides tennis and developmental programs supporting Norwalk’s inner-city youth," according to a news release from the group. A cocktail party that runs from 7 to 9:30 p.m. at a private Wilton residence is set to follow the day of tennis.

"A silent auction, raffle, giving tree and inspirational appearances by some of the NGT kids and executive director, David Kimani, round out the evening," representatives said in the release.

The tennis tournament started in 2008 and raised more than $3,000 for local charities, according to the release, and by 2010 the group raised more than $18,000. This year's event is expected to break donation records with the involvement of 15 local high schools, according to the release.

“The response has been so strong, new schools are added every year,” Melissa Beretta, event chairperson, said in the release. “All of the participants feel so strongly about helping to raise money for such a worthy cause and feel fortunate doing so by playing a sport they love. The play is quite competitive but also a lot of fun.”

Tennis players from all high schools are welcome, representatives said in the release. The format for the tournament will be boys and girls doubles, both divided into Varsity and Junior Varsity brackets.

“The Autumn Classic is a tremendous boost to Norwalk Grassroots Tennis, bringing together generous long-time supporters while continuing to attract first-time donors to our program,” said Art Goldblatt, founder and president emeritus of Norwalk Grassroots Tennis, in the release. “With the enthusiastic and generous support of the community, we can continue to change the lives of Norwalk’s youth for generations to come.

The registration fee is $85 for the tournament or $60 for the cocktail party alone. For more information on the Junior Tournament, residents are asked to contact Melissa Beretta at 203-216-7928 or email mabtennis@hotmail.com.

Additional information on the events is also available at Norwalk Grassroots Tennis' website .

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