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Special Events

Chris Evert Raymond James Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic

Chris Evert/Raymond James Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic

For 27 years, Chris Evert Charities has partnered with The Ounce of Prevention Fund, a public-private partnership that makes a measurable difference in the lives of Florida’s vulnerable children. Chris Evert’s efforts have contributed more than $23 million in an ongoing campaign against drug abuse and child neglect in Florida. Proceeds from Evert's most recent fundraiser, which totaled $700,000, will be distributed through The Ounce of Prevention Fund to a variety of innovative, community-based programs serving at-risk families. These funds also provide Vitas Gerulaitis Memorial Scholarships to women who are current or past participants in the organization's programs.

Chris Evert Raymond James Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic Stars

Chris Evert at the Raymond James Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic

Chris Evert at the Raymond James Pro Celebrity Tennis Classic

Vitas Gerulaitis Memorial Scholarship Awarded to Citrus Springs Mom, Sami Bowman and Tallahassee Mom, Kesi Williams

The scholarship is named in memory of Evert's dear friend, tennis star Vitas Gerulitas, who was a strong supporter of the annual tennis event and who strongly believed everyone deserves a second chance.

Chris Evert and Sami Bowman

Sami Bowman of Citrus Springs is looking forward to a brighter future thanks to a college scholarship she received from Chris Evert Charities and The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida. Tennis Legend Chris Evert made the announcement during the Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic in Delray Beach.

Before her son was born, single mom Sami Bowman was solely focused on advancing her career in the restaurant industry where she had been working since she was 15. Sami worked long hours and very irregular schedules. To destress, she and her friends often lived "the night life." When she found out she was pregnant, she was frightened and very emotional. She moved to Citrus Springs to be closer to family.

Currently, Bowman attends the College of Central Florida and depends on her family for housing and support. She will use the scholarship to complete her bachelor’s degree and pursue a career change that will allow her to spend more time with her son.

Bowman participates in Healthy Families Florida, a nationally-accredited, voluntary parent coaching and support program that equips parents to raise children in a safe and healthy environment. In partnership with The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, Healthy Families helps parents set and achieve goals for themselves, such as furthering their education.

On behalf of Chris Evert Charities, officials from the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida present the Vitas Gerulaitis Memorial Scholarship to Tallahassee’s Kesi Williams.
On behalf of Chris Evert Charities, officials from the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida present the Vitas Gerulaitis Memorial Scholarship to Tallahassee’s Kesi Williams.

Kesi Williams of Tallahassee is looking forward to a brighter future thanks to a college scholarship she received from Chris Evert Charities and The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida. Tennis Legend Chris Evert made the announcement during the Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic in Delray Beach and Williams accepted the check this morning in a ceremony at the Brehon House.

"Kesi has big dreams for her family and is working hard get the education she needs to fulfill those dreams," said Chris Evert. "We are honored to award her with the Vitas Gerulaitis Memorial Scholarship and look forward to supporting her as she reaches her goals along the way."

Williams found out she was pregnant shortly after leaving an abusive relationship. Learning she would become a mother led her to enroll in Tallahassee Community College where she is two classes away from earning her associate degree.

Williams will use the scholarship to complete her current course of study and begin working toward a bachelor’s degree from Thomas University. Despite the numerous challenges Williams has faced, she remains determined to complete her education and make a difference in her community. Her goal for the future is to create a non-profit to provide hygiene supplies and other necessities to elderly community members living on limited income.

Williams participates in Healthy Families Florida, a nationally-accredited, voluntary parent coaching and support program that equips parents to raise children in a safe and healthy environment. In partnership with The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, Healthy Families helps parents set and achieve goals for themselves, such as furthering their education.

Chris Evert Charities and The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida work together to improve the development and life outcomes of children, preserve and strengthen families, and promote healthy, drug-free behavior in society.

For more information about the Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic and Black Tie Gala, visit www.chrisevert.org or call (561) 394-2400. To find out how you can contribute directly to the Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, click here.