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On Tuesday, August 26, at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center, John McEnroe and Billie Jean King co-chaired the 11th Annual CityParks Tennis Benefit presented by Metropolitan Pacific Properties. The event raised significant funds for CityParks Tennis presented by Chase, City Parks Foundation’s free tennis instruction program serving 8,000 youth ages 5-16 each year in parks across all five boroughs.
Honored at the event was local Rosedale resident, Candace Williamson, age 15, who received the Billie Jean King Junior Award for outstanding achievement in the CityParks Tennis presented by Chase program. Williamson has participated in the program for six years and has shown immense dedication to the sport, taking up to three lessons a day during the summer. This summer, Williamson participated in the tennis program at Kissena, Cunningham and Brookville Parks, while also finding time to take lessons with the CityParks Track & Field program.
Williamson’s hard work has paid off and she now plays for the Tennis B Team at St. Francis Preparatory School. She hopes that by the end of high school she will play for the A team and in the longer term, she would like to achieve a tennis scholarship for college. Her interests expand further than the sport of tennis though and Williamson plays the clarinet in a concert band, maintains an A average, and runs for the St. Francis Prep track team.
The CityParks Tennis Benefit also honored USPTA member Bob Litwin with the annual Vitas Gerulaitis Award for outstanding community service. Litwin is a long time supporter of City Parks Foundation’s free tennis instruction program, serving as an active member of the US Open Benefit Committee for the past 8 years and often volunteering his time to share his tournament-training experience and play with top juniors from CityParks Tennis. Litwin is a thirteen-time USTA National Champion, ITF World Champion and was ranked #1 in the ITF World Rankings for 55 and over in 2005.
City Parks Foundation (CPF) is the only independent, nonprofit organization to offer park programs throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The organization works in over 700 parks citywide, presenting a broad range of free arts, sports and education programs and helping citizens to support their parks on a local level. More information is available at www.CityParksFoundation.org.

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