Festival goes to net for area charity Shriver: 9 groups to benefit from event

September 18, 1992|By Sandra McKee | Sandra McKee,Staff Writer

From the beginning, Pam Shriver has wanted the First National Bank of Maryland Tennis Festival to benefit children in Baltimore.

"It was my hope to really try to touch this community as much as possible," she said, before introducing the Baltimore Community Foundation as the organization that will handle the dispersement of funds to local charities.

"When your roots go deep into your community, you want the lion's share, most of it, anyway, to come here to Baltimore," she said. "With CF, the money went to medical research, so when I'd read in the paper that another breakthrough was made toward finding cures, I could feel as if I had a tiny piece of that, but that's different from being able to give perhaps $25,000 to a homeless shelter to feed and house Baltimore people who are destitute. With my roots, it's natural to want to head in that direction."

Proceeds from the festival, which will showcase Martina Navratilova, Gabriela Sabatini and Mary Joe Fernandez at the Baltimore Arena on Nov. 24 at 6:30 p.m., will be distributed among nine local charities.

Those benefiting are the Maryland chapter of Cystic Fibrosis, the Bennett Institute of Children's Hospital, Greater Baltimore Tennis Patrons, the Maryland Chapter of the Special Olympics, an as yet undetermined homeless shelter that works with families, the Campaign for Our Children, Baltimore Reads, the Pediatric AIDS Foundation and the Living Classroom Foundation.

"Martina has been here four years, and this may well be her last time, because she's talking about next year being her last on tour," Shriver says. "Getting Gabby was my main thrust this year, and it's quite an accomplishment, because she turns down many of these requests. But when I told her it was for children, she said in her funny accent, 'For kids, I'll do everything,' and she committed at Wimbledon.

"Mary Joe is the same way where kids are concerned. So now, the only major player we haven't had is Steffi [Graf]. She's tough and I know she doesn't like to do exhibitions, but everyone else has and I'm planning to work hard on the guilt thing in '93."

Tickets for the November event are available at the Arena Box Office and at all TicketMaster outlets. Prices range from $9 for reserved seats to $75 for a courtside box seat. To charge tickets, call (410) 481-SEAT.

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