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News Archive - Progress Newsletter Fall 2002 Online

"Players That Care," Care about Ovarian Cancer

Tennis is like life- you only get one chance." That was the theme of a recent fundraising event organized by Linda Long, a consultant for Puma whose mother, Mrs. Opal Long, passed away from ovarian cancer in 1999. Ms. Long's passion to stop others from enduring "this horrible, painful disease," spurred her to develop The Players That Care Charity Golf and Tennis Event.

Ms. Long's professional relationship with Serena Williams became more personal when Williams, at age 17, wrote a poem about Long's mother the week she passed away (available online at www.players thatcare.org). Williams helped Long create the one-of-a-kind event, along with the talents and energy of other dedicated, high-profile players such as Michael Chang, Lisa Raymond and Rick Leach.

Held last fall in Las Vegas, the event raised $60,000 for Dr. Sofia Merajver's ovarian cancer research at the U-M Cancer Center. The two-day event included a golf tournament at Bali Hai Golf Club, during which participants played a round of golf with men and women tennis superstars. The tennis event took place at Anthem Sun City and included a unique round-robin format where participants played tennis with the pros and watched the pros in a special exhibition. Participants also had the opportunity to take part in an exclusive tennis clinic. The event wrapped up with a gala dinner, including a silent auction with autographed sports memorabilia and other distinctive items. The success of this event is a product of the cooperation of countless volunteers from Michigan, Las Vegas and elsewhere; generous sponsors; altruistic tennis players; and the resolve of one person to coordinate efforts for the common goal of beating ovarian cancer. Plans are underway for this year's event, scheduled for early December.

For more information, visit www.playersthatcare.org.

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