Elton John, Billie Jean King to rally for HIV/AIDS charities
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Singer Elton John and tennis great Billie Jean King plan to bring their AIDS charity tennis event to Pittsburgh this fall.
Mayor Luke Ravenstahl and event organizers will make the announcement at the City-County Building, Downtown Monday. They'll also name the participating celebrities and tennis stars in the 20th annual World Team Tennis Smash Hits fundraiser, mayoral spokeswoman Joanna Doven said.
Mr. Ravenstahl's office said the event will feature "some of the biggest legends in tennis history, including Grand Slam and Olympic champions."
"We're really excited to host this world-renowned event, which will bring more global attention to Pittsburgh and bring light to such an important issue," Ms. Doven said.
The October event will be at the Petersen Events Center at the University of Pittsburgh.
Last October's event in Cleveland raised more than $500,000 for the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the AIDS Task Force of Greater Cleveland, organizers said at the time.
Over 19 years, the event has raised more than $10.5 million for John's foundation and local charities, organizers said in a statement last year.
The Cleveland event pit a group of stars led by John against a group led by Ms. King, who counts 20 Wimbledon titles among her achievements, according to her website. "Team Elton" won. Martina Navratilova, John McEnroe and Jan-Michael Gambill were among the tennis stars who took part.
Last year's event included an auction of tickets to the Super Bowl and French Open, memorabilia signed by John and tennis lessons from some of the stars who attended.
In March, City Councilman Corey O'Connor introduced legislation to create a Pittsburgh HIV/AIDS Commission, with the goals of raising public awareness of the disease and better coordinating services. Mr. O'Connor, council's recreation chairman, said the tennis event "sheds even more light" on the issue.
First Published June 21, 2012 12:00 am