Miami Gardens, FL (March 25, 2019) – On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the Miami Open presented by Itaú hosted ‘MIAMI OPEN UNITES’ – a day of service dedicated to giving back to the South Florida community. ATP and WTA players, Miami Open staff and volunteers joined local organizations across Miami-Dade County to help South Florida’s most vulnerable in what will become an annual initiative.
The Miami Open Unites program was the first-ever for a tennis event and was inspired by Walk the Walk, an annual day of service during which all Endeavor (parent company of IMG, which owns the Miami Open) employees spend a day in their communities.
Through Miami Open Unites, ATP and WTA players participating in the tournament deployed to five grassroots projects throughout Miami, ranging from rebuilding homes, serving meals to the homeless, working with animals at the Humane Society, speaking with children about overcoming adversity and visiting with sick children at one of the local hospitals.
In addition, ATP Charities and WTA Charities each donated $1500 to Health in the Hood.
“Miami and the South Florida community have supported us for 35 years, and we believe giving back is an important responsibility,” said James Blake, Miami Open Tournament Director. “I am proud to represent a tournament that continually strives to make a positive impact, and we look forward to making a positive impact on thousands of people through Miami Open Unites.”
Many of the world’s best players will be participating including Ashleigh Barty, Belinda Bencic, Kiki Bertens, Bob Bryan, Mike Bryan, Marin Cilic, Danielle Collins, Borna Coric, Grigor Dimitrov, David Ferrer, Julia Goerges, John Isner, Nicolas Jarry, Miomir Kecmanovic, Anett Kontaveit, Petra Kvitova, Nick Kyrgios, Elise Mertens, Garbiñe Muguruza, Kei Nishikori, Jelena Ostapenko, Guido Pella, Aryna Sabalenka, Diego Schwartzman, Dominic Thiem, Stefanos Tsitsipas, and Alexander Zverev.
Miami Open Unites partnered with the following organizations in 2019:
– UNICEF has helped save more children’s lives than any other humanitarian organization. ATP and WTA players and members of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School’s boys and girls tennis teams took part in UNICEF’s Kid Power program at Hard Rock Stadium. The event included a discussions between the children and players regarding overcoming adversity and becoming a positive force in the community. For more information on UNICEF, go to www.unicefusa.org/.
– Health in the Hood is creating healthy communities by building vegetable gardens and teaching wellness in some of Miami’s neediest neighborhoods. Due to inclement weather tournament players were not able to visit Health in Hood’s oldest community garden in Liberty City. But due to the generosity of the ATP and WTA the tournament was able to present the organization with a check for $3000. For more information on Health in the Hood, go to www.healthinthehood.org/.
– Rebuilding Together offers assistance to Miami-Dade County’s senior citizens, veterans, and the disabled by repairing and rebuilding their housing. Miami Open Unites provided volunteers to help rehabilitate the home of Miss Barbara Mae in Miami Gardens. Players provided help with replacing flooring and painting. For more information on Rebuild Together, go to https://rebuildingtogether.org/.
– Miami Rescue Mission provides food, shelter, and programs to the homeless of South Florida. Players served lunch to those living at the shelter. For more information on the Miami Rescue Mission, go to www.miamirescuemission.com/.
– Humane Society of Greater Miami cares for the lost and forgotten animals of South Florida. Miami Open Unites and tour players visited the Humane Society spent time with the animals. ATP World No. 3 Alexander Zverev left the animal shelter with a new puppy. For more information the Humane Society of Greater Miami, go to http://www.humanesocietymiami.org/.
– Baptist Children’s Hospital and Miami Cancer Institute is South Florida’s premier children’s hospital. Players visited with patients and staff, handed out toys, posed for pictures and signed autographs. For more information, go to https://baptisthealth.net/.