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Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Spring Gala Set for April 6 in NYC

NEW YORK, NY - Feb. 20, 2020 — Luminaries from the world of tennis, celebrity tennis fans, philanthropists and supporters will celebrate 48-years of the Harlem Junior Tennis & Education Program (HJTEP) helping and inspiring youngsters through tennis and education on April 6th at the HJTEP Spring Gala at Gotham Hall in New York City. Tickets for the gala at available at www.HJTEP.org or by calling 212-491-3738.

In additional to celebrating the success of the more than 1,000 youngsters who benefit from the HJTEP annually, the HJTEP Spring Gala will also honor two of its most ardent supporters. It will present the Robert Holland Jr. Award to Ann Williams-Isom, Chief Executive Officer for the Harlem Children’s Zone®; and the Philanthropists Award to Seth A. Bernstein, Founder, Chairman and CEO of SMB Capital, a private equity, advisory firm.

“The success of the HJTEP surviving and thriving for nearly 50-years can be directly traced to people like Anne and Seth who have supported our mission and helped us grow,” said Katrina Adams, HJTEP Executive Director. “The annual Spring Gala is both vital fund-raising event for us and a time for us to honor those who have contributed to our success.”

Emceed by NBC’s Morgan Radford the star-studded gala will also be attended by a host of celebrity tennis fans including; CBS This Morning host Gayle King, NBC meteorologist Janice Huff, former Olympian Wendy Hilliard, actress Dawnn Lewis, music entrepreneur Kareem K.W.O.E Wells, actor Malik Yoba and more.

HJTEP brings tennis to youth from high-risk, low-income inner-city neighborhoods and offers opportunities for self-development, emphasizing education and a positive code of behavior. The, not-for-profit organization, opens a new door for many inner-city boys and girls, ages 7-18, to learn the game of tennis. It enrolls about 1,000 students during the school year and 150-300 in its summer program. What they experience on the courts, and in its education programs, develops the whole child—in sports, school and life. Tennis teaches kids essential life skills, sportsmanship, self-discipline, social and emotional competence and how to fight obesity and lead healthier lives. In their weekly sessions, participants also learn to improve communication skills and personal hygiene habits. HJTEP promotes academic achievement and boasts a 3.1 average GPA of participants.

Before being named CEO of HCZ, Ms. Williams-Isom served for five years as HCZ’s Chief Operating Officer where she oversaw all programs in its cradle-through-college pipeline, including Promise Academy I and II. Prior to joining HCZ, she worked in leadership at New York City’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) for 13 years, concluding her tenure as Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Community and Government Affairs. Growing up with a single mother in Queens, she witnessed first-hand the many challenges confronting kids in struggling communities. But it was always clear that, with the right support and opportunities—above all, education and a lot of love—all kids have the potential to do extraordinary things. She earned a bachelor’s degree in political science and psychology from Fordham University and her J.D. at Columbia Law School.

Mr. Bernstein is the Founder, Chairman & CEO of SMB Capital, a private equity, advisory firm and family office. He has served as a Director of Forstmann & Company, IMG, Lighting Science Group, Outerwall, Gulfstream, IRI, University of Central Florida Athletic Board, and the American Spectator. Additionally, he is the Chairman of the YES Network and previously the Chairman of Legends Hospitality. A member of the Forbes “40 under 40;” New York Times “Top 40 under 40;” Nation Retail Federation’s top 25 most influential people in retail; and Central Florida’s “40 most influential men,” Mr. Bernstein believes in giving back to the community through his involvement with numerous charitable organizations. The Founder of Kids House, he is passionate about improving the education system in America and is now Co-Chair of the Milken Education initiative with schools focused on minorities and gang reduction in Florida.

ABOUT HJTEP: The Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program (HJTEP), a not-for-profit organization founded in 1972, opens a new door for many inner-city boys and girls, ages 7-18, to learn the game of tennis. We enroll about 1,000 students during the school year and 150-300 in our summer program. What they experience on the courts, and in our education programs, develops the whole child-in sports, school and life. For more information visit www.HJTEP.org

 

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