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2007 Award - Charity Tennis Event of the Year Award

Charity Tennis Event of the Year Award
Awarded annually to a tennis event in the USTA Southern Section that generously donates its proceeds to a philanthropic cause.

25th Annual Cellular South Ole Miss- MS State Tennis and Golf Classic
Greenville, MS
The University of Mississippi and Mississippi State have rivalries in all sorts of sports from football to swimming. No other contest between Rebels and Bulldogs can be said to have such a charitable impact on Washington County as the Cellular South Ole Miss-MS State Tennis & Golf Classic.

This event has taken place since 1983 to benefit scholarships for incoming freshman attending either of the schools. The money is evenly divided between each school’s alumni groups in that county. In its first year, 42 teams participated and raised $790 for scholarships. This year, with over 444 athletes taking part in the event, over $24,000 was raised. Over 250 students have received scholarships through the 25 year event with total monies raised reaching over $250,000.

The tournament directors, Karen Crocker Lee and Jamie Bell, added exciting firsts to this year’s four day event. Thursday night guests attended an “Exhibition Match and Silver Celebration” gala at the home of MTA Hall of Famer Gaines Dyer and his wife, Betsy. The evening began with a match between two former Ole Miss and MS State players followed by a catered reception.

As action started early at Greenville Golf and Country Club, breakfast and all-day beverages were provided for participants and guests. The doubles-only event featured 159 teams that represented seven states: Mississippi, Arkansas, Georgia, Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee and Texas. The golf competition, which was added to the event in 2003, featured 42 teams. On Saturday night, a Calcutta auction was held followed by an extensive buffet dinner and dance with live music.

New this year, a joint awards luncheon was held in May for the Ole Miss and Mississippi State scholarship recipients with over 100 attending.

 


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