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Four Southern Juniors Win All-Expense Paid Trip to US Open

August 18, 2004 04:20 PM

“Why is Arthur Ashe a sports legend?”

Over 1,700 school kids tried to answer that question this summer as they participated in the USTA’s sixth annual Arthur Ashe Essay Contest. While there were only ten winners selected, four of these junior academics call the USTA Southern Section home, including David Parker, 8, from Anderson, S.C., Wesley Barrett, 12, from Cary, N.C., Garrett Mertl, 14, from Marietta, Ga. and Quincy Jones, 16, from Monroe, N.C.

All winners will receive an exciting gift package that includes round-trip coach airfare to New York City for themselves and a parent/legal guardian; a two night stay at the Grand Hyatt Hotel; an honorary plaque; lunch with former New York City Mayor and USTA Board Member David Dinkins; tickets to a NY Mets baseball game vs. the LA Dodgers, tickets to Broadway’s “Beauty & The Beast,” a NYC sightseeing tour, and two tickets to the 2004 Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day presented by Hess on August 28.

For the second consecutive year, the essay contest welcomed entries from school children across the nation. To enter, children, 18 or younger, had to write an essay in 300 words or less on “Why is Arthur Ashe a sports legend?” A USTA sub-committee selected the winning essays based on knowledge of Arthur Ashe, message clarity and writing style.

“Arthur Ashe lived an exemplary life, donating his time to reaching youth in a full range of socio-economic classes and growth of the game,” said D.A. Abrams, Director, Community Outreach, USTA. “We are proud to name these 10 winners who exemplify Ashe’s character and honor his boundless contributions to both the sport and his commitment to youth of all backgrounds through this essay contest.”

The 10 winners of the 2004 Arthur Ashe Essay Contest are:


Age Group


David Parker


Anderson, S.C.

Chidinma Omeh


Houston, Texas

Wesley Barrett


Cary, N.C.

Rachel Stuhlmann


St. Louis, Mo.

Garrett Mertl


Marietta, Ga.

Julie Thorpe


Palm Desert, Calif.

Quincy Marcellos Jones


Monroe, N.C.

Kathrin Sorokko


Douglaston, N.Y.

Max Grassby


Rapid City, N.D.

Khaivchandra Ramjeawan


Uniondale, N.Y.

David Parker, 8, wrote in his winning essay, “(Arthur Ashe) was a great player that was able to speak out for things he thought were important. People would listen to him because of his tennis skills and success. I think that makes him a legend to the world. Arthur Ashe is a legend to me personally because he fought for what he believed in and worked hard for what he loved.”

Presented by Amerada Hess and produced by the USTA, Arthur Ashe Kids’ Day honors tennis legend Arthur Ashe and continues his mission of using tennis as a means to instill in kids the values of humanitarianism, leadership and academic excellence. It is the official kick-off event for the 2004 US Open that runs August 30 - September 12.

A portion of the proceeds from Arthur Ashe Kids' Day benefit the USA Tennis NJTL (National Junior Tennis League), which was established by Arthur Ashe, Charlie Pasarell and Sheridan Snyder in 1969. USA Tennis NJTL is a community-driven program supported by the USTA, that significantly impacts the lives of America's youth. USA Tennis NJTL seeks to develop the character of young people through tennis and to emphasize the ideals and life of Arthur Ashe.

Related Information:
Arthur Ashe Kids' Day a Star Studded Event




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