Event History: Celebrating Over 30 Years

Before Covid, the last Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic was held in 2019. The Classic raised an amazing $800,000 dollars. Since 1989, Chris Evert’s efforts have contributed over $26 million in an ongoing campaign against drug abuse and child neglect in Florida. With the help of loyal and generous sponsors, participating celebrities, legions of volunteers and a dedicated staff, Chris Evert continues to raise money to fund programs that ensure a bright future for at-risk children and their families.

How It All Began

Chris retired from Professional Tennis in September 1989, after her final match in the U.S. Open. One month later, Chrissie was back on the tennis court hosting the first Chris Evert Pro-Celebrity Tennis Classic in Boca Raton, Florida. The first fundraiser for Chris Evert Charities drew widespread attention in the international press. It was proclaimed the most successful, first-year benefit in tennis history. The 1989 event raised more than $350,000 before a sold-out crowd and a national television audience.

“While tennis has been my profession, helping needy children has been my passion. For almost a decade it has been my pleasure to work in partnership with The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida to help hundreds of substance-abusing moms get the help they need to give their children a good start in life.”
—Chris Evert

Chrissie met with Governor Martinez and HRS Secretary Greg Coler in Tallahassee. It was decided that other programs in the state could benefit from Evert’s superb fundraising abilities.

She joined forces with The Ounce of Prevention Fund of Florida, a public/private partnership, established in 1988, with a similar vision as Chrissie’s. The Ounce is committed to a proactive approach to the prevention of family and social problems such as substance abuse by pregnant and parenting women.

With these forces united, they agreed to a new fund matching program with the state of Florida. Governor Martinez pledged to match, dollar for dollar, all funds that Chris Evert gave to The Ounce, automatically doubling Chris’ efforts for 1990 and all years following.

“The whole idea of The Ounce of Prevention Fund is to find ways to eliminate problems in early childhood, and mothers taking drugs during pregnancy is one of the biggest problems children face today.”
—T. Wayne Davis, Chairman, The Ounce of Prevention Fund

Hosted at the Delray Beach Tennis Center and the celebrated Boca Raton Resort & Club, this multi-day event features two days of Pro-Celebrity Tennis, the Classic Cocktail Party, Tennis with Chrissie and Friends at the Pro-Am and the Pro-Celebrity Gala, an elegant, first-class evening of entertainment, dining and dancing. Don’t forget about the exciting live auction at the Gala with exceptional, one-of-kind items that you will have to see to believe!

That inaugural event benefited a campus of drug treatment facilities in one of the poorest neighborhoods of South Florida. The treatment facility was built by The Drug Abuse Foundation of Palm Beach County offering treatment and prevention programs at all levels for troubled patients. The facility was built with virtually all labor and materials donated from the community, but with no funding for operations. With the funds provided by Chris Evert Charities, the facility was able to open its doors in early 1991 to fill an immediate need.