The 6th annual Capital Group PingPongforCHARITY™ Tournament and Celebrity SLAMFest event held at the Virginia Beach Field House on Friday and Saturday September 12-13, raised over $40,000 for 3 charity partners – Alzheimer’s Association, Vanguard Landing and People in Need to benefit those facing Alzheimer’s disease, Dementia, Depression and Homelessness.
The program on Friday included 3 highly entertaining and professional exhibitions by Wally Green and Kaz Yokoyama– in 2 local schools and 1 in the showroom of an auto dealer who filled a GMC Pick-Up with ping pong balls for a “Guess the Number of Balls” contest to win a Kettler table tennis table.
The Friday night Celebrity SLAMFest event drew a record attendance of over 300 guests who listened and danced to music by the Deloreans, enjoyed a sumptuous buffet and beverages, open play on 20 tables, live and silent auctions, entertainment by the “Roller Derby Girls” and exhibitions by Wally and Kaz.
Saturday’s tournament drew such an overwhelming response that registration had to be closed 3 days early with 180 players participating. Participants included 12 residents of Westminster Canterbury Retirement Community for the Over 75 Seniors event, the entire Cox High School Boys and Girls Volleyball teams and the youngest player at age 7. Event entry fees for youth 17 and under was $15, Adults was $20. Each participant received a free T-shirt and a Kettler paddle.
Founder and President of Table Tennis Charity Foundation, Ken Lees said: “We’re extremely pleased with the outpouring of support from our generous sponsors, local amateur players and the public for our event this year. Every year it gets better. In 6 years we have raised a total of $323,000 through annual PingPongforCHARITY™ Events and donated nearly $200,000 to 3 Charity Partners ($87,000 in last 2 years.) We’re looking forward to next year when we plan an even bigger event. We are excited to build upon the momentum, not only with the continuation of the 7th Annual PingPongforCHARITY™ Event in Virginia Beach, but also the expansion in offering the PingPongforCHARITY™ Events nationally to qualifying Non-Profit Organizations who would like to utilize the brand and the proven event model to raise awareness and funding for their local mental health/brain fitness cause, while integrating the sport into their communities.”
Dr. Scott Sautter, Board Certified Neuropsychologist and Chairman of the Table Tennis Charity Foundation, commenting on the benefits of the event to participants, points out that “Neuroscience has demonstrated aerobic exercise improves brain function, and table tennis uniquely offers participants exercise of the mind and body in a safe activity for everyone at any age.”
USATT is an official partner of the Table Tennis Charity Foundation and the PingPongforCHARITY™ Celebrity SLAMFest Events.
For more information on the Table Tennis Charity Foundation:
Wally Green, Ken Lees, Dean Johnson and Kaz Yokoyama following a meeting at an oceanfront restaurant on the Thursday evening prior to the Ping Pong for Charity Tournament and Celebrity SLAMFest event. Photo by Dean Johnson
Kaz driving the ball to Wally Green who is returning from off the stage in the audience during an exhibition on Friday morning at Lynnhaven Middle School in Virginia Beach. Photo by Dean Johnson