Will Ferrell is ready to bring the heat to the Desert Showdown, heading to the desert to commemorate the greatest (and most competitive!) 10th Anniversary of charity tennis and golf yet!
Hosted by Will Ferrell, and held at the world famous La Quinta Resort & Club, the event has expanded to two days this year to include “The Will Powered Golf Classic”, a golf tournament unlike any other, exclusive post-round cocktail reception and celebrity entertainment.
Leading into the neighboring BNP Paribas Open, the two-day event will benefit Cancer For College, a 501c3, non-profit organization that provides college scholarships for cancer survivors. Since 1993, the charity has granted nearly $2 million to more than 1,000 cancer survivors.
To kick off the event on Monday, March 3, 2014, “The 21st Annual Will Powered Golf Classic” will take place on at the renowned Bighorn Golf Club in Palm Desert, CA. The tournament will be played in a shamble format with planned ceremonial tee off at 12 noon featuring Ferrell and Cancer for College Founder Craig Pollard. Following the golf, there will be a private evening reception with hosted bar and hors d’oeuvres at the gorgeous Big Horn Golf Club pool area adjacent to the clubhouse.
March 4th, 2014, marks Day 2 and the 10th Anniversary of the Desert Smash, and tennis portion of the Showdown. The day kicks off with The Desert Smash Pro/Celebrity-Am Tennis Tournament, where donating amateurs pay to play with celebrity players and WTA/ATP Tour Pros. Following the Pro/Celebrity-Am Tournament, the fan favorite, Pro-Tennis Exhibition will kick off at 2:15pm on La Quinta’s intimate Stadium Court. This sell-out event, is notorious for bringing together some of the world’s best professional tennis players with some of Hollywood’s biggest stars for fun, entertaining tennis in addition to several exciting live auction items auctioned off with the help of the players.
Early players scheduled to appear at this year’s exhibition include: loyal Desert Smasher’s ATP World No. 2 Novak Djokovic, and 2013 Australian Open Doubles Champions and ATP World No. 1 Doubles Team Bob & Mike Bryan. Star players that have participated in the past include: WTA World No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki, Andre Agassi, Stefanie Graf, Marat Safin, Victoria Azarenka and Mardy Fish. Last year’s big celebrity battle with Novak Djokovic & Jeremy Piven vs. RedFoo and Mardy Fish was an entertaining, fun match that the crowd loved!
Ferrell’s reasoning for his involvement in the Smash: “Cancer for College is an amazing cause. To see these cancer survivors realize their dream of a college education is inspiring. You know what else is inspiring? Me embarrassing Kevin Spacey on a tennis court in front of a thousand people. Those Academy Awards aren’t going to help him one bit when I’m raining fire on him from the baseline. It’s going to be a sight to behold. If an exhibition of pure athletic prowess does not make you want to give to this great cause, I don’t know what will.”
Kevin Spacey will definitely be bringing the heat to the desert, having been training for months with premier coaches for his Pro/Celeb match against Ferrell. He sounds off taunting, “Will, I have long admired you, as I hope you know; but there will be no mercy in Palm Springs. I have taken this assignment like the greatest method actor who ever walked the face of the boards of the most inspired playhouse of all time… Za Actor’s Studio (and not just Inside but Outside too!) I’m ready, excited and very, very pumped to head out on the court and KILL YOU AT THE NET!!!!!”
The Desert Smash Celebrity/Pro-Am Tournament is arguably one of the country’s best, composed of currently ranked WTA and ATP Tour players and some of the best known celebrity players. Past participants include: Stan Wawrinka, Ivan Ljubicic, Dinara Safina, Ernests Gulbis, Daniela Hantuchova, Paul Henri Mathieu, Xavier Malisse, James Blake, Jack Sock and Grand Slam Champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Each year, the Desert Smash attracts both celebrity and tennis fans who flock to La Quinta to rub elbows with the world’s best tennis players. Celebrities scheduled to appear this year include event host and “Anchorman” star Will Ferrell, two-time Oscar winner and current House of Cards star Kevin Spacey, Kaley Cuoco (Big Bang Theory), Justin Chambers (Grey’s Anatomy), Kevin McKidd (Grey’s Anatomy, Brave), Timothy Olyphant (Justified, Live Free or Die Hard), RedFoo (LMFAO), Jeremy Piven (Entourage, Old School), Lance Bass and Boris Kodjoe.
Past celebrity attendees included: Michael B. Jordan, Christian Slater, Gavin Rossdale, Gwen Stefani, Ryan Kwanten, Joe Pesci, Justin Chambers, Timothy Olyphant, Boris Kodjoe, Michael Vartan, Lance Bass, Joanna Garcia, Eliza Dushku, Jennifer Morrison, and Kirk Fox.
Capping off an epic two days of fundraising and tennis, the celebration will continue into the night with the 10th Anniversary Desert Smash Player Party, which will give supporters and attendees the chance to rub elbows with both Hollywood celebrities and tennis stars while supporting Cancer for College through an exciting live auction all the while enjoying cocktails, a fun selection of food and a live musical performance by Nelly and Boyz II Men.
Ferrell notes: “This event is going to be huge. I believe, between the golf and tennis alone, we’re expecting over 12 million people at the Desert Showdown this year. It might be a record for attendance. It’s gonna make Coachella look like a pancake breakfast. Look, I’m not going to sugarcoat it. It’s going to be a lot of work, but there’s nothing easy about cancer. It can devastate a family physically, emotionally and financially. It’s what makes Cancer for College so important. They make a college education a reality for these survivors who have been through so much. Helping these families after all they have been through is the absolute least we can do.”
Find out more about the events here.