By Delinda Lombardo on
Prior to the Sony Open in Florida earlier this month, the ATP handed out their annual awards and American James Blake was given the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award for his charitable efforts.
Last summer, Blake created the Thomas Blake Sr. Memorial Research Fund at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in memory of his father. The Blake Research Fund invests money in leading-edge science in order to speed up the most promising work and shorten the time it takes to turn laboratory discoveries into better treatments for patients. 100% of every dollar donated to the Fund goes directly to cancer research at Memorial Sloan-Kettering.
This also marks the 5th year of Blake’s J-Block program where fans purchase J-Block merchandise and 100% of the gross proceeds are donated to charity. To date, more than $100,000 has been raised through J-Block merchandise sales.
Anthem LIVE! is another one of Blake’s charity endeavors. The annual charity tennis exhibition supports cancer research programs including the Blake Research Fund. And despite his busy schedule, Blake always finds time to help to raise funds for the Harlem Junior Tennis Program and hosts the organization’s annual fundraising event each year. Blake’s decision to pursue a career in tennis came after listening to Arthur Ashe speak at an event for the Harlem Junior Tennis Program when he was a teenager.
Add all this up-and the fact that James Blake overcame a broken back, partial paralysis and blurred vision while maintaining his form on the court, and its easy to see why he was honored by the ATP.
For more on Blake, read his book, ‘Breaking Back: How I Lost Everything and Won Back My Life’ or visit his website, James Blake Tennis, for info on how you can donate to the Fund, buy a cool T and support this truly fine man on his quest to better this world.
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