An economic storm. The most devastating week on Wall Street. A pivotal United States presidential election on the horizon. Americans worrying about their retirement funds. Tonight Andre Agassi recognized the real worries his 1,900 guests are facing – and then helped them escape and celebrate.
“We put on an amazing party tonight in partnership with our host Wynn Las Vegas and presenting sponsor Genworth Financial,” said Andre Agassi. “It was a party to celebrate many successful years of raising money for underserved children hand-in-hand with our generous supporters and sponsors. And at the same time, it was a party to look to the future and what can be accomplished with the Foundation’s new mission.”
The Foundation has focused on serving some of the neediest children in Las Vegas, Andre Agassi’s home town, by building and supporting the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy (a model charter school), the Andre Agassi Boys and Girls Club and other beneficiary organizations that provide education and enrichment opportunities for at-risk youth. Now, the Foundation’s mission is to transform education across the United States.
“If we continue to give 600 Las Vegas children a quality education each year at Agassi Prep, we will have made a difference,” explained Agassi Foundation CEO Steve Miller. “But if we can do that and make a difference in public education for children nationwide through policy and partnerships, then all the better.”
Performers donate their time to support the Agassi Foundation’s efforts. This year, guests were entertained by Natasha Bedingfield, Sheryl Crow, The Killers, Lifehouse, Ray Romano, Rod Stewart and David Spade at the 13th annual Agassi Grand Slam for Children benefit concert, presented by Genworth Financial. Grammy award-winning producer, arranger and composer David Foster returned for his 13th year as musical director.
Highlights of this year’s event include:
- A never-before duet, Sheryl Crow and Rod Stewart performing Crow’s “The First Cut is the Deepest.”
- A red carpet full of talent: In addition to performers, surprise guests included singer Mariah Carey and her husband, actor and rapper Nick Cannon; Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson; performer Donny Osmond; comedian George Wallace; 2008 USA Olympic Gold Medal-winning basketball coach Mike Krzyzewski; “Kick it up a notch” celebrity chef and Foundation board member Emeril Lagasse; just named top pop group by MTV, a capella group Mosaic.
- Two packages were auctioned off live: Chosen for his influence in the American pop art movement during nearly 50 years, James Rosenquist created an original commemorative work of art called “The Hole in the Center of the Clock – Timekeeper II, A Heart for Andre Agassi, 2008.” The second package included lunch with Oprah Winfrey and a South African adventure.
Agassi explained to attendees that while the event is a benefit, this year’s focus was not on counting the dollars, but instead celebrating accomplishments made possible through the support year-after-year of talented performers, generous sponsors, enthusiastic attendees and hard-working volunteers. Agassi summed it up as “a night full of heart.”
About The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation
The Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation is dedicated to transforming U.S. public education for underserved youth. The Foundation drives reform by engaging in practice, policy and partnerships that provide quality education and enrichment opportunities. The Foundation is a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit public charity that was established in 1994. Learn more at www.agassifoundation.org.