Serena recognized for kids charity work
Williams honored for commitment to kids
Of The Post and Courier Staff
Serena Williams has been named the winner of this year's Family Circle/Prudential Financial "Player Who Makes a Difference" award for her commitment and generosity over the past two years to organizations in Charleston and around the state that provide services for children of all ages.
"Professional athletes of Serena's stature often have so many demands put on their personal and professional lives that it's amazing they find time to give back to community causes and worthy programs," said Susan Ungaro, editor-in-chief of Family Circle Magazine. "For Serena, making a difference is a top priority. We applaud the caring and support she has given the children of Charleston over the past two years."
The Player Who Makes a Difference award will be presented to Williams during next week's Family Circle Cup WTA Tour tournament at Family Circle Tennis Center. Zina Garrison, Martina Navratilova, Andrea Jaeger, Chris Evert, Pam Shriver, Billie Jean King, Mary Joe Fernandez, Monica Seles, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Martina Hingis, Chanda Rubin and Corina Morariu are past award winners.
Family Circle Magazine and Prudential Financial co-sponsor the award and each company donates $10,000 to the charities of the winner's choice.
Williams will receive the award and check on center court in a special ceremony on Friday, April 16.
Breast cancer awareness through the Avon Foundation, The Ronald McDonald House and The Make-A-Wish Foundation are among the programs Williams have helped in the past. Another program she supports is The OWL Foundation, which is a non-profit organization founded by her mother, Oracene Price, to provide special educational assistance to help young people reach their full potential in the education arena. Serena also has supported a Family Circle Cup Community Outreach program called WIN4LIFE, which is operated by former WTA Tour player Leslie Allen. Williams also has helped establish various community initiatives since 2002 in the city of Charleston. A scholarship grant at the College of Charleston was established in her name and is given annually to a student-athlete. The grant is awarded to one who not only excels on the playing field, but also is a champion in the classroom and in the community.