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Whirlpool and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour Launch "Aces for Homes" Tsunami Relief Program
Amelie Mauresmo and other Tour stars kick off year-long initiative to raise minimum €100,000 to build new homes for tsunami victims in devastated areas through Habitat for Humanity
EASTBOURNE, ENGLAND – Building on a long-term commitment to aid tsunami victims, Whirlpool and the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour announced today the launch of an innovative year-long charitable program, “Aces for Homes,’’ that will provide housing to those affected by the tsunami disaster.
Through “Aces for Homes,’’ the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour and Whirlpool, the Tour’s premier European sponsor, will raise a minimum of €100,000 to build new homes through Habitat for Humanity in the Chennai region of India, which was devastated by the tsunami. Habitat for Humanity is the official social cause of Whirlpool and the Tour. The minimum €100,000 will be raised through contributions by Whirlpool and the Tour of €10 for every ace hit by a Tour player from the start of The Hastings Direct International Championships to next year’s tournament, encompassing 64 events in 33 countries worldwide.
“The Tour remains committed to providing much needed long-term aid and support for the tsunami victims and their families,’’ Sony Ericsson WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott said. “Partnering with Whirlpool, the ‘Aces for Homes’ program is a terrific vehicle for fans worldwide to actively support tsunami victims by cheering on our players to hit as many aces as possible. ‘Aces for Homes’ brings together Whirlpool, our players, tournaments and fans for an important global cause.’’
The “Aces for Homes’’ program adds another element to Whirlpool’s commitment to tsunami relief efforts and Habitat for Humanity. Whirlpool has supported Habitat since 1999 and currently partners with Habitat in 18 countries around the world. This support goes beyond financial donations and includes appliance donations to Habitat homes and direct involvement of Whirlpool employees in building homes.
“Through Whirlpool’s more than six-year relationship with Habitat, Whirlpool employees around the world have witnessed the deep and lasting impact that Habitat brings to families and communities,” said Giuseppe Perucchetti, Vice President Brand Marketing, Whirlpool Europe. “Whirlpool and its employees have already taken part in many tsunami relief efforts but it is important that we do not forget the regions ravaged by last year's deadly tsunami. By partnering in the “Aces for Homes” program, we are confident that additional progress will be made in helping many families recover from this tragedy.”
Following the tsunami disaster, Whirlpool announced that it is extending its relationship with Habitat for Humanity to Asia by joining Habitat’s efforts there to build temporary housing for 25,000 tsunami-stricken families and then permanent housing as these families strive to recover from the tragedy. Additionally, Whirlpool employees from all parts of its global operations have joined in raising money for the relief efforts, including at Whirlpool’s Pondicherry facility, located in an area in India hit hard by the tsunami.
“As time passes by, it is critical that we do not let the terrible plight of these regions and their inhabitants fade from our daily consciousness,’’ said Sony Ericsson WTA Tour tennis star Amelie Mauresmo (pictured), the Tour’s official ambassador to Habitat for Humanity. “Women’s tennis has many close ties to the people in those regions and we are determined not to let them down at a time when they still need us the most.’’
The “Aces for Homes’’ program also continues the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour’s series of initiatives aimed at benefiting tsunami victims.
Earlier this year, the Tour collected autographed tennis rackets from the game’s 14 former No. 1-ranked players, including Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Steffi Graf, Monica Seles, Chris Evert and Martina Navratilova, for an auction that will benefit tsunami victims.
During the Proximus Diamond Games in Antwerp, Belgium and the Volvo Women’s Open in Pattaya City, Thailand several months ago, several star players such as Maria Sharapova, Venus Williams, Kim Clijsters and Amelie Mauresmo, donated signed tennis outfits, rackets and other items that were auctioned with the proceeds going to tsunami relief funds. And in January, players collected donations from fans at various tournaments in Australia that went to tsunami relief funds.