Madison Square Garden and the Garden of Dreams Foundation have announced that Andre Agassi will be the recipient of the 2011 Garden of Dreams Hero Award. The award, established in 2009, honors one person or organization annually that embodies the spirit and commitment of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, with active, on-going dedication to children facing obstacles. On Monday, Feb. 28 during the much anticipated BNP Paribas Showdown and prior to his match against Pete Sampras, Agassi will be at center court at Madison Square Garden to accept the Garden of Dreams Hero Award.
Agassi’s work with children mirrors that of the Garden of Dreams Foundation, which works closely with all areas of Madison Square Garden, including the New York Knicks, Rangers, Liberty, MSG Media, MSG Entertainment and Fuse “to make dreams come true for kids facing obstacles.” The Garden of Dreams Hero engages in personal, sustained support of, or involvement in organizations and activities that directly enhance the lives of children and their families, while serving as a driving force and inspiration for others.
Agassi, an eight-time Grand Slam champion, has been as dedicated off the court working with children as he was winning tournaments on the court. In 1994, he founded the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, which is devoted to transforming public education in the United States through its school in Las Vegas and by influencing state and national policy. In 1997, he established the Andre Agassi Boys & Girls Club in Las Vegas, which supports 2,000 children throughout the year and boasts a world class junior tennis team and basketball program. In 2001, Agassi opened the Andre Agassi College Preparatory Academy, a tuition-free public charter school in Las Vegas’ most at-risk neighborhood. In 2009 and 2010, the school graduated a 100 percent acceptance rate for higher education. The school currently enrolls approximately 650 pupils K-12.
“Making a difference in the lives of children is something we are passionate about, and Andre’s unwavering dedication to children through education, sports and community outreach makes him a legend on and off the court,” said Hank Ratner, pPresident and chief executive officer of Madison Square Garden and chairman of the board for the Garden of Dreams Foundation. “Andre’s commitment to children has made a difference in thousands of lives and his work epitomizes what Garden of Dreams stands for, which is to make dreams come true for children facing obstacles. We are proud to honor him with the 2011 Garden of Dreams Hero Award.”
Since its inception in 2006, Garden of Dreams has worked tirelessly to fulfill its mission by creating unique and unforgettable events and activities—often involving unprecedented access to MSG celebrities and athletes at Madison Square Garden, Radio City Music Hall, the MSG Training Center, Fuse and the Beacon Theatre—for more than 165,000 tri-state area children. Over 145,000 tickets have been donated to organizations served by Garden of Dreams and more than 1,800 special events have been designed for children and families.
Garden of Dreams strives to be heroic, inspirational and unforgettable—all attributes of the children the Foundation has had the privilege to meet over the course of its history. Partnering with a diverse collection of outstanding children’s related organizations—from hospitals, to foster organizations, to homeless shelters and “wish” organizations, the Garden of Dreams Foundation has a singular goal each and every day—to utilize the power and magic of Madison Square Garden and its properties to bring joy and happiness to children facing devastating problems—whether they relate to illness, homelessness, poverty, foster care issues or tragedy.
For more information, visit www.GardenofDreamsFoundation.org.