[Nassau, Bahamas] A fabulous time was had by all as the weekend’s activities drew to a close on Saturday afternoon, December 5th at the National Tennis Centre.
The 3 day Invitational started off with a wonderful Cocktail Buffet Party hosted by the Balmoral Club on 3rd December. The developers, Jason Kinsale and Raimond Zeilstra, staged a spectacular buffet and cocktail party which was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The Calcutta auction of the teams playing in the ProAm on Friday, 4th December was heartily supported by many tennis fans, including Sarkis and Katie Izmirlian, Pippa and Peter Vlasov, Mark Holowesko, Laurent Colli, Christian Coquoz and Antonia Meade.
The results of the ProAm on December 4th at the Atlantis Tennis Center were as follows:
Winner of the Pro/Am: Mark Knowles & Thierry Matthey
Runner-up: Olga Savchuk & Juan Bacardi
Semi-finalists: Jared Palmer & Glenn Blumberg
Robert Kendrick & Alex Pier
Consolation Pro/Am Winners:
Winner: Martin Damm & Daron Roberts
Runner-up: Dean Goldfine & John Mallinger
Semi-finalists: Anna-Lena Groenefeld & Brendan Dunn
Marvin Rolle & Vince Menard
On Friday evening, the Ministry of Tourism hosted a dinner at the Fathoms Restaurant, Atlantis, with the cocktail party being sponsored by Lombard Odier.
Both the Ministry of Tourism and Atlantis Resort and Casino pledged their continuing support to this event.
Mrs. Vernice Walkine, Director General of the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, in her welcome speech emphasized the wonderful contribution that Mark makes to The Bahamas every day that he is out there on a Professional Tennis Tour giving The Bahamas free advertising with every match he plays. She said that to then come back and host his fellow pros at the Atlantis, further establishes The Bahamas as the premier vacation experience.
Mr. J. Barrie Farrington, Vice-President, Atlantis, said that having known Mark since he was a toddler, he has taken great pride in his achievements. He said that Mark has risen to the top echelon of the tennis world and sets a wonderful example to all Bahamians. Atlantis will continue to support him in his event which showcases such world class athletes and exposes them to the Bahamas Atlantis experience. A great side benefit of the Invitational is the amount of money that it continues to raise for childrens’ charities.
Mr. Laurent Colli of Lombard Odier reiterated their appreciation of the event and lent special thanks to the touring professionals who competed in the event and were kind enough to be so gracious to the other competitors. He said that they made the event the success that it was.
Mr. R.E. Barnes, representing one of the charities – the Sassoon Heart Foundation – expounded that Mark’s donations have contributed to saving several youngsters’ lives and the impact of this cannot be over stated. He quoted a couple of specific examples which touched the audience and drew tears to the eyes of several people.
RESULTS of the EXHIBITION at National Tennis Centre on 5th of December:
Mark Knowles & Anna-Lena Groenefeld beat Martin Damm & Olga Savchuk 5-4
Benjamin Becker beat Robert Kendrick 5-4
Mark Knowles & Martin Damm beat Donald Johnson & Jared Palmer 5-4
All matches were extremely closely contested as can be evidenced by the scores and provided great excitement with the wide variety of shot-making displayed.
At the closing out the event, some of the top junior players had the opportunity to hit with the Pros and afterward obtained autographs and photos with them. This proved to be the highlight of the afternoon for the some 50 children involved.
Organizers of the Mark Knowles Celebrity Invitational wish to thank the following: Atlantis, Lombard Odier Darier Hentsch, Pictet Bank & Trust, Ministry of Tourism, The Balmoral, Serenity Point Abaco, TheBahamasWeekly.com, Ministry of Youth, Sports & Culture, American Airlines, Kerry Gold, Everkey Global, Fiji Water, Kelly’s Home Center, HG Christie Real Estate, Mark Holowesko, Sean Farrington, Odyssey Aviation, Mark Da Cunha Photography, and Ashley Henderson Photography.