NSSRA Named Charitable Recipient of Long-Running Nielsen USTA Pro Tennis Championship

L-R: NSSRA staff Daniel Freres (Winnetka), Gator Athletes Josh Devries (Deerfield) and Stefan Xidas (Wilmette) and Pat Fragassi, Manager of Winnetka Park District’s Nielsen Tennis Center, prior to last year’s tennis exhibition. Fragassi has been coaching Gator Tennis with NSSRA for over 15 years.

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Northbrook, IL – July 6, 2018 – Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) again is the charitable recipient for the Nielsen USTA Pro Tennis Championship ‪July 7 – July 14, held in Winnetka. The $75,000 Men’s Challenger tournament is a one of a kind event attracting some of the finest tennis players in the world and drawing‬‬‬‬‬ international attention. Net proceeds benefit NSSRA, and in the last 11 years the tournament has donated over $175,000 for programs and services benefiting people with disabilities. ‬‬‬‬‬‬

NSSRA, founded in 1970, serves approximately 1,600 children, teens and adults with disabilities living in its partner communities throughout the northern suburbs. In addition to its Special Olympics Gator Tennis program, NSSRA has nearly 500 recreation, sport, cultural and social offerings available during the day, after school, in the evenings and on weekends, creating new experiences, opportunities for leisure time, skill development and perhaps most importantly, friendship. NSSRA’s Gator Athletics/Special Olympics programs span 10 sports with nearly 100 athletes.

“For over twenty years the Nielsen/USTA tournament has chosen to support NSSRA” said NSSRA Executive Director Craig Culp. He continued, “It’s a great event benefiting a great agency. Come on out next week, have a blast watching top-notch professional tennis and join the community in supporting NSSRA. It really is the perfect match.”

In what has become an annual tradition, NSSRA participant Stefan Xidas of Wilmette will perform in a tennis exhibition on Monday, July 9. Afterwards, Stefan will join fellow participant Sam Green of Winnetka to sing the National Anthem to open the evening’s play. They will also be accompanied by other NSSRA Gator Tennis athletes.

Qualifying matches begin Saturday, July 7, and qualifier finals are ‪on Monday, July 9.‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬ All matches will be held outdoors at the A.C. Nielsen Tennis Center (530 Hibbard Rd., Winnetka). For more information or tickets, visit www.nielsenprotennis.org.


NSSRA provides and facilitates year-round recreation programs and services for children, teens and adults with disabilities who live in the partner communities. NSSRA is an extension of ten park districts, two cities and one village in the northern suburbs of Chicago. This partnership includes the Park Districts of Deerfield, Glencoe, Glenview, Highland Park, Kenilworth, Lake Bluff, Northbrook, Northfield, Wilmette and Winnetka; the Cities of Highwood and Lake Forest; and the Village of Riverwoods. NSSRA has been creating an environment of belonging through play since 1970, and has the distinction as the first Special Recreation Association in the country. For more information about NSSRA and the programs and services they provide visit www.nssra.org.

With approximately 90 tournaments hosted annually throughout the country and prize money ranging from $10,000 to $100,000, the USTA Pro Circuit is the pathway to the US Open and tour-level competition for aspiring tennis players and a frequent battleground for established professionals. The USTA Pro Circuit provides players with the opportunity to gain professional ranking points, and it has since grown to become the largest developmental tennis circuit in the world, offering nearly $3 million in prize money. Mardy Fish, Maria Sharapova, John Isner, Caroline Wozniacki, Sam Querrey, Victoria Azarenka and Andy Murray are among today’s top stars who began their careers on the USTA Pro Circuit. For more information, visit www.nielsenprotennis.org.

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