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By Ryan Wolfington
I just witnessed the best entertainment experience of my life. The Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children musicians were all incredible, top-notch performers and the entertainment all of a sudden took on such meaning once Andre Agassi opened up his soul for everyone to see. It was an intimate bonding experience where we got a glance how Agassi is touching the lives of children, one now at West point, so confident and well spoken, another at Occidental standing tall, all giving speeches like the leaders of tomorrow, thanking the sold out crowd in awe.

The Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children, produced by David Foster, somehow intertwined the Foundation, its Agassi Prep school and Andre Agassi Boys and Girls Club program, together meshing their accomplishments in the last 15 years in a musical and verbal tale that moved you to love humanity.

If a man's heart could fill up a ballroom, then explode in joy, empathy and appreciation that would be the only logical explanation for how Andre poured out his soul tonight.
Somehow in his passion and desire to thank so many people he was able to take the crowd to all that he has been able to witness in terms of transformed lives. In his eyes, through his tears and cracked voice you could see the school, the halls of hope and classrooms of future. Then walking onto the stage the living proof of his vision made real.

"Every child that has graduated (from Agassi Prep) the last two years has gone onto college," he beamed like a proud father. Andre talked about his father and how Kirk Kerkorian meant so much to him, how Kirk's generosity gave his father so much pride, so much safety for his family in years when times were tough. Now Andre was passing on that kindness through his friends to help others via this foundation. Andre thanked Kirk in a heart-warming speech that was so surreal for all that witnessed it.

Running from table to table like a high performance athlete, a child with enthusiasm, Andre rallied the crowd to rise to the occasion for the Engelstad Family "Sponsor Our Students" Campaign. No matter if a person sponsored one child or 50 like Steve Wynn, Andre was there to hug them, thank them and rally them behind his cause.

Rob Thomas, the famous musician, joked that if you know Andre well you know he would rather not rehash his old tennis days, but will light up like a light when you discuss how to inspire a child's life by showing them a new world.

Nothing has moved me more than one of Andre's graduates, A.J Green performing a song with lyrics that would melt an ice storm. He sang of his appreciation, hoping he made us proud and in his triumphant stature you could not help but be ecstatic that you were a part of helping a child in this way. When you thought they had reached new heights and nothing could move you more, A.J Green came back on stage at the beginning of the entertainment segment to sing "I'm changing" from the "DreamGirls" blockbuster and before you knew it, this youth was side by side with Jennifer Hudson singing the most impressive and moving duet I have ever heard.

Long time Agassi Foundation supporters Matt and Katie Levin were overwhelmed with joy, "Only through Andre would a child like AJ be singing side by side with Jennifer Hudson, this is so amazing what he is doing for these children, " Katie said. "The foundation has altered the lives of children, families, and generations to come, I am so glad we are a part of this."

No wonder Andre was able to raise over 8 million this night. People were inspired.
With Bill Cosby, The Canadian Tenors, Rob Thomas, Jason Mraz and eventually a riveting Elton John, you had the makings of the best musical concert money can buy. But add to that the heart and soul of Andre Agassi, his supporters and most of all the lives they have helped transform on stage and you have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the world being changed right in front of your eyes. This was not just a charity event, concert and show; it was a life inspiring experience, a journey into all that is good about people.

Elton John sang it best when he serenaded us to close the evening's entertainment with "Circle of Life", "And it moves us all -Through despair and hope - Through faith and love -Till we find our place -On the path unwinding In the Circle = The Circle of Life"

The Foundation has helped raise over 150 million and it's School and Boys and Girls club has a 100% success rate in getting children into college. The foundation encourages people to contact them now to reserve seats and tables for next year and to learn more about the Andre Agassi Charitable Foundation at www.agassifoundation.org

 
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