benefitting's Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation & USTA-Nevada

TAO Asian Bistro and Nightclub presented the annual "Tony Bennett Big Heart Awards" which included an intimate dinner & private concert with Tony Bennett & celebrity guests benefitting's Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation & USTA-Nevada.

"Tony Bennett is not only a tremendous entertainer but has used his talents to reach out and help so many people," explained his close friend and foundation co-founder Marty Hennessy. "He has helped take our foundation to a whole new level."

Produced by Clint Holmes the Entertainment included Rita Rudner, Clint Holmes, Mosaic (MTV band of the year), Primrose Martin , Cayleigh Capaldi, Ellie Smith (lead in Annie and Secret Garden) and former Sinatra pianist Vinnie Falcone with the Chairman of the Board himself, Tony Bennett.

The event was filled with many dignitaries, celebrities and special guests including tennis legend Mike Agassi, Former Hilton CEO Rudy Prieto, Venetian President Robert Goldstein, Stratosphere CEO Frank Riolo, and Hilton Entertainment Director Rick White,

"It is great what they are doing to help children," said Mike Agassi. "Las Vegas would have benefitted a lot if this was around when Andre was young."

The foundation inspires at risk youth through mentoring, tennis and education. To date the foundation has reached 500 children and helped groom 19 children in their leadership program to get college scholarships for tennis. The "Leadership program" includes a travel team, life skills course, programs for Tutoring, Chinese classes, beginner and High Performance Tennis Training, Leadership Breakfasts, Tournaments, Positive Social Life events, Nutrition counseling, Drug & Alcohol Prevention, College Seminars, SAT Prep, Internships, a Book Club, Leadership Training, Passion Identification, and a city wide annual awards banquet, college scholarship seminar, jr. elite league. They also partner with the Wolfington family who sponsors an East Coast Leadership tour of colleges, tennis clubs and historical sites for 2 weeks each summer.

The evening helped raise close to $160,000 thanks to silent and live auctions and event sponsors. The Foundation is donating a portion of those proceeds to USTA-Nevada.

"I am grateful to's Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Foundation for doing so much to help children in Southern Nevada,? said USTA-Nevada's Executive Director Ryan Wolfington. "Donating $10,000 to USTA-Nevada is just one of the many ways they sponsor and support our programs all year long."

The event honorees included Tony Bennett Big Heart Award winners Jeffrey and Rashae Taylor, Tony Bennett Media Excellence Award winner Michael Flaherty (President and Founder of Walden Media and Producer of Chronicles of Narnia), Mike Agassi "NO QUIT" Award winner Sandy White, and "RUDY" Award winner Edgardo Ureta (Edgardo is one of the foundation children now on scholarship at University of Hartford.)

Special celebrity guests that walked the red carpet included Tony Bennett, Antonia Bennett, Rita Rudner, Clint Holmes, Mosaic, Dominic Allen, Ellie Smith, Latin heart throb Eduardo Verastegui (Chasing Papi, Bella), Former Miss America and actress Ali Landry, Rudy Ruettiger the real Rudy from the blockbuster film, Jersey Boys, Phantom of the Opera's Kristen Hertzenberg and Award winning Film Director Alejandro Monteverde (Bella).

Special guests included Mike and Christine Querrey whose son Sam Querrey is top 25 in the world, professional WTA player Asia Muhammad, USTA-Nevada board members; President Tim Blenkiron, Treasurer Claire Roth and Director Rea Melanson, USTA-Intermountain Board member Andrew Valdez and his wife Joyce. City Councilman Stavros Anthony and his wife and City of Las Vegas's Sandy Foley.

Developer Bob Schulman, Philanthropist and co-chair Winnie Schulman, Tony Gandour of HARRY WINSTON, Dr. David Lanzkowsky, Vegas Magazine Editor Kate Bennett, Luxury Las Vegas Magazine publisher Tanja Brennan, Martin Bergman, Laurie Steed owner of Granello Bakery, Jason Straus managing partner of TAO, Jay Stein part owner of San Diego Padres, Dr. & Mrs. Heard, and advisory board members Stan and Cheryl Tomchin, Ravi Tumber, Bob and Regina Raephelson, Diane and Gerry Wendel, Marc Kreisberger, Neil Tomlinson, Helen and Chip Johnson, Neil Chambers and Lily & Aaron Chu.

Chairing the event for the third time was local philanthropist, Winnie Schulman and the foundation’s new Executive Director, Hilliary Heard.

"We owe a lot to our Co-Chair Winnie Schulman, the event sponsors and guests who make our mission to inspire children possible," explained Hilliary Heard the Foundations Executive Director. "I am lucky to be able to watch their investment grow as these children find happiness and gain confidence."

Media sponsors include VEGAS Magazine, Luxury Magazine of Las Vegas, The Sun, and Inside Tennis Magazine. The event was made possible by our main sponsors including Las Vegas Hilton, Marriott, Taylor Family Foundation, Winnie and Bob Schulman, Pacific Edge Resort Laguna Beach, Anna & Sean Wolfington Foundation,, Level 5 & Tier 10, The Stirling Club, DARTFISH , Tomchin Family Foundation, Sea Colony Tennis Resort , Carol & Harry Wolfington Family, Club Sport Green Valley, La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club, VEGAS Magazine, Steven L. Braun, Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, The McTigue Financial Group, Evan Glusman and Pieros, Mike Agassi, Four Seasons, Montecito Companies, Bollettieri Tennis Academy, Amelia Island Resort and Tennis Club, Venetian Resort, Phantom of the Opera, Montage Resorts Dana Point, Clint Holmes, Kelly Clinton Band, Vinnie Falcone, PGA Tour, HELIUSA Tours, Neiman Marcus, Red Velvet Cafe, Tim Blenkiron, Asia Muhammad,, Massage Advantage, Saks Fifth Avenue, Sawyer Cellars, Shriners Hospitals, Harvest Bread Company, Steve Bellamy, Ski Channel, Palisades Tennis Center, Yves Saint Laurent, Jewelry, Harry and David, YSL, Atalon Group, Weil Academy, Hilton Tennis Academy, Lorenzi Raquet Club, Marty Hennessy Jr. Tennis Camp, Julius Kazen.

The events dinner committee included Tony & Susan Bennett, Rita Rudner , Mike Agassi, Marty Hennessy, Ryan Wolfington, Sig and Lori Rogich, Steve Braun, Ron and Jess Santella, Clint Holmes, Kelly Clinton, Vinnie Falcone, Jason Strauss, Regina Raphaelson, Sean & Anna Wolfington, Carol & Harry Wolfington, Diane and Gerry Wendel, Dr. & Mrs. William Heard , Roy Sklarin & John Yarborough, Mr. & Mrs. Rick Smith, Lily Chu, Dillon Berkabille, Troy and Tawnie Werline, Tony Ghandour, Neil Tomlinson, , Kathleen Gustafson, Michelle Mikkelson, Dr. Jeff & Lisa Parker, Irene Frasier, Mike Bellon, Glen Alex, Elizabeth Conley, Patrick Kawka, John Pauli and Sarah Lucas. More information on the event and organizations it benefitted at, and

Tony, Mr and Mrs Flaherty
Annette, Sylvia, Mr and Mrs Querrey
Clint Homes, Mr and Mrs Goldstein
Jersey Boys
MTV Band of the Year Mosaic
Raphaelson Family and Bella Cast
Hilton Lake Las Vegas Resort and Spa
Tennis Warehouse

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