For the second year in a row, the Connecticut Open teamed with Soles4Souls and American tennis star Sloane Stephens to help fight poverty. Throughout the 2017 tournament, fans, players and partners donated used shoes to help support Soles4Souls’ global efforts, resulting in 915 pounds of shoes collected – nearly doubling last year’s total.
US Open champion Sloane Stephens is a Soles4Souls ambassador and kicked off the Connecticut Open’s collection efforts this spring during a Free Tennis Lesson for 350 New Haven third graders. Soles4Souls is a non-profit social enterprise that creates sustainable jobs and provides relief through the distribution of shoes and clothing around the world. The Connecticut Open placed shoe collection points statewide, in the player locker rooms and at the main entrance of the tournament for fans and players to donate. The Connecticut State Employees’ Campaign (CSEC), Family Classic participants and New Canaan Moms also donated a significant amount of the shoes collected.
“I’m ecstatic over the number of shoes that we collected this year,” said Anne Worcester, tournament director, Connecticut Open presented by United Technologies. “The players, our fans and tournament partners rallied to support this cause and make a difference to those in need. Having Sloane Stephens champion Soles4Souls during the tournament was a huge help that created more awareness and increased donations. I am proud of the work we do to support important causes like this throughout our community.”
“Since Soles4Souls began in 2006, we have distributed more than 30 million pairs of shoes to 127 countries and all 50 states,” said Buddy Teaster, President and CEO of Soles4Souls. “We are so grateful for Sloane Stephens’ support and want to thank the Connecticut Open fans, partners and players for donating over 900 pounds of shoes. Together we can bring relief to those in need.”