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Stars Were Out

Wed, 22 Aug 2012|

-It was a historic year for the Family Circle Tennis Cup held in Charleston, South Carolina. The Cup celebrated its 35th anniversary by inviting back gold champions. -It was a family environment. There's great memories. -And crowning a new winner, Serena Williams. Family Circle has sponsored the Cup since it started at 1973. Back then, it was held in Hilton Head, South Carolina. That year, the Cup made history when it was the first women's tennis match televised and Rosie Casals took home the grand prize. -It was a very exciting time for me in women's tennis because, in 1973, so many things were happening. The Women's Tennis Association got established. This was the first year, Family Circle Club to come in for $100,000, $30,000 for the prize money. -Uh-huh. -And I want it. -This year, players shared the purse of $1.3 million. 64, the top female tennis players in the world entered the tournament, now hold on Daniel Island, the mixed-used community on Charleston Harbor. -We're incredibly proud to have that event here. For a while, it looked like that event might have to leave the state. We're fortunate enough to be part of an effort to keep it here in the state. -More than 90,000 people were expected to visit Daniel Island for the week-long event. -So, I used to play tennis for about 60 years. And I can't miss this. This is a wonderful thing. -There were other activities for visitors to enjoy as well like the Family Circle Model Mother-Daughter Search in partnership with Wilhelmina Models. Moms and daughters lined up for their shot at winning a $15,000 modeling contract. -And I thought it was a good chance for us to do something together. We've been looking forward to this and we enjoyed our time together when we did that modeling a long time ago. -The official charity of this year's Cup was Share Our Strength, an organization that helps end childhood hunger. -Childhood hunger is actually, in the U.S., is more an issue than people probably realize. We have 12.3 million children in this country who are facing the reality of hunger on a daily basis. -Family Circle held a silent auction featuring items like vacation packages and tennis memorabilia. Family Circle Magazine also sponsored a Great American Bake Sale on the grounds of the Tennis Center. All the goodies were donated by local bakeries with the proceeds going to Share Our Strength. -The Family Circle is all about family and food and what great way for our leaders to give back than by baking goods and selling them at bake sales and donating the proceeds to Share Our Strength. -In the end, both the players and spectators say they love coming to Charleston. -I feel very comfortable because the crowd's always being, you know, behind me. -I've always enjoyed coming here, but I would come to watch it in the rainstorm. -It was just a very family-orientated, I think, tournament. -It's such a great experience and, you know, I get to watch awesome tennis all week long.