It’s a tradition of sorts. Professional tennis tournaments choose a charity to be part of their tournament and Operation Underground Railroad is honored to be chosen as the charity for the first Carlsbad Classic to be held in Carlsbad, California this November.
The choice was an easy one for Tournament Director, Ben Goldsmith. “I knew I didn’t want to do the same charity that every other tournament does. I watched O.U.R.’s video and I was impressed. I thought it must be hard to raise money to fight child sex-trafficking because it’s a dirty, evil situation that most companies want to stay away from, but these children need our help.”
That “dirty situation” turned out to be a bit of a risk for Goldsmith. “You have to choose your battles and I decided this was a good one to choose. I’m passionate about O.U.R.’s mission. I absolutely love the charity. Child trafficking is a huge problem in San Diego and something must be done.”
In fact, some of O.U.R. Founder Tim Ballard’s first rescue missions were on the San Diego border when he was still working for Homeland Security. It was there that he realized leaving behind government bureaucracy and forming a non-profit organization could save many more children and thus O.U.R. was born. “Child sex trafficking is certainly a dirty business but these children deserve to be rescued and we greatly appreciate Ben Goldsmith helping us get the word out,” said Ballard.
The Carlsbad Classic is helping O.U.R. in several different ways throughout the tournament. “We’re having a players’ gala, where the sponsors and certain ticket holders will be able to mingle with the players over dinner and a concert. A charity auction will be held to benefit O.U.R.,” said Goldsmith.
“We’re also donating the whole use of the facility on Saturday night for a concert for O.U.R. We’ll use our volunteers and our staff, and everything that’s raised that night will go back to the charity. O.U.R. will have a booth on site during the event to talk with the thousand of guests that are coming to the tennis tournament to tell them about O.U.R.”
The Carlsbad Classic is being very generous to Operation Underground Railroad. The exposure alone will introduce O.U.R. to a whole new venue of potential supporters and donors world wide. “We feel very grateful that the Carlsbad Classic would select O.U.R. as their charity of choice,” said O.U.R. Founder and CEO Tim Ballard. “We know there are good people out there that have no idea what is happening to these children and we appreciate the opportunity to let them get involved.”
The tournament will be held at the Park Hyatt Aviara Resort in Carlsbad, California November 21-29 with Top WTA players as well as up and coming talent as part of the new 125k Series. Over forty thousand spectators are expected to attend.