The WTA and WTA Charities will make a memorial donation to the Concussion Legacy Foundation, which works to help athletes who have endured concussions in their professional career.
The CLF’s efforts ring especially poignant to American player Allie Kiick, who recently lost her father Jim, a former running back for the Miami Dolphins.
“The support my family and I have received has been truly overwhelming,” Kiick said. “I never imagined that my dad had touched so many lives in such a positive way. It’s heartwarming hearing from friends, former teammates, family as well complete strangers, listening and reading their stories about my dad has been so incredible.
“My dad had the biggest heart in the world and receiving this support from so many people has meant the world to me and my family.”
Kiick’s father suffered from dementia in his later life, and ultimately passed away at the end of June, aged 73. Kiick launched a fundraiser on Facebook, both in memory of her father and also in support of a cause dear to their family and her coach, former WTA Doubles No.1 Lisa Raymond.
“My dad had the biggest heart in the world, and we know he would have wanted his brain donated to help stop this awful disease. The CLF has been just amazing, helping to bring awareness to finding a cure.
“We plan on continuing to donate long after the fundraiser is over. Lisa and I have decided to contribute a portion of our tournament’s prize money to CTE research and the Concussion Legacy Foundation. This fundraiser is just the beginning for us and for my dad legacy.”
The support from her WTA family has seen donations swell from their initial goal to well over $21,000 and counting.
“We are so grateful to WTA Charities for their donation and helping us to raise awareness for such an important cause so near and dear to our hearts. Lisa reached out to many of her friends in and out of the tennis community. People like Chris Evert donate among many others become part of my dad’s story, and that is just amazing.”