Exciting Tennis Action at the 7th Annual Gootter Grand Slam

Published Date: 
Wednesday, March 14, 2012 - 3:24pm
The 7th Annual Gootter Grand Slam weekend will take place on March 24 and 25, 2012. The annual two-day event has raised more than $1.5 million to endow the Steven M. Gootter Research Chair for the Prevention and Treatment of Sudden Cardiac Death at the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center.  Since 2010, the Foundation also has donated life-saving automated external defibrillators (AEDs) to southern Arizona public and private high schools and other public places including the Boys and Girls Clubs, The Museum of Contemporary Art and the Tucson Children’s Museum.  To date, more than 40 AEDs have been placed, with training provided by the UA Sarver Heart Center.
 
Gulshan and Neelam SethiThe two-day Gootter Grand Slam, begins with a gala dinner at Skyline Country Club. This year’s honorees are Dr. Gulshan and Neelam Sethi, one of Tucson’s most philanthropic couples, whose generous support includes the Gootter Foundation. Dr. Sethi is a professor of surgery, cardiothoracic section, at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. The evening will feature dinner, live auction and musical entertainment by Genvieve and the LPs.  Tickets are $150 per person and can be purchased on the website at http://www.gootter.org or by calling 520-615-6430.
 
The Gootter Grand Slam tennis event, begins at Reffkin Tennis Center on Sunday, March 25 at 8:30 a.m., when the health fair opens, followed by the doubles tournament featuring local-player action at 9 a.m. At noon, the focus shifts to center court for an exciting pro-celebrity challenge match featuring tennis great Murphy Jenson, Mikael Pernfors, and UA football coach Rich Rodriguez. Former top-10 ranked Mikael Pernfors returns to the Gootter Grand Slam with his crowd-pleasing game and array of trick serves and volleys. After winning the 1993 French Open with his brother Luke, the Jensen brothers became the most popular doubles team in the history of the game. Murphy Jensen has most recently been the host of two Tennis Channel favorites, "Open Access" and "Murphy's Guide." Murphy dedicates much time and effort participating in charity tennis tournaments and special events around the country.
 
Coach Rich Rodriguez, recently hired as the head football coach for the University of Arizona, begins his first season here this fall. He was formerly head football coach for the University of Michigan as well as for the University of West Virginia.  The pro-singles exhibition match rounds out the action at 1:30 p.m.
 
Other attractions throughout the day at the tennis center will include a health and wellness fair, food and drink and live music, concluding with the awards presentations at 2:45 p.m.  Limited player spots are available in the doubles tournament at $75 per person. Tickets to the events are $25 for adults; $10 for teens or $50 for a family of four (two adults, two teens) and include admission to all tennis action, and the health and wellness fair, food and drink and live entertainment. Kids 12 and under are free.
 
Tickets for all events can be purchased at the Reffkin Tennis Center Pro Shop and the Racquet Shack or by calling 520-615-6430. For more information on the Gootter Foundation and Sudden Cardiac Death visit:  www.gootter.org
 
 The Steven M. Gootter Foundation was formed by the friends and family of Steve Gootter, a vibrant, athletic 42-year-old father of two who lost his life to sudden cardiac death on Feb. 10, 2005, and is dedicated to the mission of defeating sudden cardiac death (SCD), the leading cause of death in the United States.  To achieve this mission, the Foundation has partnered with the University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center to fund scientific research into the causes and prevention of sudden cardiac death. The Foundation works to increase awareness of the disease among those who may be at risk, and it fosters education about SCD among health care professionals and the general public. For more information on Sudden Cardiac Death and the Steven M. Gootter Foundation, visit the website at http://www.gootter.org or call Claudine Messing at (520) 615-6430.
 
The University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center in Tucson, Ariz., emphasizes a highly interdisciplinary research environment fostering innovative translational or “bench-to-bedside” research. Working toward a future free of cardiovascular disease and stroke, the center’s more than 175 scientist and physician members collaborate with the goal of applying new findings from the basic sciences to the clinical arena as quickly as possible.