Elton John World News: A Look at The Roddick Foundation Benefit

A Look at The Roddick Foundation Benefit-- Posted by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tuesday 16 October 2007 @ 17:13 - GMT

The Andy Roddick Foundations 3rd Annual Charity Gala in Austin, Texas was a smashing success.

It still isn't known precisely how much was raised, but Andy was impressed by the generosity displayed by the attendees.

His Web site, www.andyroddick.com has some photos from the event, including two with Elton.

It also includes his speech at the event, reproduced below. Towards the end, he expresses his gratitude towards the vocalist. . . .

If you need to go to the bathroom, thats too bad because Im about to give the longest speech of my life. My name is Andrew Stephen Roddick, I was born in Omaha Nebraska August 30th, 1982 and moved to Austin shortly there after. I am the youngest of three brothers and enjoy long walks on the beach and poetry readings.guys, Im just kidding, it aint gonna be that long.In all seriousness, I want to thank all of you for being here. We have an amazing turnout for what is going to be an extraordinary night.

When I sat down to write this speech, I wanted to explain the mission of the Andy Roddick Foundation. To Help Children Today For Tomorrow what does this mean? It means we want to assist in changing the future for kids. We want to affect the course of their lives in a positive way. We want to afford opportunities to children who are not fortunate enough to be born with them. How is this done? Its done by associating ourselves with best childrens charities in our community. I would like to share a little bit of information about each of these organisations.

The Settlement home is making sure young girls get the best treatment for mental and physical abuse. It is imperative to break the cycle of abuse. Thanks to the Settlement Home for not only helping break that cycle, but giving these girls hope for a normal and successful life. In addition to treatment they provide homes, schooling and when needed, foster families.

Proceeds from this event will also be used to support Austin partners in education and the Dell Techknow program which assists all 18 middle schools in the Austin ISD. Helping children understand computers at an early age is a must in education and I applaud the Austin Partners in Education and Dell for understanding this need and acting on it.

In east Austin where a lack of opportunity has traditionally impeded the path to college, KIPP Austin College Preparatory has repeatedly made the dream of a better education a reality. As a result of KIPPs efforts, the participating children are 67 percent more likely to attend university than their counterparts. That means that these children are 67 percent more likely to have a higher education than I do! KIPP stands for the Knowledge is Power Program, and we couldnt agree more.

The Dell Childrens Medical Center of Central Texas serves 46 counties and treats all children regardless of their familys financial situations. I am going to repeat that. Sick children receive free health care. Upon its completion later this year, the 480,000 square foot facility will be three times larger than the current hospital.

Thank you to all these organis'ations, we are proud to call you our partners in helping children today for tomorrow.

I am truly humbled by some of the people in attendance tonight, not only for their excellence in their respective fields but the causes they stand for

Steve Lawler. He does everything. The lighting, the stage, the sound, everything. And he does it for free. People like Steve allow us to put more proceeds into the charities we benefit. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

I dont think you with find a shortage of people who will tell you that Mia Hamm is the best female soccer player of all time, I will go one further; she is one of the best athletes ever, man or woman. Thank you for being here and donating your time to our auction.

Boyd Tinsley is the violinist for the Dave Matthews Band. On top of being part of one of the biggest bands in the world, he is also one of the most genuine people I have ever met, over the last four years, he has been one of our foundation's biggest supporters, both with his time and his financial support. Boyd, I am a better person for having known you the last four years, I love you and thanks for being here again! Now all we have to do is convince the Dave Matthews Band to play, you know Boyd, we are still looking for a musical act for next years event.

Some of you around here may have heard of Lance Armstrong. I am not articulate enough to even come close to expressing the amount of respect I have for Lance and his dedication to the battle against cancer. There are a lot of athletes who are great at what they do, there are few athletes like Arthur Ashe, Muhammad Ali, Billie Jean King, Andre Agassi and lance Armstrong, whose legacies will be defined away from the arena of competition. Thank you for being one of my idols and an inspiration for so many.

One of the biggest reasons why we are able to put this on every year is the help of Sandy Senter. I am positive about ninety percent of you either learned about us or got tables for this event from Sandy Senter. Sandy, I will always be appreciative of your support both personally and professionally. You are truly one of a kind.

Also a special thanks Sheri Krause, Lexus, Ro Parra, Lacoste, SAP, and especially all of our Andy Roddick Foundation staff who work tirelessly throughout the year. A big thank you to Graham and Dillon. My mom and dad send their love but regretfully could not be here tonight.

Tomorrow starts now. It starts tonight, we are beyond fortunate to have someone like sir Elton john care about our cause to help children locally in Austin. Its incredible that he manages to find time in his crazy schedule to come and play for us for free. You would be amazed the amount of performers who ask first, what is in it for me. Eltons first response is always how can I help. That attitude does not end with the Andy Roddick Foundation.

The Elton John Aids Foundation has raised over 125 million dollars to support worthy programs in 55 countries around the globe since its inception in 1992. I would like to take a moment to make everyone realise that ridiculousness of what is about to take place. You are about to see Elton John perform in a room of 750 people right here, at Austins Hilton. If I could choose any person to help us raise money, it would be Elton John. That is how lucky the Andy Roddick Foundation is to have Elton John with us tonight. Thank you Elton from the bottom of my heart. I will be forever grateful and humbled by the help and support you have given our foundation.

Yall are not luckybecause Im not done talking yet. But Im close. The majority of us in here myself included have been blessed with amazing opportunities in our lives. It is absolutely our social responsibility to give others a chance as well.

Share this News