Highest and Oldest Honor for Community Service in the Country
Washington Kastles owner Mark Ein received the nation's highest honor for community service on June 19, winning the 2013 Jefferson Award for his contributions to the District of Columbia and surrounding communities.
The three-time World TeamTennis champion Kastles were recognized for their positive impact on the Mid-Atlantic region, including donations of nearly $1 million in cash, grants, tickets and tennis equipment to more than 100 youth and military charities over the last five years.
Ein joins a "Who's Who" of sports figures to receive the Jefferson Award for Outstanding Service in Professional Sports: Hall of Fame NFL quarterback Jim Kelly, Hall of Fame NHL player Pat LaFontaine, former Philadelphia Eagle and NFL executive Troy Vincent, and NFL Pro Bowlers Peyton Manning, Irving Fryar, Ronnie Lott and Warrick Dunn.
Co-founded in 1972 by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the Jefferson Awards are widely-regarded as the "Nobel Prize of Public Service." Twenty exceptional men and women were honored in various categories during Wednesday's ceremony, including Ein; author, professor and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel; U.S. Senators Tom Coburn and Pat Leahy; and labor rights activist Dolores Huerta.
While Ein's Kastles have won 32 straight tennis matches, that number pales in comparison to the victories that the Kastles are achieving in the D.C. community.
Since their inaugural 2008 season, the Kastles have donated nearly 5,000 tennis racquets to youth in the region and 8,000 tickets to a wide range of charitable organizations, including the Washington Tennis and Education Foundation, Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, and Mid-Atlantic Tennis and Education Foundation. In addition, Kastles "Kids Clinics" held during the WTT season have afforded thousands of children the opportunity to hit with tennis superstars such as Serena and Venus Williams.
For more information about the Jefferson Awards, please visit www.JeffersonAwards.org.
Follow the Kastles' 2013 tennis season at www.washingtonkastles.com.