(July 9, 2013) Monday evening at the Roundhouse in London, tennis stars, celebrities and distinguished guests helped raise over $1.7 million at the Novak Djokovic Foundation’s inaugural London Gala and fundraiser event.
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic and his longtime girlfriend and the Foundation’s executive director, Jelena Ristic, were a beautiful site at the star-studded event, which included Kate Hudson, Gerard Butler, Jeremy Piven, Sir Richard Branson, Goldie Hawn, Ronnie Wood, Jonathan Ross, Princess Beatrice and Sarah Ferguson, The Duchess of York among its 300 guests.
Demonstrating the Foundation’s worldwide support from Djokovic’s international circle of friends involved in fashion, sport, music, entertainment and business, auction prizes included a money-can’t-buy yacht getaway with Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson, a signed guitar by Ronnie Wood and a seven day holiday at Sir Richard Branson’s private island, Necker, situated in the British Virgin Islands.
A game of tennis also ensued on the tennis court stage, where Boris Becker took to the umpire’s chair, Jeremy Piven did the splits with Djokovic and even Kate Hudson grabbed a tennis racquet while clad in her flowing Elie Saab dress.
UNICEF Ambassador Djokovic founded the Novak Djokovic Foundation in 2007 with a mission to support vulnerable and disadvantaged children from the lack of nutrition, education, illness or loss of family, especially in his native Serbia.
By Romi Cvitkovic
True to his word of having “days without tennis” in order to get over his loss to Andy Murray in the U.S. Open final, Novak Djokovic hosted an inaugural dinner for his Foundation in downtown Manhattan venue Capitale just two days later, and welcomed celebrities from all walks of life. (Video at bottom.)
The endless stream of celebrity arrivals included royals, business moguls, fashion designers, tennis greats and top models, including tennis commentator John McEnroe, the Duchess and Princess of York, fashion designers Donna Karan and Tommy Hilfiger, fashion editor Anna Wintour and models Anja Rubik and Karlie Kloss among dozens of others.
Novak Djokovic also caught up with tennis great John McEnroe and shared a few laughs:
Donna Karan (L) and Tommy Hilfiger enjoyed each other’s company:
Proud parents, Dijana and Srdjan Djokovic arrived looking fabulous:
John McEnroe happily greeting the smiling Djokovics during the dinner:
Founded in 2007 and inspired by his work as an ambassador for UNICEF, the Novak Djokovic Foundation seeks to help children in Serbia “have the education and resources to lead productive and healthy lives” according to the Foundation’s website. While Djokovic serves as the Founder and Honorary Chair of the Foundation, Donna Karan, Anja Rubik, producer Milutin Gatsby and business tycoon Ronald Burkle act as Chairs.
A special guest of note was motivational speaker Nick Vujicic who suffers from tetra-amelia syndrome – a rare disorder where individuals are born with no limbs. Born in Australia to Serbian immigrants, Vujicic has written a book speaking on the challenges he has overcome and encourages others to lead an active life.
The evening featured cocktails, dinner, a live auction and special performances, with Djokovic entertaining the guests with his charisma and mega-watt smile. Is there anything this man can’t do!?
Novak Djokovic entertains the crowd and, wait — is that a miniature tennis racquet he is auctioning off!? It seems that not only did he auction off a pair of his Audemars Piguet watches, but also himself!
(All photos via Getty Images)