Israeli Davis Cup Team Wins More Than Just a Match Against Portugal Thanks to the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation

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Israeli Davis Cup Team dedicates win over Portugal to both former POW Gilad Shalit and a young cancer patient, noted the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation.

Israeli Davis Cup Team dedicated its win over Portugal to former POW Gilad Shalit

The Israeli Davis Cup BNP Paribas team has once again qualified for the World Group Playoffs by defeating Portugal. According to Alan Goldner, President of the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation, "in the process of their win over Portugal, they inspired an entire nation with their play and their commitment to helping others."

The Israeli team dedicated these important matches to Gilad Shalit, a 25 years old Israeli Defense Forces soldier who was captured by Hamas terrorists in 2006 and held captive for over five years until his release in October 2011. Andy Ram, of the Israeli Davis Cup BNP Paribas team welcomed Gilad publically saying, “Gilad, it's so great that you are with us. We are very excited and we feel that you are a part of our team." This moving tribute brought tears to the eyes of everyone in the stadium and furthered the resolve of the team to win the match for themselves, their team and their country.

The Israeli team also welcomed Yehonatan Meiri as a special guest to the matches. Yehonatan is a young tennis player from the Ramat Hasharon Israel Tennis Center and is undergoing treatment for Leukemia. A few months ago the Israel Tennis Center organized a visit from Andy Ram and Yoni Erlich from the Davis Cup BNP Paribas team, to try and lift the nine-year-old's spirits. They visited Yehonatan in the hospital, gave him a T-shirt signed by all the Davis Cup team members and invited him to watch their match against Portugal. Yehonatan was so excited at the prospect of seeing his heroes on the court that it gave him the strength to continue his treatments.

According to, CEO, Danny Gelley, "When it comes to sports, success has always been a national mission and Israel's athletes are constantly making Israelis, as well as Jewish communities abroad, proud of their heritage. Dedicating the matches to Gilad Shalit, making a dream come true for Yehonatan, a young boy battling cancer, or even donating their hard earned money to help the next generation of players are only some examples of why the Israel Tennis Centers Foundation along with the whole of Israel are so proud of their champions."

The Israel Tennis Centers Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 non profit organization that has worked for over 35 years to enhance the social, psychological, and physical development of Israeli youth through the medium of sport. Most of ITC Centers are located in disadvantaged neighborhoods or outlying development towns throughout Israel, from Kiryat Shmona on the Lebanese border in the North to Beer Sheva bordering the Negev Desert in the South.

David W. Lippy (614) 939-1533 or cell (614) 554-9235

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David W. Lippy