Help Fill the Food Bank on Saturday

August 12, 2013 11:36 AM
The Winston-Salem Open will be holding its ultra-successful "Fill the Food Bank" drive again this year.

All fans bringing at least three cans or non-perishable food items to the first day of qualifying on Saturday, Aug. 17 will receive free admission for the entire day.

Contributions will go to the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina, as they have in each of the first two years.

Tournament coordinator Teresa Braeckel said that the food drive is one of the tournament’s most-important charitable causes, and she was overwhelmed by the big turnout and donations last year.

"We are a proud sponsor of the Second Harvest Food Bank of North Carolina and we are so appreciative of the fans’ contributions in making this drive a success," Braeckel said. "The Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina is a member of Feeding America, which is the nation’s largest domestic hunger relief charity. Locally the Food Bank serves more than 300,000 people in need of food assistance each year, including 100,000 children.

"Obviously we want this to be a huge success again this year and that’s why we are giving fans free admission for the first Saturday when they bring at least three canned goods. We look forward to seeing everyone help kick off what is going to be a great tournament."

Saturday qualifying has provided great matches and has spawned players that would go on to further success later in each of the first two Winston-Salem Opens. In the inaugural 2011 tournament, Julien Benneteau advanced through qualifying and then went all the way to the tournament finals, where he eventually lost to John Isner. Others who have played qualifying matches in the first two years include Kei Nishikori in 2011, and Jack Sock, Jerzy Janowicz and Ernests Gulbis last year.