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August 1, 2007, Las Vegas, NV
By Sarah Toti

The Wolfington Family from Newport, Rhode Island, Philadelphia, Avalon, New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and New York all banded together to support the East Coast Leadership, Tennis and Education Tour, done annually by's Marty Hennessy Junior Tennis Foundation.
"My mother and brother Sean created this trip to inspire children in our Foundation to see all the possibilities for their lives, and thanks to my brother Harry and family it has become something beyond anything I could have ever imagined," explained the Foundation's Founder and Volunteer Executive Director Ryan Wolfington." What Tony Bennett, Mike Agassi, Marty Hennessy and I created to help children get college scholarships has been taken to a whole new level by my family. Now we are setting out to inspire the leaders of tomorrow, by showing them they can do anything, and introducing them to people who already have."
Thanks to the Wolfington family's generosity the youth were given the chance to visit East coast historical sites, Universities, play tennis at different Country Clubs and attend a leadership breakfast daily. Among the leaders they got the chance to listen to and meet privately were President George Bush Sr., Senator John Ensign, Rick Santorum, Senator Ted Kennedy, Senator Lamar Alexander and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
The trip began in Newport, Rhode Island at the Renaissance Hotel thanks to Brian O'Neill and his Carnegie Abbey development and Country Club and sponsorship from Thomas Riel at Renaissance. Sponsoring the youth for the first 4 days O'Neill arranged for the players to dine overlooking the Narraganset Bay while listening to Scottish Bag pipers.
Then off to a day at the Campbell's International Tennis Hall of Fame tournament, and Pete Sampras emotional and meaningful Induction. After watching the tennis in front row seats they had the unique opportunity to meet Pete Sampras and his wife Bridgette, coach Paul Annecone, Tom Gullikson and all the Hall of Fame inductees that day. A special "collegiate luncheon" on the porch overlooking the tennis was arranged for the children in the Foundation now in college on scholarship.
Soon after, the children were taken to the Newport Polo matches and treated to dinner in Carnegie Abbey's VIP tent.
O'Neill also arranged for the youth to experience horseback riding with lessons in their equestrian center and an inspirational talk and hitting session with former ATP pro Todd Martin.
The Philadelphia Wolfingtons, including Sean and Anna Wolfington, Harry and Tonya Wolfington, Carol and Harry Wolfington, Stephany and John Zigler, Sharon Wolfington-Brown, and Lisa and Joe Corcoran, made it possible for the youth to experience 5 days of education in historical Philadelphia, including Valley Forge Park, Independence Hall, and the Constitution Center, plus play tennis on some of the oldest and most prestigious tennis courts in America at Philadelphia Country and the grass courts at Philadelphia Cricket Club.
It was here the children had the chance to meet and talk with former President George Bush Sr. who for 20 plus minutes spoke on what he considered to be the secret to life and who they most looked up to.
The children also toured University of Pennsylvania, Villanova University, St. Joseph's University and Cabrini College. Thanks to Mike Rodden and Marriott the children stayed at the 4 star Philadelphia Marriott hotel and each morning were treated to a guest speaker, which included the Founder of the Ronald McDonald House Jim Murray and numerous business leaders.
Wolfington family members included Eustace Mita, co-Founder of Penske Automotive, Matt Gillin who patented pre paid credit card technology, Film Producer Sean Wolfington, Eustace Wolfington who invented the car lease, Former MBNA senior executive Frank Mita, Entrepreneur Mark Wolfington, and Chairman of Carey International and former World Travel and Tourism Council Chair Vince Wolfington.
While in Philadelphia Rose Weinstein made it possible for the children to ball kid for and meet John McEnroe, Pete Sampras, and Billy Jean King who once again showed a special interest in the children and spoke to them at length, as did the WTT Doctor McShane.
Thanks to memory and tradition set forth by Mary Margaret Wolfington years ago to always have her family converge in Avalon New Jersey, Marci and Eustace Wolfington sponsored the children to come and spend 3 days at their beach front home. For some of the children this was the first time swimming in the ocean and getting a chance to enjoy riding waves on the beach.
Thanks to the Alicia and Vince Wolfington Family the children saw D.C. in style. Staying at the Ritz Carlton in Georgetown they were treated to an opening morning breakfast with a talk from the properties General manager who told of his going from bus boy to GM. Then Vince Wolfington shared his 4 secrets to Life, which helped him build Cary Limousine and aviation from a few locations to over 65 countries and 550 cities spanning the globe. Mr. Wolfington was also Chairman of the World Travel and Tourism Council and used his relationships in D.C. to give these children the best D.C. Tour possible.
Driven around D.C. in a luxury Cary van with a tour guide, the youth went to the spy museum, played tennis and got a tour at Georgetown University, met former Presidential candidate Senator Lamar Alexander from Tennessee, Senate Leader Harry Reid of Nevada, and got a private tour of the capitol.
They were also treated to a private screening of the film "Swing State Ohio" by Producer and Film Maker Jed Wolfington, who also helped organize the D.C. portion of the trip.
Thanks to Sean Wolfington and Mark Rogers, a long time Chief of Staff on the Hill for former Senator Rick Santorum, the children played tennis in the private Senate tennis court with Santorum and Nevada Senator John Ensign and then had breakfast with the Senators in the private Senate dining room. They were also given a private tour of the Senate floor by the Senators and were shown up close historical senate seats. The next day the First lady Laura Bush made possible a private tour of the white House by her chief of Staff, and a talk about her initiatives in her White House office.
Vince Wolfington ended the Washington leg of the tour by making it possible for the children to meet with his long time friends, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and a half an hour sit down inspirational talk by Senator Ted Kennedy, who shared stories about civil rights legislation and times with his brothers that he cherishes most among his 40 + years as a politician.
The East Coast Leadership tour was capped off with a trip to New York City thanks to Cosmopolitan Casino and Resort owner and developer Bruce Eichner, who also owns the Manhattan Club in Manhattan and sponsored the children to stay there and see numerous Broadway shows including Les Miserables, Rent, Color Purple and Spamalot.
During the trip the Foundation children were treated to the New York Latin Film Festival premier of "BELLA", the film that won this years Toronto Film Festival, produced by Sean Wolfington. The children got to meet the actors and were given words of wisdom from the two lead actors Eduardo Verestigue and Manny Perez.
While in New York the youth visited the Guggenheim Museum, Statue of Liberty, saw the financial district, canal street, time square, Central Park and had high tea at the Pierre Hotel, a rare and unusual treat. It was a perfect way to end and extraordinary trip, that according to many of the children inspired them a great deal to make the most of their lives, after having met so many people who have done the same.
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