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Friday March 11, 2011 11:20 AM

2011 Tux & Tennies

15th annual charity gala reaps big benefits for Boys & Girls Clubs and S.N.A.P.


Rockets.com staff

HOUSTON - Incredible items, fabulous entertainment and great causes.

The 15th annual Tux and Tennies event delivered again.

“It’s great to do this and it’s great to have all these people behind us all these years,” said Rockets owner Leslie Alexander. “We’ve raised so much money for the city of Houston and it’s just fabulous.”

The Clutch City Foundation's premier event brought out Rockets players, coaches and staff, along with hundreds of others who came to hang out with their favorite stars and contribute to a worthwhile cause. Nearly $200,000 was raised simply from the auction items alone -- a testament to the generosity of those on hand and the quality of the memorabilia and packages made available. Highlights included an opportunity to bowl with Luis Scola, play hoops with Rockets legends Hakeem Olajuwon and Robert Horry, and fly on the team plane on an upcoming road trip.

“It’s great to mingle with the fans," said Rockets forward Chuck Hayes. "They get to know us on a more personal level. To see people that you’ve seen over the years get dressed-up and enjoy each others’ company, it’s just a great experience, something we look forward to every year and the cause is great, so I’m just happy to be here tonight.”

This year’s event benefitted two different organizations: the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Houston and SNAP – Spay Neuter Assistance Program. It also featured a tremendous performance by international sensation Miri Ben-Ari, “the Hip-Hop Violinist” who is taking the music world by storm with her unique combination of classical & hip-hop style. Improvisational comedians from Comedy Sportz were also involved with their interactive comedy program throughout the evening featuring the utilization of players and event guests.

The Clutch City Foundation was established in 1995 by Leslie Alexander to provide help, hope and inspiration to those who are in need. Since its inception, the foundation has raised more than $8 million, and has continued to make a difference in the lives of people in Greater Houston, as well as impacting others globally, including Africa and China. Through the foundation Rockets players, coaches and members of the business team are involved in a myriad of programs that allow the Rockets to get directly involved in the community. Foundation efforts are focused on three primary areas: Grassroots Education, Grassroots Basketball and Grassroots Outreach.

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