SBD/January 13, 2011/People and Pop Culture

Names In The News

Stosur (l), Rafter to take part in charity event to raise money for victims of Australia flood

Tennis players ROGER FEDERER, RAFAEL NADAL, NOVAK DJOKOVIC, KIM CLIJSTERS, LLEYTON HEWITT, SAMANTHA STOSUR and former player PAT RAFTER will take part in a "Rally for Relief exhibition match at Melbourne Park on Sunday," ahead of the Australian Open. The event will "raise money for the victims of Australia's flood disaster." Stosur said that the "devastating extent of the Queensland flooding was really brought home to the world tennis fraternity when they saw Pat Rafter Arena, where many of them played the Brisbane International last week, under water." Stosur: "To see that under water, everyone who is not from here realises how bad it is now" (AAP, 1/3).

GONE MISSING: In Ft. Worth, Shlachter, Nishimura & Baker note some fans "didn't receive game tickets and dozens of others got a different hotel than promised" from Maximum Sports Connection, the "official fan travel partner" of the Cowboys, for the Dec. 19 Redskins-Cowboys game. MSC Owner RONNI SOKOL "insisted that it was a rare glitch." But JEFF FULLER, GM of the Embassy Suites Outdoor World in Grapevine, Texas, said that MSC "still hadn't paid a $31,500 bill for rooms in October," and Maryland travel agent BETTY MCKENZIE-MABRY said that Sokol "has made good on refunds for only two of seven hotel and ticket packages costing $449 each that Maximum had failed to deliver." Additionally, some Auburn fans said that MSC "never came through with packages for" Monday night's Auburn-Oregon Tostitos BCS National Championship Game (FT. WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM, 1/13).

GOOD DEED: Golfer ERNIE ELS Tuesday announced the "inception of the Els for Autism Golf Challenge, which has the potential to be the largest charitable, amateur golf tournament in the world, and to bring in upwards" of $5M annually. The money will be used to "fund the planned $30 million Els For Autism Center of Excellence, which will offer a digital learning platform and an education and research facility to families with autistic children." Els' son, BEN, "was diagnosed with autism four years ago" (GOLF.com, 1/12).

NAMES: Texas-based boxing promoter EDMUNDO LOZANO filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court after boxer MANNY PACQUIAO "did not appear at an event" in McAllen, Texas, in September. Lozano said that the "botched event has tarnished his credibility and image with luring big-time boxers" to the Rio Grande Valley. He is "seeking more than $1.1 million in damages" from Pacquiao (McAllen MONITOR, 1/12)....The Heat yesterday morning "practiced at the Bel Air home" of L.A. Gear Chair STEVE JACKSON ahead of last night's game against the Clippers. The Heat "worked on a regulation court painted in Los Angeles Lakers colors, with a Lakers logo at center court, a near perfect replica" of Staples Center, where Jackson "holds eight courtside seats" (South Florida SUN-SENTINEL, 1/13)....Hawks G JOE JOHNSON has signed with EAG Sports Management for publicity and marketing (EAG Sports Management)....The HOLLYWOOD REPORTER's Philiana Ng noted FX' boxing series "LIGHTS OUT" "may have critics in its corner, but the viewers didn't show up" for Tuesday night's premiere episode. The show averaged 1.5 million viewers, and averaged a 0.6 rating and 793,000 viewers in the adults 18-49 demo (HOLLYWOODREPORTER.com, 1/12).

IN MEMORY: North Texas Super Bowl Host Committee member and former North Texas Commission President DAN PETTY has passed away. Petty was "one of the leaders" of North Texas' successful bid for Super Bowl XLV (DALLASNEWS.com, 1/12).

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