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October 21, 2014

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Bolstered by Kirk Kerkorian’s donation, Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children to take a year off

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Tom Donoghue/DonoghuePhotography.com

The Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children red carpet and benefit gala at Wynn Las Vegas on Oct. 29, 2011. Performers included Jimmy Kimmel, Smokey Robinson, Martina McBride, Jeffrey Ross, Train, Signature and Michael Buble.

2011 Andre Agassi Grand Slam: Red Carpet and Show

The Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children red carpet and benefit gala at Wynn Las Vegas on Oct. 29, 2011. Performers included Jimmy Kimmel, Smokey Robinson, Martina McBride, Jeffrey Ross, Train, Signature and Michael Buble. Launch slideshow »

Kirk Kerkorian’s $18 million donation and an overall haul of $26.1 million has allowed the Andre Agassi Grand Slam for Children charity gala to take a breather. There will be no Grand Slam for Children in 2012, with the plan for the event to return after taking a year off after the record-breaking night at Lafite Ballroom at Wynn Las Vegas on Oct. 29.

An e-mail sent to event volunteers by the Agassi Foundation staff (with Agassi’s approval) on Thursday afternoon made it official:

“As many of you know, the Grand Slam was a great success. In addition to the money we raised from the event, we also received a sizable gift from the Dream Fund at UCLA. Because of this gift, we have decided to take the next year off from the Grand Slam. The event takes months of planning and is taxing to our small staff. We are thankful to have this opportunity to concentrate on other fundraising opportunities during our year off.”

The 94-year-old Kerkorian has donated about $1 billion to various causes over the course of his life. This year his Lincy Foundation established the UCLA Dream Fund. The UCLA Dream Fund donates money to scholarships, research and philanthropic pursuits.

Prior to the event, Agassi said the funding raised over the course of 16 Grand Slams -- about $118 million -- means the Andre Agassi Preparatory Academy will be full funded “in perpetuity.” He reiterated his plan to open charter schools across the country over the next two years.

Follow John Katsilometes on Twitter at Twitter.com/JohnnyKats. Also, follow “Kats With the Dish” at Twitter.com/KatsWithTheDish.

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