Tucson, AZ --- The Gootter Grand Slam returns on April 15th with a world-class lineup of tennis superstars, a gala alfresco dinner and auction and a major announcement. For the past 18 years the event has helped raise millions of dollars to support the efforts of the Steven M. Gootter Foundation whose mission is to defeat sudden cardiac death (SCD-the disease that took Steven Gootter from his family at the age of 42) through research endowments and the placement of over 450 life-saving AEDs (Automated External Defibrillators) throughout Southern AZ
When tennis great Murphy Jensen joined the Gootter team as a celebrity player for the Grand Slam events in 2012, he had no idea how much of an impact it would make on his own life until 2021 when he experienced a sudden cardiac arrest and was saved by the use of an AED. “Over the last decade, I have supported the Gootter Foundation's efforts to raise awareness of Sudden Cardiac Death (SCD) and the use of AEDs. In fact, I've done chest compression-only CPR and AED demonstrations at the Gootter Grand Slam events. I never imagined that someday I would be saved by these techniques,” said Jensen. After Jensen’s miraculous recovery, he wanted to become even more involved with the Gootter Foundation. In 2023, Jensen and the Gootter family have joined forces and are now the GOOTTER-JENSEN FOUNDATION., doubling the power behind their mission.
The Grand Slam event will celebrate this exciting new partnership. President Andrew Messing is more committed than ever to the Foundation’s mission. “We are thrilled to announce the formation of the Gootter -Jensen Foundation. When an elite athlete like Murphy Jensen collapsed on the tennis court, it demonstrated that a sudden cardiac arrest can happen to anyone. Murphy is very grateful to be alive and is committed to save the lives of other SCD victims. Instead of starting his own Foundation, we encouraged him to join forces with us. Our mission of saving lives through funding research, distributing AEDs, and increasing public awareness of SCD remains the same. However, Murphy's extensive network will give us national and international reach. Our first initiative together will be to work with the USTA to place AEDs in public tennis facilities throughout the United States”.
The Gootter Grand Slam event will take place at La Paloma Country Club beginning at 4pm on Saturday, April 15th opening with a wheelchair tennis, UA Tennis Team and pickleball exhibition, followed by the Celebrity/Pro exhibition between the Bryan Brothers and Jensen Brothers, and a gala dinner on the clay courts. For tickets and information visit https://stevenmgootterfoundation.org/
About the Gootter-Jensen Foundation
The Gootter-Jensen Foundation was founded in honor of Steve Gootter, a beloved father, husband and brother who lost his life to sudden cardiac arrest in 2005. In 2023, the Steven M Gootter Foundation joined forces with Murphy Jensen, a world-renowned tennis champion and sudden cardiac arrest survivor. The mission of the Gootter-Jensen Foundation is to defeat sudden cardiac death through increased awareness, education, scientific research, and the distribution of AEDs. The foundation’s new website will be finalized in the coming months.