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Jewel concert to support Las Vegas tennis foundation

When you pay it forward, sometimes you get paid back.

Ryan Wolfington, founder of Las Vegas’ Inspiring Children Foundation which has sent more than 100 Las Vegas area students to Ivy League-caliber colleges through its tennis-based academy, said when major fundraisers were canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, he didn’t know where to turn.

That’s when Jewel, the Grammy Award-nominated singer-songwriter and a foundation benefactor, turned to him.

She will perform “Live From San Quarantine,” a free concert from her home in Colorado, at 5 p.m. Saturday to raise money for the foundation through her Never Broken charity. The goal is to get 1,000 people to commit $1 a day ($30 per month) for one year to raise the $1.4 million lost because of the virus threat.

The concert will be streamed live on Jewel’s Facebook and Instagram accounts.

“I have a strict policy not to ask my friends, associates and celebrities for anything,” Wolfington said. “I have good reason to break that policy. Our main fundraisers have been canceled. Basically, we’ve lost 80 percent of our funding. Most of our parents have lost their jobs the last couple of days.

“Jewel said ‘I want to help.’ She got every one of her celebrity friends, from Howard Stern to Mike Tyson to Russell Crowe, Sheryl Crow, Brad Paisley, you name it. They’re all promoting on their socials (media accounts).”

Those wishing to contribute can also do so by visiting the InspiringChildren.net website.

Wolfington said pro tennis stars and brothers Bob and Mike Bryan, captains of the Vegas Rollers World Team Tennis entry and advocates of the Inspiring Children Foundation, donated the first $150,000 through a matching account.

The last few days have been the worst in the foundation’s 18-year history, Wolfington said.

“For Jewel to just go into overdrive, to use all of her relationships which she’s never done before, and then to see the outpouring of support … it went from suffering to overjoyed, to see how humanity can come together in crises such as this,” he said.

Contact Ron Kantowski at rkantowski@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0352. Follow @ronkantowski on Twitter.

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