Tennis Star, Columnist, Support Tel Aviv Olympian Memorial Center
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Tennis Star, Columnist, Support Tel Aviv Olympian Memorial Center

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Tennis star Arthur Ashe and sports columnist Bob Considine announced their support of the campaign for the construction of an Olympian Memorial athletic center at Tel Aviv University in honor of the 11 Israeli athletes murdered by Arab terrorists in Munich Sept. 5. Ashe and Considine were among the galaxy of sports celebrities who attended a dinner last night at the Hilton Hotel here marking the opening of the campaign in the United States to raise $2 million toward the construction of the center in Tel Aviv. The Israeli government will provide an additional $2 million for the project.

Samuel M. Solomon, national executive vice-president of the American Friends of Tel Aviv University, who are conducting the campaign, declined to announce the actual amount raised last night. He said that “obviously it is far in excess of the arithmetical computation based on the attendance (of 600) at this dinner multiplied by $125 per plate.” He said the dinner was a kick-off to other functions to be held in numerous cities across the country.

Other speakers included George Allen, head coach and general manager of the Washington Red-skins; Dick Schapp, NBC sportscaster who is chairman of the Olympian Memorial sponsoring committee; and Abe Pollin, president of the Baltimore Bullets basketball team and co-chairman of the Washington chapter of the American Friends. The master of ceremonies was Lorne Greene, star of “Bonanza.”

Ashe, the 1968 U.S. open tennis titlist, who last Sunday won the world championship tennis tournament in Rome, declared the next Olympics should be “a mature patriotism instead of mindless flag-waving. When nationalism is carried too far it only ends in war.” The Black tennis star received prolonged applause.

Considine said the Tel Aviv center “will be a reminder of people who went to the Olympic Games with peace in their hearts and were cruelly killed. Yet they will live for all times.” He added that the center will disappear long before “the example of Munich is forgotten. It will be a beacon on how people can live together.” Allen declared that the Tel Aviv center will be “the house that conscience built.”

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