Brisbane QLD, Australia, 31 December 2015 |

The world’s best tennis players are set to raise more than $100,000 for Ronald McDonald House South East Queensland when competition gets under way at Brisbane International 2016 presented by Suncorp.

Launched in 2015, the Aces for Hearts initiative will return next month to raise funds for the all-new Ronald McDonald House South Brisbane.

Tournament partner Treasury Casino & Hotel will donate $250 – up from $100 in 2015 – to Ronald McDonald House South East Queensland for every ace served on Pat Rafter Arena.

In 2015 players served a total of 491 aces on the centre court, resulting in a $49,100 windfall for the charity. With $250 now on the line for every ace served, that tally is set to soar in 2016.

Brisbane International Tournament Director Cameron Pearson said the initiative was a great way to give back to the local community.

“The Aces for Hearts campaign is a great opportunity to raise funds for Ronald McDonald House South East Queensland, a shared charity partner of both Brisbane International and Treasury Casino & Hotel,” he said.

“There were almost 500 aces served on Pat Rafter Arena at Brisbane International 2015 and with even more cash on the line this summer, I’m sure the players will get right behind the initiative.”

Brisbane International 2015 finalist and world No.14 Milos Raonic (CAN) served 80 aces at this year’s event – the most of any player in the field – contributing $8000 to the cause. In 2016 Raonic will again be joined in the field by big-serving Victorian Sam Groth, who this year clocked the fastest serve of the tournament at 235km/h.

Geoff Hogg, Managing Director Queensland of The Star Entertainment Group, said: “Treasury Casino & Hotel is proud of the community in which we live and operate, and has a longstanding commitment to supporting organisations and events that make a significant difference to the people of Queensland.

“It’s fantastic to bring two of our valued partners together in this special way via the Aces for Hearts initiative. We look forward to sharing in the excitement of every ace served on Pat Rafter Arena during the eight-day Brisbane International and extending that joy to Ronald McDonald House South East Queensland.”

Preshni Pillay, Communications and Marketing Officer at Ronald McDonald House South East Queensland, said the Aces for Hearts initiative was a valued fundraising activity.

“We are thrilled to be associated with the Aces for Hearts campaign at Brisbane International for the second year in a row and look forward to seeing some healthy competition between the players and a great result for Ronald McDonald House South East Queensland,” she said.

“The money raised from this initiative will go towards the development of our new Ronald McDonald House South Brisbane, which will provide critical accommodation and support services for seriously ill children and their families.”

The new Ronald McDonald House will be located opposite Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital in Brisbane and feature accommodation rooms, communal areas, an outdoor garden, playground and a rooftop function space.

Funds will also be raised for Ronald McDonald House South East Queensland at A Summer Night at Brisbane City Hall on Saturday 2 January, featuring 17-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer (SUI), five-time Grand Slam title-holder Maria Sharapova (RUS) and some of Australia’s most celebrated sportspeople.

Families supported by Ronald McDonald House South East Queensland will join in the fun at Suncorp Kids Tennis Day at Queensland Tennis Centre on Sunday 3 January.

The Aces for Hearts campaign is part of Tennis Australia’s Tennis Cares initiative, which aims to help Australians from all walks of life play, connect and achieve.

Brisbane International 2016 tickets are on sale now through Ticketek.

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