EAST ORANGE, NJ - On the eve of a historic weekend in East Orange, where the entire town is coming together to show their undying love and respect to one of our greatest athletes, the profile of the event grows even more. Tennis Legend Billy Jean King, unable to attend the event, sent a heart-felt message honoring Althea Gibson. At one point in her video taped message she made reference that Althea was the Jackie Robinson of tennis.

The tribute will include a series of events:

Friday, August 23 at 11am - Dedication Ceremony and Monument Unveiling; featuring lunch by celebrity Chef Ameer Natson Soverel Park, 2 Soverel Terrace, East Orange

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Sunday, August 25 at 4pm-7pm - Fundraising Benefit for Youth Tennis Hosted by Estate of Althea Gibson and Leslie Scott Seale at the Orange Lawn Tennis Club, 305 North Ridgewood Road, South Orange

Althea Gibson Exhibition (displaying until 8/30) at East Orange Public Library, 21 South Arlington Avenue, East Orange *The exhibit will be open to the public during normal business hours

“We are proud to honor the phenomenal achievements of a woman who, against great odds, became a true champion in every sense of the word. Althea Gibson later made East Orange her home and served as the city’s Director of Recreation, inspiring players of all ages and skills to love the game,” said Mayor Green. “The monument at Soverel Park will serve as a permanent reminder of her great contributions to the sport of tennis and her lasting connection to our city.”