2013 US Open - A Smashing Success for USTA Serves!

2013 Opening Night Ceremonies at the US Open

Perhaps the most popular of our fundraisers is our Opening Night Gala. On the evening of August 26th, USTA Serves hosted its 13th Annual Opening Night Gala in the President’s Suite at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center. An extraordinary financial success, the gala’s revenues surpassed the $680,000 mark for the first time.

The evening honored Billie Jean King for her outstanding legacy and trailblazing accomplishments and Bob and Mike Bryan, for recently becoming the most successful doubles team in tennis history.  Celebrity auctioneer and two-time Oscar Award Winner, Kevin Spacey, turned the live auction into an entertaining performance.  The guests were in great spirits and bid generously on a variety of sports, fashion and entertainment packages.  Other notable guests included tennis legend Jim Courier, fashion icon and editor, Anna Wintour and Robin Roberts, host of “Good Morning America.”

One of the highlights of the evening was our student speaker from the Harlem Junior Tennis and Education Program, Destiny Steward-Bowden, who spoke about the positive impact this program has had on her life.  After her inspirational speech, Kevin Spacey commented, “I know we will be seeing a lot more of Destiny as she has a very bright future.”

Following our Opening Night Gala, USTA Serves hosted the 11th Annual Pro Am at the US Open on Friday, September 6th.  This, too, was a financial success for USTA Serves bringing in more than $230,000.

On the courts of the US Open, we welcomed 16 of the world’s greatest tennis champions and gave our amateurs a unique opportunity to player with and against these remarkable pros.  Our annual event featured a doubles round robin format where amateurs traded backhands and returned serves with some of the best players in the world.  It was truly a tennis player’s dream come true.

Our champions included Martina Navratilova, Tracy Austin, Michael Chang, Jim Courier, Robin Ammerlaan, Jimmy Arias, Pat Cash, Gigi Fernandez, Mary Joe Fernandez, Luke Jensen, Iva Majoli, Todd Martin, Cedric Pioline, Rennae Stubbs, Chanda Rubin and MaliVai Washington.

Finally, the Avenue of Aces is our most visible donor-sponsored program at the US Open.  The Avenue of Aces is a collection of personalized bricks and pavers that form the pathway between the East Plaza Gate and Arthur Ashe Stadium.  This year, 53 bricks and pavers were added to the Avenue and we hosted a Celebration for our donors with our President, Mary Carillo.  These donors have a choice of Neighborhoods, to place their bricks and pavers.  US Open Champions Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Stefanie Graf, Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe, Billie Jean King and the late wheelchair tennis pioneer, Randy Snow each have lent their name to the Avenue of Aces charitable initiative.  Supporters can see their names near their favorite champion and be part of the US Open, while also giving back to tennis.

 

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