Carillo honored at USTA Foundation Opening Night Gala

August 25, 2014 11:38 PM


By Nicholas J. Walz,

Former tennis pro and current commentator Mary Carillo was honored at the 14th annual USTA Foundation Opening Night Gala on Aug. 25 at the 2014 US Open. Also headlining the event was motivational fitness trainer Shaun T, who served as this year’s celebrity auctioneer. USTA First Vice President and television commentator Katrina Adams served as the gala’s emcee.

The Opening Night Gala is the major fundraiser for the USTA Foundation, contributing more than $500,000 to support programs that utilize tennis and education to help under-resourced youth. Among the beneficiaries is National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL), a national network of 630 community-based tennis and education programs serving more than 330,000 youth.

For the last four years, Carillo has served as the Chairwoman of the Board for the foundation, formerly USTA Serves. During that time, she’s been instrumental in helping to guide the foundation and its work. As a spokesperson, Carillo has visited NJTL a number of programs, encouraging kids across the country to achieve their best in tennis and education endeavors, and she supported military service members and their families at local tennis clinics.

“I am honored and deeply humbled to be recognized by the USTA Foundation, one of the most outstanding organizations I have had the pleasure in working with these last few years,” said Carillo. “I am very excited for this year’s event, as I’ll be among peers to receive this very special honor. Throughout the years, the USTA Foundation has stayed committed to a mission of supporting tennis and education programs that positively change lives. I am proud to be a part of this quest, and I look forward to joining them throughout their continued success.”

Four-time US Open singles champion and former world No. 1 John McEnroe was on hand to help honor Carillo for her leadership and years of support.

The highlight of the night was the live auction. In addition, a silent auction allowed supporters to bid on exclusive, one-of-a-kind packages, experiences, memorabilia and more. The evening also included the evening’s first-round matches and the US Open Opening Night ceremony.

To date, the USTA Foundation has awarded more than $17 million in grants and scholarships to more than 270 programs, benefitting thousands of children and adults through tennis, education and health programming, primarily through the NJTL network, and also through efforts to assist Military Heroes and Individuals with Disabilities. That total includes more than $13 million to fund 275 programs in 47 states, with more than $900,000 to adaptive tennis programs for people with special needs and more than $4.5 million in college scholarships and player incentive awards.



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