Opening Night Gala raises $1.1 million

September 22, 2017 11:55 AM

By Ashley Marshall,

Young players across the U.S. will have more opportunities to harness the power of tennis and education than ever before following another successful US Open Opening Night Gala.

The USTA Foundation raised more than $1.1 million from its 17th annual gala to continue its mission and support programming at more than 350 National Junior Tennis and Learning (NJTL) community programs across the country.

Hosted by Alec Baldwin and Martina Navratilova, the 2017 Gala featured more than 100 donors and celebrities in the Arthur Ashe Stadium President's Suite. Among the items auctioned to raise funds were three one-hour hitting sessions with Martina Navratilova, which went to Baldwin, Katie Couric and Shaun T, for a total of $63,000.

The gala is the major fundraiser for the USTA Foundation, the national charitable arm of the USTA, which earlier this year announced it had reached the $25 million mark in grants awarded to grass-roots tennis and education programs since its inception.

These funds support the NJTL network of programming for more than 225,000 youth nationwide.

This year, ESPN, which served as the presenting sponsor for the third consecutive year, donated $400,000 to the USTA Foundation in support of its mission.

The gala posthumously honored Carol Richardson Kimmelman, a member of the 1983 USC national championship team, and renowned New York City architecture and engineering pioneer Fred Shen with the “Serving Up Dreams” award. Baldwin and Navratilova presented the awards, recognizing Kimmelman and Shen for their dedication in supporting the principles and ideals of the USTA Foundation.



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