EMMY AWARD-WINNERS ALEC BALDWIN & DEBRA MESSING TO CO-HOST 16Th ANNUAL OPENING NIGHT GALA @ US OPEN 2016 !
CBS Sports and Tennis Channel Broadcaster Bill Macatee to Serve as Emcee
ESPN to Serve as Event’s Presenting Sponsor........
NEW YORK(SMI-WIRE,08.28.16)FLUSHING, N.Y., Aug. 28, 2016 – USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the United States Tennis Association (USTA), today announced that Emmy Award- and Golden Globe Award-winning actor and host of “The Match Game” revival Alec Baldwin, along with Emmy Award-winning actress and star of ABC’s upcoming “Dirty Dancing” remake Debra Messing will co-host the 16th annual Opening Night Gala on Monday, Aug. 29, at the 2016 US Open.
For the second consecutive year, ESPN, the exclusive domestic telecaster of the US Open, will serve as the presenting sponsor for the Opening Night Gala. This year, the network has donated $150,000 to the USTA Foundation in support of their mission.
As chairman of the USTA Foundation’s Celebrity Council, Baldwin, is serving his second consecutive year as host of the Foundation’s Opening Night Gala. Kicking off the evening as emcee will be renowned CBS Sports and Tennis Channel broadcaster Bill Macatee. Last year, Macatee was appointed to the USTA Foundation’s board of directors.
The Opening Night Gala is the major fundraiser for the USTA Foundation, generating more than $1.1 million, a 46% increase from last year. These funds support programs that leverage tennis, education and life skills to prepare under-resourced youth for college and beyond. Leading that charge is National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL), a national network of more than 500 community-based tennis and education programs serving more than 225,000 youth nationwide. NJTL was co-founded by Arthur Ashe in 1969.
“The USTA Foundation has been outstanding in fulfilling their mission to providing tennis and education opportunities to under resourced youth around the nation,” said Baldwin. “I am honored to help host their highly successful fundraising event once again. As the kick off to one of the most spectacular sporting events where champions shine, the USTA Foundation Opening Night Gala’s purpose is to impact under-resourced youth so they can thrive and become future champions, whether it be in the classroom, boardroom or center court.”
“I am honored to support the USTA Foundation and the hundreds of NJTL programs as co-host of the Opening Night Gala,” said Messing. “This is such a unique and exciting opportunity for me to be a part of an outstanding cause. I admire the Foundation’s dedication to positively changing the lives of young people and I am looking forward to a meaningful event.”
To date, the USTA Foundation has awarded more than $22 million, benefitting thousands of children through tennis, education, and health programs and college scholarships, and has impacted more than 200,000 military service members, veterans and their families through its outreach programs.
USTA Foundation, the national charitable organization of the USTA, brings together the powerful combination of tennis and education to change lives of under-resourced youth. The Foundation utilizes financial grants, scholarship opportunities, curricula, technical assistance and training to make a lasting difference, and it’s with a primary focus is to develop and ensure the sustainability and effectiveness of the National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network. The NJTL network features more than 500 chapters that reach more than 225,000 youth on an annual basis. The Foundation raises money and public awareness to support these life-changing programs through private donations, corporate sponsorships and foundations, as well as its special fundraisers held throughout the year, including the US Open Opening Night Gala, the US Open Paver program, World Tennis Day and a series of Pro-Ams on both coasts, to name a few. To date, the Foundation has awarded more than $22 million in grants and scholarships to more than 270 programs, helping to serve up dreams for thousands of children and adults throughout the country. For more information on USTA Foundation, visit www.ustafoundation.com. Or stay connected through Facebook at www.facebook.com/USTAFoundation, and on Twitter at @USTA_Foundation.