As a sure sign that summer is on the way out, the U.S. Open officially gets underway next week. This year's tournament will once again direct the eyes of the sports world - and the feet of over a half million tennis fans - in the direction of the Big Apple (Queens to be exact).
The Open's kickoff also offers as an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the U.S. Tennis Association's charitable arm, USTA Serves. For the 11th consecutive year, USTA Serves will host an opening night gala that serves as the organization's chief fundraising event.
This year's gala is scheduled for Monday, August 29th and will feature a celebrity auction with Alec Baldwin and Tony Bennett among the dignitaries on hand. The event is set to raise over $400,000 towards funding college scholarships and program grants for community-based tennis and education programs across the country.
To date, USTA Serves has awarded north of $14 million to grassroots tennis and education programs that benefit at-risk kids and those with special needs. Additionally, the outfit has logged more than 18 million hours of tutoring, mentoring, and nutrition guidance to almost a quarter of a million young people. Those are some pretty impressive numbers.
To learn more about USTA Serves' opening night gala at the Open and how to attend and/or contribute, please click here.