| By Long Island Tennis Magazine Staff

USTA Serves, the National Charitable Foundation of the USTA, has announced that Golden Globe and Emmy-award winning actor and star of the recent hit film “The Hunger Games” Stanley Tucci and Golden Globe and Emmy-award winning actor and star of NBC's “30 Rock” Alec Baldwin will headline the 12th Annual Opening Night Gala on Aug. 27 at this year’s U.S. Open. Renowned sports journalist and USTA Serves President Mary Carillo will serve as host for the event.

“I’m proud to support USTA Serves and the important work that it does in helping to enhance the lives of those who need it most,” said Baldwin. “To hear and see first-hand the remarkable success stories of the kids who’ve been able to realize their dreams thanks to the programs supported by USTA Serves is particularly inspiring.”

The Opening Night Gala is the major fundraiser for USTA Serves and contributes more than $400,000 to help fund college scholarships and program grants to community-based tennis and education programs throughout the country. Guests will enjoy a reception, dinner, live and silent auctions, celebratory toast by Moët & Chandon, first-round tennis matches and the U.S. Open opening-night ceremony.

“USTA Serves is thrilled to continue to support students and great organizations throughout the country to make a difference in the lives of America’s youth by using tennis as a vehicle for change,” said Carillo, president of USTA Serves. “Our belief is that tennis, combined with education, can have a lasting effect on the lives of children and help pave the way to a brighter future.”

To date, USTA Serves has awarded $15 million in grants and scholarships to people and programs throughout the country in order to provide at-risk and underserved youth with greater opportunities to realize success. That total includes more than $11 million to fund 227 programs in 43 states, including $700,000 to adaptive tennis programs for people with special needs, and more than $4 million in college scholarships and player incentive awards to more than 770 middle school students and high school seniors.