The Vijay Amritraj Foundation will host a charity tennis match this weekend, featuring various celebrities and a performance by the Beach Boys.
Vijay Amritraj, the foundation’s namesake, was a top-ten tennis player in the 1970s and ‘80s who acted later in his career, most notably playing an ally to James Bond the 1983 film “Octopussy.” Proceeds from this weekend’s event will go towards a number of programs and services in India.
According to Kapil Mahendra, a UCSB alumni and representative of VAF, the funds will have a tremendous impact on the recipients.
“The VAF supports sixteen different charities in India promoting education, village development, cornea treatment [and rescue of] young girls from prostitution, amongst other causes,” Mahendra said.
Nikhil Bhatia, VAF volunteer, said the foundation helps provide the funding to give sight to blind children by repairing their eyes and “connecting whatever the wires are back there.”
VAF recruited star athletes and Hollywood celebrities to draw a large crowd. Actor David Hasselhoff will sing the National Anthem during the opening ceremonies before Jimmy Connors, Matthew Perry, Amritraj and others play professional singles and doubles matches.
NBC Sports’ Fred Roggin will provide live commentary throughout the event.
On Saturday, the fundraiser will transform into a night of entertainment, starting with a stand-up comedy act by Paul Varghese, who appeared on NBC’s “Last Comic Standing.”
After Varghese’s performance, Mike Love and Bruce Johnson of The Beach Boys will take the stage.
“The real Beach Boys,” Bhatia said.
According to UCSB Music Professor Dennis Russell, Love’s prior visits to India may spur his support of VAF.
“He went to India and did Transcendental Meditation similar to what George Harrison did,” Russell said.
Vinayak Kamath, a first-year electrical and computer engineering graduate student and a member of Asha for Education, said he supports VAF’s efforts to send aid to India, noting that Asha-SB has similar goals.
“We are working on the uplifting of children hailing from socially and economically backward backgrounds by providing them shelter, food and education,” Kamath said.
The fundraiser will be held rain or shine, and tickets are still available. General admission is $20 for the match and $50 for the concert.
Ravi Bhatia contributed to this article.