NEW YORK (July 30, 2013) – The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis,the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, will host its 28th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria on Monday, September 30, 2013.Brian Williams, Anchor and Managing Editor of NBC Nightly News, will serve as Master of Ceremonies of the dinner, which honors philanthropic heroes and sports legends that inspire and motivate those affected by spinal cord injuries.
The annual event, hosted by Nick and Marc Buoniconti and chaired by Mark Dalton, benefits The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis and raises funds to support the ground-breaking spinal cord injury research done by researchers at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine’s Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. Since its inception in 1985, the Great Sports Legends Dinner has honored more than 283 sports legends and honorees and has raised nearly $93 million for The Miami Project’s spinal cord injury research programs.
The celebration assembles sports legends, celebrities, philanthropic icons and corporate leaders to support the efforts of the Buoniconti family, along with numerous longtime supporters. The 2013 Great Sports Legends include:
Honorees for the evening include:
“Every 48 minutes, someone in the U.S. is paralyzed from a spinal cord injury, reinforcing that it can happen to anyone at any time,” said Nick Buoniconti, Founder of The Buoniconti Fund. “We need to continue to raise awareness and focus on the research to find a cure for paralysis. We are so honored that so many legendary athletes and influential figures are joining The Buoniconti Fund and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis in this fight. Paralysis does not discriminate and, together, we need to stand up for those who cannot.”
Past “Legend Alumni” and Honorees have included: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Andre Agassi, Troy Aikman, Buzz Aldrin, Muhammad Ali, Mario Andretti, Dr. Maya Angelou, Charles Barkley, Tom Brokaw, Joe DiMaggio, Gloria Estefan, Marshall Faulk, George Foreman, Wayne Gretzky, Dorothy Hamill, Mia Hamm, Tony Hawk, Evander Holyfield, Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Nancy Kerrigan, Lennox Lewis, Mickey Mantle, Willie Mays, Joe Namath, Jack Nicklaus, Roger Penske, Mike Piazza, Scottie Pippen, Shaquille O’Neal, Jerry Rice, Pat Riley, Cal Ripken, Jr., Bill Russell, Kelly Slater, Joe Torre, Dara Torres, and many other heroes who recognize that paralyzing injuries can and do occur in the pursuit of athletic careers and everyday lives.
The event is not only expected to sell out, but also raise millions of dollars for the spinal cord injury research programs at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. The evening will begin with cocktails and a Buy It Now Store where attendees can purchase one-of-a-kind sports memorabilia, amazing jewelry, spectacular getaways, a unique Kidz Korner and other exclusive items. There will be a live auction boasting travel and entertainment packages, sports and music memorabilia, and experiences including the opportunity to golf with the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus, and an Iconic New York Package presented by Tiffany & Co.
About The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and The Buoniconti Fund: In 1985, Barth A. Green, M.D. and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti helped foundThe Miami Project to Cure Paralysis after Nick’s son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game. Today, The Miami Project, a Center of Excellence at theUniversity of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is the world’s most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center and is housed in the Lois Pope LIFE Center. The Miami Project’s international team of more than 250 scientists, researchers and clinicians take innovative approaches to the challenge of spinal cord injury. Committed to finding a cure for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury and to seeing millions worldwide walk again, the Buoniconti family established The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis in 1992, a non-profit organization devoted to assisting The Miami Project achieve its national and international goals. For more information, please visit: www.thebuonicontifund.com.