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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

Local Youth Huddle Up With NFL Stars At Big Brothers Big Sisters Of NYC’s 23rd Annual Gridiron Games At Metlife Stadium

Former Giants and Jets Players Joined Bigs and Littles on the Field

11 of NYC’s Top Law Firms Battle for Gridiron Games Trophy, Raise $270,000 for Nonprofit’s Youth Mentoring Programs

Press Release – East Rutherford, NJ, November 6, 2017 – More than 150 youth from the five boroughs experienced a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play football on the same field as NFL stars at Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC’s (BBBS of NYC) 23rd Annual Gridiron Games.

Each year, the Gridiron Games brings together children (“Littles”) from BBBS of NYC’s youth mentoring programs and their adult mentors (“Bigs”) to MetLife Stadium, the home of the New York Jets and the New York Giants. Former Jets players Fred Baxter and Tony Richardson and former Giants players Kevin Dockery, Jay Alford, Brian Saxton, Billy Taylor and Eric Dorsey joined the matches for a memorable day of touch football games and drills. The New York Jets Flight Crew cheered on the participants and taught dances to the Littles on the sidelines.

Following the games and on-field activities, the matches received a behind-the-scenes tour of the locker rooms and were treated to a lunch in one of MetLife’s VIP clubs. Littles heard from the NFL players and other special guests during lunch on the importance of education, following your dreams and making positive choices.

“The Gridiron Games is an incredible event that provides the children in our mentoring programs with the opportunity to participate in football games and drills led by former NFL stars on the field at MetLife Stadium,” said Jared Landaw, chair of the 2017 Gridiron Games and a co-founder of the event. “It’s an unforgettable day that teaches the children teamwork and sportsmanship and proves to them that their dreams are within reach.” Mr. Landaw is a member of BBBS of NYC’s Board of Trustees, which also includes NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell. The National Football League is a supporter of the event.

“Year after year, our Gridiron Games serves as a great reminder that our Bigs truly are their Littles’ number one fans, both on and off the field,” said Hector Batista, chief executive officer of BBBS of NYC. “As our Littles experience challenges and victories in school, sports and life, our Bigs are there to encourage, inspire and cheer them on along the way. I’d like to thank our mentors our event sponsors who helped make this event a success, raising critical funds for Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC to continue providing thousands of young people in our communities with caring adult role models and die-hard fans.”

Following the match activities, the Gridiron Games turned into a competitive touch football tournament between 11 of New York City’s top law firms, raising more than $270,000 for BBBS of NYC. Afterward, participants celebrated at a special cocktail reception in the Stadium’s VIP Lounge, and the winning team was awarded the Gridiron Games trophy.

To date, the Gridiron Games has raised more than $2 million for BBBS of NYC. Proceeds support the organization’s mission of providing one-to-one mentoring relationships to young people across the five boroughs. BBBS of NYC currently serves more than 5,500 young people in New York City annually. It costs about $3,500 to fund one match for one year.

Participating law firms included Latham & Watkins, LLP; Desmarais, LLP; Fried Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP; Pillsbury, Winthrop, Shaw & Pittman, LLP; Debevois & Plimpton, LLP; Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, LLP; Weil, Gothsal & Manges, LLP; Morrison & Foerster, LLP; Allen & Overy; Kelley Drye & Warren, LLP and Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, LLP.

The 2017 Gridiron Games were sponsored by Compass Lexecon; Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel, LLP; Joele Frank; CBRE; CRA; Ross, Aronstam & Mortiz, LLP; Bernstein Litowitz; Spotlight Advisors; Morrow Sodali; Paul Weiss; Innisfree, M&A; Davis, Folk & Wardwell,LLP; Kekst; Mackenzie Partners; Okapi Partners; Capital One; Greenberg Traurig; and The Wizard of Oz Moving. In-kind sponsors include Brothers All Natural, Justin’s, Mighty Leaf, Yogi, Smarties, Primal Kitchen, Comsos Creations, New York Jets, RXBAR, Kind, Herr’s, Stumptown Coffee Roaster, Core Power Yoga and Go-Go Squeez.

For more information about the Gridiron Games, visit http://www.bigsnyc.org/events/gridiron.

About Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC

Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC (BBBS of NYC), the nation’s oldest and NYC’s largest youth mentoring organization, has served the changing needs of New York City’s most at-risk youth since 1904. The volunteer- and donor-based organization offers a variety of specialized mentoring programs to help children facing more complex challenges – including immigrant youth, children of incarcerated parents and those in foster care – as well as the Workplace Mentoring Program, which helps businesses throughout New York City positively impact the lives of young people and build a foundation for professional success. Additionally, since 1992 BBBS of NYC has worked through its Center for Training and Professional Development to equip non-profit professionals throughout New York City to develop and enhance their own mentor-based programs and organizations.

Through the support of individuals, foundations and corporations, this not-for-profit agency has been able to change the lives of the city’s most disadvantaged children, matching them with caring adult role models – dependable friends who can help to expand their horizons, realize their potential and enrich their futures. All contributions enable BBBS of NYC to continue to foster current match relationships and also provide more New York City children with life-changing mentors. Approximately $3,500 funds the establishment of a new one-on-one match relationship for one year. To learn more, become a mentor, donate and/or offer support, please visit www.bigsnyc.org.


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