Terry Bradshaw, James Worthy, Dave Winfield, Nick Faldo, Bob Costas, Jim Kelly, Kenny Smith and more joined forces to “Stand up for those who can’t”
NEW YORK (October 2, 2013) – Celebrities, sports legends, corporate leaders and more joined NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti, his son Marc, and Event Chair Mark Dalton as they hosted a sold out crowd in celebration of the 28th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner. Held at New York’s famed Waldorf Astoria on September 30, the dinner paid tribute to philanthropic heroes and sports icons that inspire and motivate those affected by spinal cord injuries, and raised important funds for research and the Human Clinical Trials Initiative. Bob Costas, NBC Sports anchor, served as Master of Ceremonies of the dinner not only to support the efforts of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, but to honor this year’s Great Sports Legends: Terry Bradshaw, James Worthy, Dave Winfield, Nick Faldo, Shawn Johnson, Gary Stevens, Antron Brown and Teresa Edwards.
Hall of Fame quarterback, four-time AFC champion and Pro Bowl player Jim Kelly received the 2013 Inspiration Award, and two-time NBA champion player and NBA TV analyst Kenny Smith was honored with The 2013 Buoniconti Fund Award.
“This year, The Miami Project conducted the first-ever FDA-approved human Schwann celltransplantations in acutely spinal cord injurypatients. This historic moment could not have happened without the funds raised each year at the annual Great Sports Legends Dinner,” said Nick Buoniconti, Founder of The Buoniconti Fund. “The continued passionate support for The Buoniconti Fund and The Miami Project means a great deal to our mission to find a cure for paralysis.”
A few special donors were so moved by the evening that they made donations on the spot to help fund the important research at The Miami Project. Philanthropist Stewart Rahr donated $2.2 million to fund 10 chronically injured patients in the next clinical trial. Outback Steakhouse Founder Tim Gannon generously gave another $1 million in support of SCI research, as he did last year.
The annual event benefits The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis and raises funds to support the cutting-edge 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 nearly 300 sports legends and honorees and has raised millions for The Miami Project’s spinal cord injury research programs.
Additional notables in attendance included: NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson, NHL Hall of Famer Brian Leetch, Grammy winning Producer and Musician Emilio Estefan, Olympian Gary Hall, Jr., Friday Night Lights’ Brad Leland, Gossip Girl’s Matthew Settle, NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry, Three-Time NBA Champion Bruce Bowen, actor Colin Egglesfield fromSomething Borrowed and The Client List, and Former Miami Dolphins quarterback Jay Fielder, and many, many more.
The exciting live auction offered a unique opportunity to golf with the greatest golfer of all time, Jack Nicklaus, a one-of-a-kind FIFA World Cup Package, an Iconic New York Package presented by Tiffany & Co., a Notre Dame Football package and a Masters Golf experience.
Sponsors for the evening are: HBO Sports, Tiffany & Co., Diageo,United Airlines, and Barton G.
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 found The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis after Nick’s son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game. Today, The Miami Project is the world’s most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center, and a designated Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The Miami Project’s international team is housed in the Lois Pope LIFE Center and includes more than 300 scientists, researchers, clinicians and support staff who take innovative approaches to the challenges of spinal cord and brain 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.
The Miami Project’s Christine E. Lynn Clinical Trials Initiative is designed to take discoveries found to be successful in laboratory studies and fast track them to human studies. Our FDA approved Schwann cell transplantation trial, the only one of its kind in the world, is changing the spinal cord injury field and sets an important foundation for future Miami Project cell replacement therapies.
Miami Project researchers are conducting or participating in more than ten clinical trials for spinal cord and brain injuries, and have more than a dozen clinical research studies underway. Because of our clinical and research expertise, The Miami Project is confident that we have the knowledge and resolve to initiate additional clinical trials that will help us continue to responsibly and safely take these important steps into humans.