Anchor of NBC Nightly News Lester Holt will emcee; special awards to Christian Slater, Wayne Newton, James L. Nederlander, Buzz Aldrin, and Mark Dalton; cast of the Smash Hit On Your Feet! will perform live at star-studded event at the Waldorf Astoria on Monday, September 12
NEW YORK, N.Y. (July 21, 2016)—A group of iconic sports legends and special honorees will be celebrated by The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, at its 31st Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner on Monday, September 12 at The Waldorf Astoria. The annual benefit, hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti and his son Marc, will honor New York Yankees great and World Series Champion Mariano Rivera, seven-time Grand Slam tennis title winner and fashion designer Venus Williams, NFL Hall of Fame and New York Jets running back Curtis Martin, New York Knicks legend and NBA Hall of Famer Willis Reed, four-time IndyCar Series Champion Dario Franchitti, Olympic gold medalist Tara Lipinski, two-time NCAA basketball champion and Olympic Gold medalist Cheryl Miller, and record-setting long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad.
Receiving special tribute that night will be Golden Globe winner Christian Slater, who will receive The Buoniconti Fund Award; Mr. Las Vegas Wayne Newton, who will receive The Humanitarian Award; James L. Nederlander, president of The Nederlander Organization, who will receive The Buoniconti Fund’s Outstanding Philanthropist Award, which will be presented by Gloria and Emilio Estefan; legendary astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who will receive The Great American Icon Award; and Sports Legends event chairman Mark Dalton, who will receive the Christine E. Lynn Champion for a Cure Award.
NBC’s Nightly News anchor Lester Holt will serve as emcee and the cast of the smash hit Broadway musical On Your Feet! – The Story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan will perform live for a venerable “who’s who” of more than 1,300 sports legends, celebrities, philanthropists, corporate leaders, and other influential supporters.
The Miami Project, a designated Center of Excellence at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, is the world’s most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center. Since its inception in 1985, the Great Sports Legends Dinner has honored more than 300 sports legends and honorees and raised millions for The Miami Project’s spinal cord injury research programs. The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, through the research efforts of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, is committed to finding a cure for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury and to seeing millions worldwide walk again.
“For more than 30 years, The Great Sports Legend Dinner has highlighted our incredible journey to raise funds and bring awareness to the groundbreaking, much-needed spinal cord injury research supporting our efforts to cure paralysis,” said Nick Buoniconti, who founded The Buoniconti Fund after his son, Marc, was paralyzed playing college football. “We’re honored to have the generosity and participation of so many iconic athletes and heroes who join us in providing hope for those living with paralysis, so together we can stand up for those who can’t.”
The “Legend Alumni” and Honorees include Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan, Willie Mays, Earvin “Magic” Johnson, Tony Hawk, Cal Ripken, Jr., Gloria Estefan, Jack Nicklaus, Wayne Gretzky, George Foreman, Tom Brokaw, Julio Iglesias, Helio Castroneves, Phil Collins, Troy Aikman, Joe DiMaggio, Bob Cousy, Mario Andretti, Joe Namath, Pedro Martinez, Hakeem Olajuwon, Andre Agassi, Dan Marino, Mike Piazza, Pat Riley, Dorothy Hamill, Mia Hamm, Kelly Slater, Joe Torre, and many other athletes and heroes—all of who recognize that paralyzing injuries can and do occur in the pursuit of athletic careers and everyday lives.
The 31st Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner on Monday, September 12,will begin at 5:30 p.m. at The Waldorf Astoria, 301 Park Avenue, New York City. Tickets start at $850 per person and can be purchased by phone at 305-243-4656 or at http://www.thebuonicontifund.com/GSLD.
For more information about The Buoniconti Fund, visit: www.thebuonicontifund.com. To take part in the conversation on social media follow The Buoniconti Fund at facebook.com/cureparalysis, or Twitter and Instagram @BuonicontiFund using the hashtags #BuonicontiFund and #GSLD31.