Philanthropists, Celebrities and Athletes Unite to Raise over $400,000 for Up2Us Sports at Annual Gala

Philanthropists, Celebrities and Athletes Unite to Raise over $400,000 for Up2Us Sports at Annual Gala

Up2Us Sports, a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to inspiring youth through coaching and sports, welcomed celebrities and pro athletes to its annual gala at Guastavino’s in New York City on Wednesday.

Second Annual Up2Us Gala


The Second Annual Up2Us Gala was a great success, bringing together more than 300 guests including Hollywood celebrities Heidi Klum, Gretchen Mol, Jonny Lee Miller and Kyle MacLachlan who mingled alongside sports figures such as New York Giants cornerback, Prince Amukamara, Milwaukee Bucks power forward, John Henson and U.S. Olympians Kim Vandenberg and Sarah Hughes. More than 300 guests joined the celebration while raising more than $470,000 to help advance sports as a solution to the critical challenges facing America’s youth – obesity, violence and academic failure. College basketball analyst Bill Raftery emceed the star-studded event, joined by Pro Football Hall of Famer, Curtis Martin who presented the Up2Us Legacy Award to Commissioner Tagliabue. Jay Agresta, President of Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corp, presented the second Up2Us Legacy Award of the evening to Stephen Cannon. The program included a powerful video highlighting the struggle and success of Up2Us’ Coach Across America (CAA) coach Israel Frank. The crowd rose to their feet after the Coach of the Year winner’s moving speech, “Through my training at Coach Across America, I’ve learned to separate the child from the behavior. The kid isn’t bad, he’s just made bad choices,” Coach Israel explained. He added, “I see kids going in the wrong direction like I was, and Up2Us has given me an opportunity to show them the right way. Like the other CAA coaches, I’m someone the kids can relate to and I think that’s what makes Up2Us’ Coach Across America program so effective.”

“Coach Israel’s story is a testament to the power of sports and the important role mentors can play in the lives of young people, especially kids living in underserved communities,” said Paul Caccamo, founder and president of Up2Us. “The support we have received from our friends in the business, entertainment and sports community has been incredible and encouraging. Every day, news reports remind us of the urgent need to advance the SBYD movement and place more coaches like Israel Frank to serve our nation’s most vulnerable youth. We can create real social change through sports and positively impact the lives of millions of children across the country."

Take a look at some of the photos below!


Heidi Klum and Up2Us Board Member David Colbert came to the gala to show their support.

Basketball analyst Bill Raftery acted as the emcee of the Up2Us Gala.

Sandra Bernhard, Jonny Lee Miller and Michele Hicks attend the 2nd Annual Up2Us Gala

Kyle MacLachlan tells reporters how important sports were to him during his youth.

Up2Us Founder and President, Paul Caccamo telling the NFL network about Up2Us' great work.

Former NFL player Curtis Martin (R) presented the Up2Us Legacy Award to Former NFL Commissioner Paul Tagliabue.

President of Benzel-Busch Motor Car Corp., Joseph Agresta, Jr. (L) presented the Up2Us Legacy Award to President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA, Stephen Cannon.

Up2Us Ambassadors, Olympic figure skater, Sarah Hughes and rock climber, Sasha DiGiulian.

New York Giants Cornerback Prince Amukamara (L) and Pilar Davis attend the Up2Us Gala.

Olympic swimmer Kim Vandenberg and Adam Rosante attend the gala as Up2Us Ambassadors.


NBA Player John Henson (R) and Up2Us Board Member Matt Henson attend the Up2Us Gala.

Boardwalk Empire's Gretchen Mol supports Up2Us.

Olympic fencer Tim Morehouse and Rachael Kun show their support for Up2Us.


Operation Coach Sponsored By the Miami HEAT


Up2Us is proud to announce a partnership with the Miami HEAT and the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund to launch Operation Coach, a workforce assistance and coaching initiative for post 9/11 returning military veterans, preparing them for a career in sports and youth development through our Coach Across America program. During half time of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Miami HEAT Charitable Fund presented Up2Us with a $100,000 donation as the result of the team’s annual fundraising efforts.   This contribution will provide veterans with the opportunity to gain employment as coach-mentors and continue to serve as every day heroes to thousands of youth in Miami.

“Veterans often cite ‘physical activity’ and ‘becoming a coach’ as key motivators to their reentry to the workforce,” said Paul Caccamo, founder and president of Up2Us.

The Miami HEAT has a tradition of honoring the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces and we are extremely excited to continue this partnership.

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Up2Us on the Radio!

Up2Us is bringing more and more attention to the sports-based youth development movement. We've been featured on a number of different radio stations across the country, speaking about the importance sports has on the lives of America's youth. Listen below to find out more about our organization and many of our special initiatives! Stay tuned for upcoming radio coverage.

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bloomingOUT Radio:

bloomingOUT is a regional radiobroadcast in Indiana hosted by Helen Herald every Thursday evening which features talk about gay, lesbian, bi-sexual, and transgender issues. bloomingOUT exists to educate, entertain and stimulate listeners to engage in dialogue about real issues and events relevant to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) population of south central Indiana.

Because bloomingOUT is the only such media program in Indiana, and one of the few in the Midwest and the nation, it includes issues, views and news that do not usually appear in mainstream media. The program provides a voice, both within and outside Indiana that is absent in local, state, national and international arenas by providing a forum for the exchange and discussion of ideas and the celebration of diversity.


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WBGO—SportsJam with Doug Doyle (88.3fm):

SportsJam with Doug Doyle, which began as a podcast and on-demand feature in 2008 is now an important part of WBGO’s regular programming lineup on Wednesday nights at 7:30pm. Hosted by WBGO’s News and Sports Director Doug Doyle, SportsJam has recently received national and state awards for PRNDI, NYABJ and the Associated Press for its revealing interviews. Many of Doug’s guests talk about the synergy between sports and jazz. Doug has been covering local sports in New Jersey for more than 30 years.



ESPN Radio—New York Sports & Beyond (98.7fm):

WEPN-FM 98.7 is a commercial Sports News/Talk station in the New York, N.Y., area. It is owned by Emmis Communications Corp. WEPN-AM uses the slogan, "ESPN Radio."




ESPN Radio—New York Sports & Beyond (98.7fm):

WEPN-FM 98.7 is a commercial Sports News/Talk station in the New York, N.Y., area. It is owned by Emmis Communications Corp. WEPN-AM uses the slogan, "ESPN Radio."





[WATCH] Up2Us on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt

On January 31, 2014, James Kallusky, Director of Up2Us' Coach Across America program, was interviewed on NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt to speak on the importance and value of mentors in the lives of youth.

NewsTalk with Bruce DePuyt is a one-hour, call-in talk show featuring discussions about hotly debated issues including current affairs, social issues effecting the region and local politics. The program features on-set guests including local lawmakers and newsmakers. Viewers are encouraged to call in to voice their opinion live, on the air.