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!
Back in August, Up2Us partnered with the NY Jets on a sports equipment drive to take place before every pre-season and regular season game at Metlife Stadium. The Jets Play 60 Sports Equipment Drive benefitting Up2Us gives fans the opportunity to donate new and gently used equipment three hours prior to the start of every home game. All equipment donated will be dispersed to our member organizations in the NY/NJ area. Up2Us has approximately 100 member organizations in the NY/NJ area, all using sports and youth development to improve the lives of youth in underserved communities.
So far Up2Us has seen great support from fans! We’ve collected a number of different sports equipment including baseball bats, helmets, tennis rackets, cleats, and much more!
Examples of accepted items include: Footballs, Soccer balls & goals, Baseball & softball gloves, Volleyballs, Basketballs, Water Coolers, Free weights, Jump ropes For the rest of the season, fans that donate will receive a signed NY Jets football or an official Breast Cancer Awareness Sideline Towel provided by the NY Jets. Items are limited so donate soon!
If you will be attending a Jets game at Metlife Stadium and want to donate equipment, you can find Up2Us between the Pepsi & Bud Light Gates three hours prior to the start of the game.
Remaining games of the 2013-2014 season:
12/1 Miami Dolphins @ 1pm 12/8 Oakland Raiders @ 1pm 12/22 Cleveland Browns @ 1pm *Up2Us will be collecting equipment starting at 10am
If you want to donate equipment but will not be attending a game this year, please email Christy Venable at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out further details on our equipment donation locations. Thank you to the NY Jets for providing Up2Us with this incredible opportunity and a special thanks to A-1 First Class Moving and Storage.
Click here for more information on our equipment drive.