Up2Us hosted its first gala this past June at Tribeca Rooftop in New York City. Over 350 guests celebrated and supported Up2Us’ mission to advance sports as the solution to the critical challenges facing America’s youth.
Following cocktails, Sandra Bernhard opened the program by introducing Up2Us Founder & Executive Director Paul Caccamo who gave a touching speech on the power of sports to transform the lives of youth. Internationally acclaimed musician and composer Wynton Marsalis presented Kareem Abdul-Jabbar with the first ever Up2Us Legacy Award, recognizing the NBA hall of famer for his 20-plus years of contribution to sport, education, and humanitarian efforts. Following Kareem, NBA All-Star David Lee presented three Coach Across America coaches with the Coach of the Year award, recognizing them for their exceptional service and dedication to supporting at-risk youth.Cocktails were held on Tribeca's famed rooftop where guests were treated to 360 views of the Manhattan skyline and a red carpet, which included Naomi Watts, Sienna Miller, Erin Heatherton and other notable personalities. Emcee of the night, comedian Sandra Bernhard, rocked out on the red carpet with a guitar signed by Mick Jagger, which later sold for $15,000 at our live auction. Up2Us honoree and NBA Legend, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, also joined the red carpet walk, taking pictures with other athletes including Sean Avery, David Lee and Sarah Hughes.
Congratulations again to Ebonee Le'Triece from World Fit for Kids, Michel Tilapa from Beyond the Ball and Payne Schanski from Tenacity on their Coach of the Year award. Up2Us would like to thank everyone for their support in helping us get one step closer to our goal of placing 1,000 coaches nationwide by 2015. We look forward to seeing you all at our 2014 Gala!