Showcasing the transformational power of physical fitness and sports, the Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) will hold its ninth annual ‘A Celebration of Heroes, Heart and Hope’ gala on 10 June in New York City in recognition of the unbreakable athlete in us all.
Challenged Athletes Foundation – the global leader in helping people with physical challenges live active lifestyles – holds this signature celebration each year at the Waldorf Astoria New York raising funds to ensure that challenged athletes around the world have the opportunity to live full and active lives.
Natalie Morales and Willie Geist, anchors of NBC’s The TODAY Show, will host the evening, guiding attendees through uplifting stories of unbreakable athletic spirit, strength and support, as well as spectacular entertainment. The special night will include a performance by Challenged Athletes Foundation athlete, Paralympic medalist and ‘Dancing with the Stars’ fan favourite, Amy Purdy.
Byron Roth, Chairman and CEO of ROTH Capital Partners, will be honoured with special recognition for his dedication to supporting the development of athletes, both able-bodied and those with physical challenges. There will be close to 50 inspiring challenged athletes attending the evening, 15 of which are from New York.
Also sharing personal stories of unbreakable spirit, strength and support will be:
- Triathlon’s most heartwarming duo – Noah and Lucas Aldrich. At three months of age, doctors discovered that Lucas suffers from a rare brain condition called Lissencephaly (literally ‘smooth brain’). The brothers decided to continue living life to the fullest – their latest adventure is triathlon, with 9-year-old Noah and 7-year-old Lucas working as a team during the swim, bike and run.
- Former Runner’s World cover model and New Jersey resident, Glenn Hartrick. An avid athlete who became paralyzed in a cycling accident last year, Glenn was back at the starting line 10 months to the date of his accident, in a handcycle, which the Challenged Athletes Foundation helped him obtain. Glenn is determined to continue toward his goal of participation in the 2015 NYC Marathon.
“Last year’s event raised a record-breaking US$2.3 million, but as challenged athletes continue to break down stereotypes about what’s possible for people with physical challenges, the number of grant requests to CAF continues to grow,” said Virginia Tinley, Executive Director of the Challenged Athletes Foundation.
“Finances should never be an obstacle that keeps a physically challenged athlete from participating in life-affirming sports, and attendees at our gala can help make so many of these dreams a reality.”
Money raised at the event will help athletes obtain adaptive sports equipment, which can be costly and is not typically covered by medical insurance. The organization also provides coaching/training, travel and competition expenses through its Access for Athletes Grant Program, which distributed 1,709 grants in April 2015 around the world representing a collective value of US$3.5 million.The Challenged Athletes Foundation provides mentoring and free sports clinics for people with physical challenges year-round.
The 2015 ‘A Celebration of Heroes, Heart and Hope’ gala sponsors include: Julie & Martin Franklin, ROTH Capital Partners, Jeffrey A Altman Foundation, Harbinger Capital Partners, Daniel S Loeb/Third Point, Scott L Stackman, Rachel & Gary Sumers, Blackstone Charitable Foundation, Fisher Brothers Foundation, Charlotte & Gary Gilbert, John & Amy Griffin Foundation, IRONMAN, Gail Stackman, UBS Americas and Cindi & David Samson & Family.