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25th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner Presented by Stewart Rahr
More than $17 Million Raised for the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis
 

President Bill Clinton with Marc Buoniconti


Christine Lynn and Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras


Donald Trump and Stewart Rahr

NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti and his son Marc hosted an impressive crowd of more than 1,400 guests for the 25th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner, at the Waldorf-Astoria to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. Presenting Sponsor Stewart Rahr addressed the crowd and most generously donated $2 million for the event as well as underwrote Marc Buoniconti's new book, Paralyzed set to launch in 2011. Christine E. Lynn received the 2010 Outstanding Philanthropist Award and wowed the audience by donating $10 million to fund the Schwann and Stem Cell Human Clinical Trials Initiatives.

Former President Bill Clinton surprised the sold out affair by walking on stage to congratulate Nick and Marc in their mission as well as recognize his friend Rahr. The silver anniversary celebration raised more than $17 million and guests included sports legends, celebrities, philanthropic heroes and corporate leaders who all gathered to support paralysis and spinal cord injury research.

The 2010 Great Sports Legends Willie Mays, Bill Russell, Michael Irvin, Ignacio "Nacho" Figueras, Annika Sorenstam, Brian Leetch, Laird Hamilton and Calvin Borel each were introduced by spectacular career highlight reels produced by HBO Sports before they accepted their Tiffany & Co. awards on stage by sports broadcaster and the evening's Master of Ceremonies Bob Costas. Costas welcomed devoted benefactors Barbara and Jack Nicklaus to the stage to receive the 2010 Inspiration Award, NFL Hall of Famer Dan Marino to receive the 2010 Buoniconti Fund Award and longtime Buoniconti Fund supporter Tom Brokaw received the 2010 American Icon Award.

"To be surrounded by this much compassion and support for a cause that is so meaningful to me and my family, is truly overwhelming. For twenty five years, our researchers have made discoveries and strides, and now, we are happy to move that work into humans with our upcoming clinical trials. Our researchers are changing the way the medical profession looks at and treats paralysis," said Nick Buoniconti, Founder of The Buoniconti Fund.

Notables in attendance included Gloria and Emilio Estefan, Donald Trump, Olympian Skater Dorothy Hamill, NFL NY Giants Hall of Famer Harry Carson, CBS Sportscaster Lesley Visser, Apollo 11 Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, 10 x Olympic Medalist in Swimming Gary Hall, Jr, 1968 Olympic Long Jump Medalist Bob Beamon, MLB Great Scott Erickson, Former Miami Dolphin Earl Morrall, actress and model Christie Brinkley, Former Miami Dolphin Nat Moore, Super Bowl MVP with the Redskins Mark Rypien, Former MLB Player with the Mets and Yankees Phil Linz, Former Miami Dolphin Super Bowl Champion Dick Anderson, NBA Hall of Famer Rick Barry, Jockey legend Jerry Bailey, 10 x Olympic Gold Medalist Carl Lewis, Olympic Bobsledding Gold Medalist Steve Holcomb, famous pop artist Romero Britto and Friday Night Lights star Brad Leland…and so many others.

The VIP reception was sponsored by Carnival Corporation and the Vehicle Production Group, responsible for the MV-1, the first vehicle designed specifically for wheelchair accessibility. Supporting sponsors for the evening included Continental Airlines, Tiffany & Co., and Philip Knight of Nike.

For more info, www.thebuonicontifund.com and 1-800-STAND-UP


Jack and Barbara Nicklaus with Bob Costas and Tom Brokaw

Romero Britto and Buzz Aldrin


President Bill Clinton

Gary Hall, Jr., Rick Barry and Brian Leetch


Gloria Estefan and Dan Marino

Lois Pope and Dorothy Hamill

Michael Irvin and Harry Carson


Michael Irvin and Marc Buoniconti

Laird Hamilton


Thomas Leblanc, Marc Buoniconti and Pascal Goldschmidt, M.D.

Christine Lynn and Brian Leetch


Donna Summer

Marc Buoniconti and Bill Russell


Marc Buoniconti, Annika Sorenstam and Dr. Barth Green

Dan Marino, Carl Lewis and Bob Beamon


Nick Buoniconti, Christine Lynn and John Gallo

Nick Buoniconti, Willie Mays and Bill Russell


Willie Mays, Marc Buoniconti and Calvin Borel

Mary Frank from Carnival Corporation & plc, Gloria Estefan, Terry Buoniconti, Marc Buoniconti, Mike Brzostowski from Continental Airlines, Henry Gonzalez from Tiffany & Co., Florida State Senator Thad Altman, Ross Greenburg from HBO Sports, Jeff Ivey from Diageo and Florida State Senator Mike Haridopolis


Nat Moore, Dan Marino and Bob Beamon

Barbara Nicklaus, Terry and Marc Buoniconti with Jack Nicklaus


Terry and Marc Buoniconti with Stewart Rahr

Gloria and Emilio Estefan with Marc Buoniconti and Mr. and Mrs. Fred Drasner


The Pointer Sisters

Stephen Ross and Donald Trump


Jack Welch and Tom Brokaw

Christie Brinkley, Stewart Rahr and Russell Simmons

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