▶16k i dtisme &s •e MdARuCcH a26t, 2i0o15n FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT www.timesnewsweekly.com Local sports stars set to take the stage to raise money for children with disabilities The Viscardi Center, a network of nonprofit organizations providing a lifespan of services that educate, employ and empower people with disabilities, is hosting its 49th Annual Celebrity Sports Night, presented by DiversityInc, on May 14 at its campus located in Albertson, Long Island. Proceeds from the event provide critical funding for the center’s programs and services for children and adults with disabilities. Over the past 49 years, this event has honored all-time greats such as Joe Namath, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Seaver, Dorothy Hamill, Willie Mays and Walt Frazier. This year’s Sports Night event, being chaired by John Danzi, principal of Long Island Hotels, shines the spotlight on Clarks Gillies, former New York Islander as sportsman of the year; Luke Visconti, CEO of DiversityInc, a distinguished honoree; Robin Hayes, president and CEO of JetBlue Airways, recipient of the Corporate Excellence in Disability Practices Award; and Victor Calise, commissioner of the NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, the Roy Campanella Award Recipient. Athletes already planning to attend this year’s event include former New York Met outfielder Mookie Wilson, former New York Giants punter Sean Landeta and running back Tucker Fredrickson, former New York Jets wide receiver Wesley Walker and defensive backs John Dockery and Mike D’Amato and champion thoroughbred trainer “Shug” McGaughey. The list of attendees grows weekly. During the event’s cocktail reception, guests have the opportunity to collect autographs and speak with the celebrity and athlete attendees. They can also strike a post with their favorite sportsmen and women. A silent auction featuring autographed sports memorabilia and show/sporting events tickets and experiences is held during the reception. A live auction of often “priceless” experiences raises additional funds. The highlight of the evening is an original performance by students of the Henry Viscardi School at The Viscardi Center directed by JoJo Starbuck, Olympic figure skating champion. Henry Viscardi School educates children with severe physical disabilities, pre-K through high school (to age 21). During the musical performance, students take the stage with some of the athletes in attendance. To purchase tickets and sponsorships, and more information, visit viscardicenter.org/sportsnight, or call 516-465-1595. Dwight Gooden, 2014 Sports Night Sportsman of the Year, strikes a pose with a Henry Viscardi School student. “Dancing with the Stars” Champion, J.R. Martinez with one of his fans. Former TNA and WWE World Heavyweight Champion, Mick Foley, performing in a Sports Night performance with Viscardi students. NFL Greats, Joe Namath and Joe Theismann presenting Henry Viscardi School basketball players with their Senior Awards at Sports Night. Mookie Wilson in the Sports Night athlete parade.
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