The sixth annual Tom Coughlin’s Jay Fund Foundation’s Champions for Children fund-raising event was held on Friday, Oct.1 at Cipriani’s 42nd Street in New York City. Each year, the Championship for Children’s Gala provides a chance for the fund to honor inspirational citizens, as well as to raise money to offer fundamental financial aid and emotional support to families with children suffering from cancer.
The Super Bowl XLII Champion and New York Giants Head Coach Tom Coughlin hosted the event. Regardless of the rain, the excitement level was high as there were many past and present New York Giant players in attendance that came together to support the cause. This included NFL Hall of Famers Harry Carson and Floyd Little, as well as crowd pleaser and New York Giants current quarterback Eli Manning.
The night honored Charles Allen, the president and CEO of Athlon Sports Communication, for his outstanding devotion and generous contributions of time, talents and resources to the Jay Fund. The other exceptional honoree was Jerald F. Irving, senior vice president and managing director of ICAP Securities USA, for his charitable leadership of ICAP and the donation of more than $119 million to benefit children’s charities over the past 17 years. Both men demonstrated merit in their accomplishments and outstanding civic leadership.
The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund was founded in 1996 in tribute to Jay McGillis, a member of the Boston College football team who developed leukemia while a member of the team. Tom Coughlin was motivated by the bravery, compassion and confidence that Jay and his family demonstrated during the course of his sickness. It is the mission of The Tom Coughlin Jay Fund Foundation to help children and their families with leukemia and other cancers by providing emotional and monetary support to help improve the children’s quality of life and to assist in decreasing family stress associated with going through the crisis. This year’s event is particularly significant as it is the first year that the Jay Fund has extended its outreach to pediatric oncology patients in the New York area by adding therapeutic diversion programs at the NYU Langone Medical Center; sending 10 pediatric oncology patients to Camp Happy Times, and establishing an emergency fund at the Children’s Hospital of New Jersey at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center to aid families in crisis with transportation and household expenses.
It seems that a bit of team bonding for an important cause was the best way to achieve a victory as the New York Giants beat the Chicago Bears the Sunday after the event.