Miamians Turn Out For NY Buoniconti Fund Sports Legends Dinner

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NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12: Actor Christian Slater attends the 31th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel on September 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund)
Actor Christian Slater attends the 31th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis at The Waldorf Astoria Hotel on September 12, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Ben Hider/Getty Images for The Buoniconti Fund)

Miami super-stars came out in full-force to The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis’ 31st Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner. Gloria and Emilio Estefan, who presented The Buoniconti Fund’s Outstanding Philanthropist Award to James L. Nederlander, President of The Nederlander Organization, were there up from the Magic City. Golden Globe Winner and Coral Gables resident Christian Slater took home the The Buoniconti Fund Award and a special tribute was paid to the late one-time Miami Beach resident Muhammed Ali.

Just to Miami it up a little more, the cast of the smash hit Broadway musical, “On Your Feet! – The Story of Gloria and Emilio Estefan,” performed live. The star-studded event also served as a 50th birthday party for the organizations founder and namesake, Marc Buoniconti, who was paralyzed playing college football in 1985. 

The benefit was hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti and his son Marc and honored a top athletes such as New York Yankees great and World Series Champion Mariano Rivera, seven-time tennis Major winner and fashion designer Venus Williams, NFL Hall of Fame running back from the New York Jets Curtis Martin, New York Knicks legend and NBA Hall of Famer Willis Reed, four-time IndyCar Series Champion Dario Franchitti, Olympic Gold Medalist Tara Lipinski, WNBA, NBA, and FIBA Hall of Fame basketball great Cheryl Miller, and record-setting long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad.

“Each year we are amazed by the overwhelming support we receive from our many friends from around the globe, and this year was especially inspirational and memorable,” said Nick Buoniconti. “We are thrilled to celebrate the unique and unmatched talents of our Sports Legends and humbled by the staunch support and philanthropic efforts of all our guests who helped make this night a huge success in raising much-needed funds for spinal cord injury research.”

NBC’s Nightly News anchor Lester Holt served as the event’s emcee that helped raise funds for the Miami Project’s spinal cord injury research programs.

 The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is considered the premier investigative research program conducting cutting edge discovery, translational, and clinical investigations targeting spinal cord and brain injuries.  The Miami Project’s international team includes more than 300 scientists, researchers, clinicians, and support staff who take innovative approaches to the challenges of spinal cord and brain injuries.

 

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