The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis Celebrates 32nd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner

Previous PostMiansai x Illesteva Sample Sale To Benefit Style Saves And Hurricane Relief
Next PostBally's New Collaboration With Swizz Beatz

On Monday evening, September 25th, an iconic group of Sports Legends, Hall of Famers, Gold Medalists, World Champions, and honorees came out to show their support for the 32nd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner to benefit The Miami Project/Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis.

David Ortiz
David Ortiz

The evening ceremony was hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti and his son Marc, and honored legendary designated hitter and first baseman for the Boston Red Sox David “Big Papi” Ortiz, four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Simone Biles, NBA Hall of Famer and former Miami Heat forward Alonzo Mourning, Hall of Fame defensive end and linebackerfor the Miami Dolphins and New York Jets Jason Taylor, four-time IndyCar Racing Champion Scott Dixon, six-time tennis Grand Slam champion Kim Clijsters, and FIFA Women’s World Cup Champion and two-time Olympic Gold Medalist Abby Wambach.

Alonzo Mourning
Alonzo Mourning

Special tribute was also paid to NASCAR chairman and CEO Brian France and Amy France, who received The Outstanding Philanthropists Award; television personality and victim rights activist John Walsh, who received The Inspiration Award; renowned Brazilian artist and activist Romero Britto, who received The Humanitarian Award; and former Miami Dolphin and longtime Buoniconti Fund champion Dick Anderson, who received The Buoniconti Fund Award. Gloria and Emilio Estefan, constant and avid supporters were also in attendance.

Gloria & Emilio Estefan
Gloria & Emilio Estefan

During the ceremony Thomas E. Smith proudly walked across the stage and gave an incredibly moving speech about his journey with paralysis and his road to recovery. Thomas, along with Tucker Mullin, created the Thomas E. Smith Foundation from Thomas’s hospital room in 2009 “whose mission is to better the lives of those affected by and living with paralysis through financial and emotional support, as well as supporting preventative innovations that decrease the risk of spinal cord injuries.”

IMG_3418
Thomas E. Smith

In May 2015, Thomas and his friend Teague Egan completed the 2,109 mile Thomas E. Smith Foundation Reality Ride Challenge from Boston, MA to Miami, FL. This event spanned 38 days that consisted of 31 days of Thomas and Teague performing an average of 65 miles a day on their bicycles, 3 miles a day in a hand-cycle wheelchair in recognition of Thomas’ 3 paralyzing accidents, and walked 1 mile per day. By the end of the event, The Thomas E. Smith Foundation had reached their goal of raising $100,000 for The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

Thomas Smith, Chris Smith, and Teague Egan presenting the $100,000 donation to Marc Buoniconti at the 30th Great Sports Legends Dinner in 2015
Thomas Smith, Chris Smith, and Teague Egan presenting the $100,000 donation to Marc Buoniconti at the 30th Great Sports Legends Dinner in 2015

Since its inception in 1985, the Great Sports Legends Dinner has honored more than 300 sports legends and honorees and has helped The Buoniconti Fund raise more than $350 million for The Miami Project’s spinal cord injury research programs. The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, through the research efforts of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, is committed to finding a cure for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury and to seeing millions worldwide walk again.

Ashley Fern of Haute Living, her father and former Miami Project Patient Keith Fern, and Gloria & Emilio Estefan
Ashley Fern of Haute Living, her father and former Miami Project patient and success story Keith Fern, and Gloria & Emilio Estefan

To learn more or to make a donation to The Miami Project and The Buoniconti Fund To Cure Paralysis click here.

connect with haute living National
Loader