Monday, April 18, 2016
Big Brothers Big Sisters Of NYC Hosts 37th Annual Sidewalks Of New York Awards Dinner
Gala raises more than $2.3 million to support BBBS of NYC’s youth mentoring programs
NEW YORK – April 18, 2016 — More than 1,000 New Yorkers came together this evening to celebrate the power of mentoring at the 37th Annual Sidewalks of New York Dinner, hosted by Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City – the nation’s first and New York’s largest youth mentoring organization.
Tonight’s gala, which was held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in Manhattan, honored three individuals who are tremendous leaders in their professional and personal lives, and who have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to making a difference in the lives of young people through philanthropic contributions and community service: Cam Newton, quarterback for the Carolina Panthers and 2015 NFL MVP; Charles Phillips, chief executive officer of Infor; and Lisa Sherman, president and chief executive officer of the Ad Council, the non-profit behind iconic and impactful campaigns including Smokey Bear and “Love Has No Labels.”
The event was emceed by seven-time Emmy Award Winner, author and weather anchor for NBC’s Today, Al Roker, and two-time Emmy Award Winner, author and correspondent for ABC News’ 20/20, Deborah Roberts. Mark Standish, managing partner at Deimos Asset Management, LLC, served as Dinner Chair.
“Tonight’s honorees are exceptional individuals who serve as role models to young people and embody our mission of improving the lives of New York City youth,” said Mark Standish. “From the outstanding commitment of each of our honorees to the powerful stories told by our Bigs and Littles, we hope New Yorkers are inspired to take action and help ensure that every child has a positive role model they can count on. As Dinner Chair, I am truly honored to be part of such an incredible evening that has a profound impact on countless young people.”
BBBS of NYC’s largest annual event raised more than $2.3 million this year, which will support the organization’s mission of providing at-risk youth across New York City with positive adult role models. BBBS of NYC currently serves more than 5,000 young people throughout the five boroughs each year through a variety of specialized mentoring programs.
“Sidewalks of New York is a celebration of mentoring and the profound impact it has over time on the more than 5,000 young people we serve each year,” said Hector Batista, chief executive officer of BBBS of NYC. “While the positive effects of mentoring begin to reveal themselves almost immediately, so many of our Bigs continue to mentor their Littles for years beyond their initial commitment, and this is where we see the greatest results. The money raised this evening allows us to serve more young people, and help the matches last for the long term to grow that impact over time.”
Attendees joined to watch three BBBS of NYC matches (a match is a “Little” Brother of Sister and his or her “Big” Brother or Sister) present awards to this year’s honorees. Prior to tonight’s event, each match met with the honorees they introduced, where they learned about their backgrounds and discussed common interests. The matches spent several weeks writing, preparing and rehearsing their remarks for the ceremony, and delivered touching speeches that reflected on their personal experiences and the impact BBBS of NYC has had on their lives.
Big Brother Mike Ghoul and Little Brother Nasir Flight presented Cam Newton with the Sports Award. Since the very first day they met in 2013, Mike and Nasir have developed an incredibly tight bond. From playing football in the park to visiting the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, the two truly enjoy spending time with one another. Mike and Nasir have participated in BBBS of NYC’s Gridiron Games at MetLife Stadium for the past two years, and the event has now become their very own tradition. By providing support, structure and guidance, Mike is helping Nasir to excel in school and create a path toward academic success.
Big Sister Natalie Hunter and Little Sister Maria Mata presented Lisa Sherman with the Public Service Award. Natalie and Maria have been matched since December 2014, and in that time the two have had a significant, lasting impact on one another. Maria has goals of studying business in college and becoming an entrepreneur, and in order to help her Little Sister fulfill her dreams, Natalie welcomed Maria for a day of shadowing at her office. Through the BBBS of NYC Community Impact Program, Natalie has been able to provide the extra support and guidance Maria needs to accomplish her goals.
Big Brother Bill Coleman and Little Brother Rey Familia Veras presented Charles Phillips with the Corporate Award. Bill and Rey have been matched since 2013, and the two have developed a strong, trusting relationship. Rey is motivated, outgoing and has a positive outlook on life, and Bill describes his Little Brother as the hardest-working kid in Manhattan. With a true commitment to helping his Little Brother achieve success, Bill helped Rey earn his real estate agent’s license in New York when he turned 18 years old. Rey has accomplished many of his goals with the help of his Big Brother, and he continues to look to Bill for guidance and support as he prepares to attend college.
Past honorees have included Carmelo Anthony, Mariano Rivera, Eli Manning, Dikembe Mutombo, Julie Chen, Victor Cruz, Darrelle Revis, Deborah Roberts, Mellody Hobson and Leslie Moonves.
For more information on Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC or to volunteer, please visit www.bigsnyc.org.
About Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City
Big Brothers Big Sisters of NYC (BBBS of NYC), the nation’s first and NYC’s largest youth mentoring organization, has served the changing needs of New York City’s most at-risk youth since 1904. The volunteer- and donor-based organization offers a variety of specialized mentoring programs to help children facing more complex challenges – including immigrant youth, children in foster care and children of incarcerated parents – as well as the Workplace Mentoring Center, which helps businesses throughout New York City positively impact the lives of young people and build a foundation for professional success. Additionally, since 1992 BBBS of NYC has worked through its Center for Training and Professional Development to equip non-profit professionals throughout New York City to develop and enhance their own mentoring and youth-development programs and organizations.
Through the support of individuals, foundations and corporations, this not-for-profit agency has been able to change the lives of the city’s most disadvantaged children, matching them with caring adult role models – dependable friends who can help to expand their horizons, realize their potential and enrich their futures. To learn more, become a mentor and/or offer support, please visit www.bigsnyc.org.