(September 2020) – Over the past three and a half decades, The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, has honored a veritable “Who’s Who” of Hall of Fame members, Olympic Gold Medalists, and World Champions in every professional sport at its Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner.
Now, a group of these “best of the best” athletes — notably Yankees Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera, Red Sox World Series Champion and MVP David Ortiz, NFL Hall of Fame safety and nine-time Pro Bowler Ed Reed, former Olympic Gold Medal figure skater champion Tara Lipinski, Yankees 14-time All-Star World Series Champion Alex Rodriguez, and and the “Golden Bear” Jack Nicklaus, perhaps the greatest golfer of all time — are joining with the organization as it celebrates its 35th Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner, which will be held virtually for the first time on October 8, 2020.
The evening, presented by Tudor Group, the Mack Family and Badia Spices, will be hosted by Buoniconti Fund President Marc Buoniconti, and The Miami Project co-founder Dr. Barth Green, Dinner Chairman Mark Dalton, and emceed by legendary sportscaster Bob Costas. The wildly celebrated cast of the Broadway hit Hamilton and Grammy Award winning singer and humanitarian Gloria Estefan will be special entertainment guests.
“The pandemic may have altered our ability to hold our annual Great Sports Legends Dinner in person, but it will not alter our decades-long quest to find a cure for paralysis,” said Marc Buoniconti. “In fact, with the breakthroughs we’ve already made through our pioneering research and the cutting-edge studies we are currently conducting, it is essential that our efforts continue to receive robust support. So we are grateful both to the Sports Legends and to all the donors and other supporters who are participating in this year’s virtual event.”
The fun-filled virtual affair will feature a mix of remarks by the Sports Legends, a presentation by Marc Buoniconti, the organization’s president who was paralyzed 35 years ago in a college football game, tributes from patients whose lives have been transformed by The Miami Project, entertainment, and more.
The dinner serves to benefit The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis, the fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis. The Miami Project, a designated Center of Excellence at the University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine, is the world’s pre-eminent spinal cord injury research and treatment center.
Since its inception in 1985, the Great Sports Legends Dinner has honored more than 370 sports legends and humanitarians and has raised more than $125 million for The Miami Project’s spinal cord injury research programs. The Miami Project and Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis is committed to finding a cure for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury and to seeing millions worldwide walk again.
Event sponsors include: Tudor Group, the Mack family, Badia Spices, and HBO Sports.