The Randall’s Island Sports Foundation (RISF) hosted their 2012 Fielding Dreams Gala on March 15th, 2012, to celebrate the continued achievements of the sprawling sports destination and honor two community leaders who have contributed to that success.
The event, held at Skylight Soho, honored The Corcoran Group’s Pamela Liebman and NY Jets quarterback Mark Sanchez for their dedication to improving children’s lives in New York City and supporting Randall’s Island Park.
For 20 years, the RISF has been providing opportunities for youngsters to be active and play a wide range of sports from soccer and horseback riding to lacrosse and dance classes. Offering a free summer camp program to the children from Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, RISF tapped Sanchez to present the Fielding Dreams NYC Youth All-Star Award to several deserving children for their participation in the program.
According to Sanchez, “I remember my days as a ‘little-leaguer’… looking back, I realize that those were some of the most formative and important years of my life.” By developing a safe and state of the art facility on Randall’s Island, the foundation offers kids the same opportunity for development. Added Liebman, “Randall’s Island Park is one of New York City’s great resources, especially benefiting the thousands of children who get to go outdoors and have fun while learning to play any number of sports.”
The high profile crowd of nearly 500 guests included city officials, leaders in sports and health industries, Bravo’s Inside the Actor’s Studio host James Lipman, and emcee Willie Geist, the co-host of Morning Joe on MSNBC. After the awards ceremony and cocktail hour, dinner concluded with a live auction run by distinguished auctioneer CK Swett of Phillips de Pury. Several exciting items were snapped up by the philanthropic crowd including tickets to this year’s Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and the chance to join Mark Sanchez on set for a commercial shoot.
Gala proceeds benefit RISF and will provide sports programs free of charge to thousands of public school kids in Harlem and South Bronx. These communities have the highest rates of obesity, asthma and diabetes, and RISF endeavors to change that with their programming. For more information about Randall’s Island Sports Foundation and its free youth programs that serve 1.7 million annual visitors, please visit www.randallsisland.org.
Photos by BFA