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Sports Superstars Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, John Elway, Mark Messier, Gary Player & Kelly Slater Among Those Named 2007 Buoniconti Fund Great Sports Legends

Earthtimes.org - USA - Sports superstars and philanthropic icons will be recognized at the 22nd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner on Monday, September 17 at New York's Waldorf=Astoria Hotel. The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis is a non-profit organization that is the national fundraising arm of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, the world's largest, most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center, based at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

The 2007 Great Sports Legends are:

-- Earvin "Magic" Johnson - five-time NBA champion with the Los Angeles Lakers
-- John Elway - Denver Broncos Hall of Fame NFL quarterback
-- Mark Messier - New York Rangers three-time MVP and Hockey Hall of Fame inductee
-- Gary Player - winner of nine major golf championships, including three Masters, three British Opens, two PGA Championships and the         U.S. Open
-- Kelly Slater - ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) world champion title holder an unprecedented eight times
-- Joe Morgan - former Cincinnati Reds second baseman and National Baseball Hall of Fame member
-- Janet Evans - five-time Olympic medalist for swimming
-- Gil de Ferran - winner of the 2003 Indianapolis 500 and two-time winner of the Champ Car World Series
-- Lesley Visser - Sportscaster and the first woman to receive the Pro Football Hall of Fame's Pete Rozelle Radio-Television Award

Tom Brokaw, who is again hosting the event, will present "The Outstanding Philanthropist Award" to Lois Pope and "The Buoniconti Fund Award" to The Bantle Family.

The spectacular and heartwarming event is expected to again sell out to over 1,300 guests and raise more than $3 million for spinal cord injury research. The event begins at 6 p.m. with a cocktail reception and silent auction, followed by dinner, which will include a live auction of one-of-a- kind sports memorabilia and other unique items.

"These honorees are among the finest that sports have to offer," says Nick Buoniconti, founder of The Buoniconti Fund and defensive captain of the undefeated 1972 Miami Dolphins. "This group of the greatest sports figures of all time have individually contributed in significant ways to their respective fields and, by accepting this honor at our annual fundraiser, they are also contributing to finding a cure for spinal cord injuries, which affect millions of lives."

Over the course of the past two decades, the Great Sports Legends Dinner has honored 226 of the world's greatest athletes and individuals. They are recognized for their contributions to the world of sports and acknowledged for their commitment to high ethical standards, dedication to their community, worthy causes and achievements as positive role models. Their participation has helped raise more than $34 million for The Miami Project's spinal cord injury research programs. Former honorees include Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan, Mickey Mantle, Jack Nicklaus, Gloria Estefan, Muhammad Ali, Wayne Gretzky, Patrick Ewing, Walter Cronkite, Mia Hamm, Dan Marino and Joe DiMaggio.

In 1985, Barth A. Green, M.D. and Nick Buoniconti founded The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis after Nick's son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game. Today, The Miami Project is the world's largest, most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center located in the Lois Pope LIFE Center and is based at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. The Miami Project's international team of over 200 scientists, clinicians, technicians and support staff take innovative approaches to the challenge of spinal cord injury. Committed to finding a cure for paralysis resulting from spinal cord injury and to seeing millions worldwide walk again, the Buoniconti family established The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis in 1992, a non-profit organization devoted to assisting The Miami Project achieve its national and international goals.
Source : Originally Published Earthtimes.org - USA, Jul 16, 2007
Celebrities : Mark Messier, Gary Player, Earvin Johnson, Kelly Slater, John Elway
Categories : Athlete News
Posted 7/16/2007 10:07:45 AM | Permalink
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