The Great Sports Legend Dinner 2013: Raising Millions for Sports Medicine Technology

The Great Sports Legend Dinner 2012 honored Shaquille O’Neal
The Great Sports Legend Dinner 2012 honored Shaquille O’Neal

The Great Sports Legend Dinner 2013: Raising Millions for Sports Medicine Technology

Professional sports stars in the U.S. do more than entertain us. The Great Sports Legend Dinner has helped raise 95 million dollars for medical technology research since 1992. The dinner features amazing food, inspirational speeches and legendary company— while accomplishing miracles in paralysis research. Whether you’re interested in sports, medicine or making a difference, The Legends Dinner is worth a standing ovation.

The Inspiration Behind The Foundation

NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti’s son, Marc sustained a terrible spinal chord injury in 1985. The tragic accident inspired his father and Dr. Barth M. Green to start The Buoniconti Foundation and The Miami Fund for Paralysis, which raises funds for advanced paralysis technology research. The Miami project is housed in the Lois Pope LIFE Center in Miami, and currently boasts 250 scientists, researchers and clinicians who are devoted to a cure for spinal cord injury induced paralysis (The Buoniconti Foundation).

The Heroes of 2012

The Great Sports Legends Dinner takes place at the Waldorf-Astoria in Orlando. Every year it features an all-star lineup of athletes, actors and philanthropists. In 2012, the event honored Shaquille O’Neal, Marshall Faulk, Mark Martin, Tony Perez, Lisa Leslie, Jake LaMotta, Joe Torre, Lorena Ochoa and the Outstanding Business Award went to Emilio Estevez. Through silent auctions, donations and giveaways, the event broke records, raising 18 million dollars in 2012 alone. The Great Sports Legends dinner has single-handedly funded FDA approval of a cell transplant trial for acute spinal cord injuries, the first and only trial of it’s kind in the U.S., and that’s only the beginning.

The Future of Sports Tech

The 2013 Great Sports Legends Dinner will continue the generous trend of giving. This year’s Master of Ceremonies will be sports TV Legend Bob Costa. The lineup of featured guests includes Andre Agassi, Willie Mays, Helio Castroneves, Lennox Lewis, Troy Aikman,  Magic Johnson, Gary Player, Kelly Slater, Roger Penske, Dorothy Hamill, Cal Ripken, Jr., Tony Hawk and Jack Nicklaus. This year’s honorees will be Michael Jordan and Dara Torres. A live auction and performance by Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons will follow the ceremony, and there are plenty of people to rub elbows with in the meantime. The Great Sports Legends Dinner isn’t just a fun way to honor our heroes, it’s a noble way to educate and contribute to technology that can better athletes and the injured.

Image by Flickr user Kaloozer

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