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Save the Date September 24, 2018
E-mail this page to your friends

Black Tie International:
The 33rd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner





NBC Sports Bob Costas will Emcee; KC and the Sunshine Band to perform

at New York Hilton Midtown Hotel.


New York, NY  - Alex Rodriguez is a World Series Champion with the New York Yankees, one of the greatest professional baseball players of all-time and the career record-holder for grand slam home runs. Ray Allen is a basketball legend and two-time NBA Champion who is being inducted into the Naismith Hall of Fame in a few weeks and is the record-holder for the most three-point shots made in NBA playoff history. Bob Griese is a football Hall of Fame quarterback from the only team to be undefeated for an entire season, the 1972 Miami Dolphins and a two-time Super Bowl Champion.  Mike Smith is a Hall of Fame jockey who recently rode Justify to the Triple Crown. Brian Boitano won the Gold Medal in figure skating at the 1988 Winter Olympics as well as at the 1986 and 1988 World Championships.  Actress, author and motivational speaker Amy Purdy is the most decorated US Paralympic Snowboarder winning three medals in the past two Winter Games in Sochi and PyeongChang. While they have all excelled at their respective sports, they now join a singular superstar group.  Indeed, these iconic sports professionals, Hall of Famers, Gold Medalists, World Champions, and boldface names will be honored by The Buoniconti Fund at its 33nd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner on Monday, September 24 at The New York Hilton Midtown Hotel.

In addition to the Sports Legends, two special awards will be given: Ignacio “Nacho” Figueras, a prodigious philanthropist, top male model and one of the greatest polo players of all time, will receive The Buoniconti Fund’s 2018 Philanthropist Award.  And Chris Evert, a noted humanitarian and tennis Hall of Famer who won 18 Grand Slam Singles Championships and three Grand Slam Doubles Championships, will be conferred The Buoniconti Fund’s 2018 Humanitarian Award.

The evening is hosted by NFL Hall of Famer Nick Buoniconti and his son Marc, chaired by Mark Dalton, and emceed by NBC Sports personality Bob Costas.  The renowned Grammy Award-winning disco and funk groupKC and the Sunshine Band, whose numerous hits include "That's the Way (I Like It)," "(Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake Your Booty," and "I'm Your Boogie Man,” is the featured entertainment. 

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 most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center.

Since its inception in 1985, the Great Sports Legends Dinner has honored more than 350 sports legends and humanitarians and has raised more than $100 million for The Miami Project's spinal cord injury research programs. The Miami Project-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.


The dinner, presented by the Tudor Group, annually attracts a veritable “Who’s Who” of more than 1,500 sports legends, celebrities, philanthropists, corporate leaders and other influential New Yorkers. The evening includes a spectacular auction featuring one of a kind sports items, spectacular jewelry, the latest electronics, and a Kidz Korner.


Benefactors include; Tudor Group, Carnival Corporation & plc, Carnival Foundation, Reid Mack and the R&B Company, Tiffany & Co., HBO Sports, BartonG and Scythian Biosciences Inc., a Division of SOL GLOBAL INVESTMENTS CORP.


“For over 32 years the Great Sports Legend Dinner has supported a singular essential mission, finding a cure for paralysis,” said Marc Buoniconti. “On the way, the event has raised funds and awareness for ground-breaking, much-needed spinal cord injury research, as well as cutting-edge treatment and service programs.  We’re honored to have the generosity and participation of so many iconic athletes and heroes who join us in providing hope for those living with paralysis, so together we can stand as one.”

"Sports Legends Alumni" include Muhammad Ali,  Willie Mays,  Earvin "Magic" Johnson, Tony Hawk, Cal Ripken, Jr., Gloria Estefan, Jack Nicklaus, Wayne Gretzky, George Foreman, Julio Iglesias, Helio Castroneves, Troy Aikman, Joe DiMaggio, Mario Andretti, Joe Namath, Pedro Martinez, Hakeem Olajuwon, Dan Marino, Mike Piazza, Pat Riley, Grant Hill, Bill Cowher, Kelly Slater, Joe Torre, Venus Williams, Michael Jordan, Simone Biles, Abby Wambach, and many other athletes and heroes – all of whom recognize that paralyzing injuries can and do occur in the pursuit of athletic careers and everyday lives.

The 33nd Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner begins at 5:30 PM at the New York Hilton Midtown Hotel, 1335 6th Ave, New York City. Tickets start at $850 per person and can be purchased by phone at (305)-243-4656 or

For more information about The Buoniconti Fund, please visit: To take part in the conversation on social media follow us at, or Twitter and Instagram @BuonicontiFund using hashtags #SportsLegendsDinner and #CureParalysis.


About The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis and The Buoniconti FundThe Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, a Center of Excellence at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, is considered the premier investigative research program conducting cutting edge discovery, translational, and clinical investigations targeting spinal cord and brain injuries.  The Miami Project’s international team includes more than 200 scientists, researchers, clinicians, and support staff who take innovative approaches to the challenges of spinal cord and brain injuries. 


The Miami Project’s clinical trial program currently includes autologous Schwann cell transplantation, therapeutic hypothermia, Riluzole, deep brain stimulation, and brain machine interface.  Our discovery program is investigating immune modulation, scar formation, and regeneration mechanisms after injury to better enable development of future interventions.  In 1985, Barth A. Green, M.D. and NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti helped found The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis after Nick’s son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game.  Since then research at The Miami Project has changed the landscape of knowledge and therapeutic strategies for spinal cord injury and traumatic brain 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.


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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