Last night, the 37th Annual Thurman Munson Awards, which pays homage to the late, great Yankees captain, took place at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City.
This year’s honorees included New York Yankees rookie sensation Gary Sanchez, 1977 Yankees World Series champions and Thurman’s teammates Bucky Dent and Graig Nettles (Munson LEGEND Award) in the 40th Anniversary of the title, current New York Mets infielder Wilmer Flores, and Super Bowl winning New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz; and Thurman Munson’s widow Diana Munson, who has attended all of the previous 36 benefits, and has been involved since the dinner’s inception, and Sanford J. Schlesinger, Founding Partner, Schlesinger Gannon & Lazetera LLP, “Corporate Hero” Award.
Graig Nettles opened up the evening remembering his teammate and friend. “Being able to live out what Thurman had hoped for is the best gift we can give him, it is an honor to be here with his family and seeing the future sports hero’s giving back year after year”.
The Thurman Munson Awards Dinner has raised nearly $15 million for programs that serve New York City children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. The AHRC New York City Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports programs enabling children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to lead richer, more productive lives, including programs of AHRC New York City. AHRC New York City is one of the largest organizations of its kind, serving 15,000 children and adults who have intellectual and developmental disabilities, including autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries and other disabilities.
Honoree Wilmer Flores was humbled by the recognition and felt like he was part of the Munson family. “Giving back to the community is what it’s all about, I wouldn’t be where I am without the support of my community, so I will do whatever I can to give back”, Flores stated. Flores stays active within the community through the efforts of the Mets Foundation, participating in the MLB’s Play Ball initiative with kid’s clinic, the Ronald MacDonald House Charities, hosting baseball clinics for the Post St. Lucie Special Olympics.
New York Giant’s fan favorite Victor Cruz was thrilled to be included with the other honorees. “As an athlete we are very lucky to get so much support, being able to give back to not just our fans but the communities in which we live and work it really warms your heart”. Cruz started the “Victor Cruz Foundation” in 2012. The foundation provides a full array of support for youth to achieve success in the workforce and life, utilizing S.T.E.M (science, technology, engineering, and math). The “Victor Cruz Foundation” partnered with Time Warner Cable’s Connect a Million Minds and the Boys and Girls Club of America in 2013 and are continuing to grow.
The Thurman Munson Awards honor the good guys on and off the field, we look forward to the 38th Annual Awards inductees.