LongIsland.com

ABILITIES! HOSTS 45th ANNUAL CELEBRITY SPORTS NIGHT MAY 19

Written by Lynn Bishop  |  11. May 2011

Sports stars come to Albertson each year to show support for Abilities!, one of the world's leading organizations dedicated to fully integrating people with disabilities into society. And this year is no exception with headliners including Executive Sportsman honoree, Lou Piniella, and Roy Campanella Award recipients, Ted Kennedy, Jr. and Eric LeGrand. This is always a spectacular night of camaraderie and inspiration, said Sports Night Chairman Joseph C. Tranfo, Esq., of Benedict Capital, LLC. And it is an opportunity for all of us to recognize those who have demonstrated great sportsmanship in their careers and true courage in the face of adversity. Lou Piniella played with the Yankees for 11 seasons - including two World Series championships - before retiring as a player and becoming a manager for teams including the Yankees, Cincinnati Reds, Tampa Bay Devil Reds, and Chicago Cubs. Also a guest analyst for sports broadcasts, Lou Piniella recently announced his retirement after 50 years in baseball. At the age of 12, Ted Kennedy, Jr. was diagnosed with bone cancer requiring that his right leg be amputated. He went on to achieve many things, although ever mindful of this event and its impact. Upon earning his law degree he worked as an attorney, specializing in disability issues. He later founded, and today is president, of the Marwood Group, advisers to corporations on health care and financial services, and sits on the board of the American Association of People with Disabilities. Eric LeGrand, a college football defensive lineman, suffered a severe spinal injury during a game in his junior year, leading to paralysis. In hospitals and a rehabilitation program since 2008, Rutgers University reported earlier this year that LeGrand has regained some mobility in his shoulders and sensation in his body. He will attend Sports Night with his family. Sports Night will also be the occasion to recognize the long-time supporter and partner for the on-site workplace training of Abilities! consumers - The UPS Foundation and its president, Ken Sternad. Attendees will be able to meet and greet celebrity sports icons, obtain autographs and participate in photo ops. The night features a live presentation directed by Olympic figure skating champion JoJo Starbuck, a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions. Sports Night is business attire and begins at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday May 19, 2011 at Abilities!, 201 I.U. Willets Road in Albertson, NY. Tickets are $500.00 per person, and a complete listing of table and sponsorship opportunities is available at www.abilitiesonline.org or by calling Nicole Perau at 516-465-1594 or emailing: nperau@abilitiesonline.org. About Abilities!: Founded in 1952, Abilities! is a nonprofit organization dedicated to creating a world where people with disabilities receive the same treatment as all other people and have equal access to the benefits society offers. With a staff of more than 400, including experts in education, human resources and technology, Abilities! has grown to become a global leader in the full integration of people with disabilities into everyday life. More information about Abilities! and its wide range of services to individuals, organizations and private-sector businesses is available at www.abilitiesonline.org.

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