Stan O’Neal, Sheila Johnson and Spike Lee Honored at March 5 Event
More than 1,000 people attend gala at Waldorf=Astoria commemorating 60th Anniversary of Jackie Robinson Breaking Baseball’s Color Barrier Event Raises $1.37 Million for the Jackie Robinson Foundation
Wynton Marsalis, Katie Couric and John Leguizamo Present Prestigious ROBIE Awards Noted Entertainer Dr. Bill Cosby Serves as Master of Ceremonies Event Presented by Ford Motor Company
WHAT: As it approaches the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier (April 15, 2007), the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) paid tribute to three pioneering individuals whose commitment to social progress and excellence embody the spirit of Jackie Robinson. Stan O’Neal, Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch and a leader in the world of financial services and corporate philanthropy; Spike Lee, world renowned film director and Sheila C. Johnson, pioneering businesswomen and ardent philanthropist, President and CEO of Salamander Hospitality and President of the WNBA Washington Mystics were honored at the Jackie Robinson Foundation Annual Awards Dinner on Monday, March 5, 2007 at The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel, presented by Ford Motor Company. Jazz luminary Wynton Marsalis, decorated journalist Katie Couric and entertainer John Leguizamo presented the ROBIE Awards to O’Neal, Johnson and Lee, respectively. O’Neal received the ROBIE Award for Industry Achievement; Johnson received the Foundation’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Lee received the ROBIE Award for Humanitarianism. Over 1,000 people attended the gala, which raised funds to support the Jackie Robinson Foundation’s college scholarship and leadership development program.
WHO: Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s wife and Jackie Robinson Foundation Founder; Dr. Bill Cosby, noted entertainer; Stan O’Neal, Chairman and CEO of Merrill Lynch and a leader in the world of financial services and corporate philanthropy; Spike Lee, world renowned film director and Sheila C. Johnson, pioneering businesswomen and ardent philanthropist, President and CEO of Salamander Hospitality and President of the WNBA Washington Mystics; Wynton Marsalis, jazz luminary; Katie Couric, decorated journalist; John Leguizamo, entertainer, actor, writer, producer and author; Della Britton Baeza, President and CEO, the Jackie Robinson Foundation; Leonard S. Coleman, Chairman, the Jackie Robinson Foundation and former President of Major League Baseball’s National League; Jim Vella, President of the Ford Motor Company Fund. Additional noteworthy attendees are listed on the enclosed celebrity attendance sheet.
WHEN: Monday, March 5, 2007
WHERE: The Waldorf=Astoria Hotel | 301 Park Avenue between 49th and 50th Streets.
WHY: The event commemorated the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson breaking the color barrier in baseball, while paying tribute to the inspiring Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars. The Annual Awards Dinner is the marquee fundraiser for the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF), established by Jackie Robinson’s wife, Rachel Robinson, in 1973. One of the nation’s premier education and leadership development programs, JRF provides four-year college scholarships to minority students who demonstrate academic achievement, leadership capacity and financial need. Transcending financial assistance, the Foundation equips its scholarship recipients with a comprehensive set of support services including mentoring, career guidance and practical life skills, resulting in a 97% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for minority students. The nearly 1,200 JRF alumni are both leaders in their professional fields and consummate ambassadors of Jackie’s legacy of community service. This academic year (2006-2007), JRF is providing more than $1.8 million in scholarship support to 266 Scholars representing 33 states. Enrolled in 93 different institutions, Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars attend some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the United States. For more information about the Foundation, please visit, www.jackierobinson.org or call (212) 290-8600.