JRF Celebrates Anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s Birthday with Fundraisers

Morgan Stanley Smith Barney sponsors a conversation between New York Yankees President Randy Levine and New York Mets General Manager Omar Minaya

Legends Hank Aaron, Joe Morgan, Mariano Rivera and Rusty Staub salute baseball icon at event sponsored by John R. Gordon

NEW YORK (January 29, 2010) – The Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) had a busy week celebrating the anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s birthday. On Thursday, January 21, 2010 the Foundation hosted a private fundraiser with New York Yankees President Randy Levine and New York Mets General Manager Omar Minaya. And on Monday, January 25, 2010, Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Joe Morgan and baseball greats Mariano Rivera and Rusty Staub shared their stories of the baseball icon.

Moet Hennessy and Diversity Inc. joined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in sponsoring an intimate conversation between the leaders of New York City’s two baseball teams. The event was held at the JRF Headquarters and Leadership Center and future site of the Jackie Robinson Museum in lower Manhattan at 75 Varick Street. Hosted by SNY’s Michelle Yu the event paid tribute to the impact the baseball legend had on baseball and society while highlighting the continuing mission of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. The question and answer session included celebrity guests Randy Levine, President of the New York Yankees and Omar Minaya, General Manager of the New York Mets. Featured speakers included Rachel Robinson, Jackie Robinson’s wife and Founder of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Head of Wealth Management Andy Saperstein, Della Britton Baeza, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Leonard Coleman , Chairperson of the Jackie Robinson Foundation and Michelle Yu.

In addition, on January 25, 2010, JRF held a celebrity reception sponsored by John Gordon and Moet Hennessy. The invitation-only event, held at the Jackie Robinson Foundation Headquarters and Leadership Center, gave fans the opportunity to meet Hall of Famers Hank Aaron and Joe Morgan, Mariano Rivera and Rusty Staub. Both events helped raise valuable funding for scholarships, mentoring and leadership development for college student constituents as well as support for the prospective Jackie Robinson Museum, which will honor the legacy and ongoing influence of Jackie’s commitment to civil rights.

“These events provide us with the opportunity to celebrate the life of Jackie Robinson and honor the legacy of a man who had a profound effect on the lives of so many people,” said Della Britton Baeza, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Jackie Robinson Foundation.

Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball in 1947 with the Brooklyn Dodgers. Over his ten year career, Robinson was named Rookie of the Year (1947), Most Valuable Player (1949) and helped the Dodgers win six pennants and one World Series in 1955. His heroics began in the confines of the venerable Ebbets Field but spawned cataclysmic social changes.

Established in 1973, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is the nation’s premier college scholarship and leadership development program. Transcending financial assistance, the Foundation equips its carefully chosen scholarship recipients with a comprehensive set of strategies for success and leadership skills, resulting in a nearly 100% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for minority college students. The over 1,400 JRF alumni are both leaders in their professional fields and consummate ambassadors of Jackie Robinson’s legacy of responsible leadership and community service.

This 2009-2010 academic year, JRF is providing generous financial aid and program support to 248 Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholars representing 31 states and the District of Columbia and enrolled in 92 different colleges and universities across the country.

For more information about JRF, visit www.jackierobinson.org.