The packed house for this elegant black tie event was treated to special comedy acts from Artie Lange and Damon Rozier as well as a performance by rapper Professir X. Guests, including Peter “Kid Chocolate” Quillin, Steve “USS” Cunningham, Danny “Miracle Man” Jacobs, Luis Collazo, Junior Jones, Marcus Browne, and Kim G from the Real Housewives of New Jersey, partook in live and silent auctions throughout the evening. Jacobs, a well known boxer who fights for Golden Boy Promotions, also served as a guest speaker and put forth a speech from deep inside his heart, bringing members of the audience to tears.
Emceed to perfection by renowned PA announcer David Diamante, the voice of The Brooklyn Nets at The Barclays Center, the evening’s theme was the Five Fighters, each of whom are affected by Chronic Spinal Cord Injuries or have major involvement with “FIGHTING FOR THE CURE”. The Five Fighters, Captain Boyd Melson, Dr. Wise Young, Major Max Brewer, Eric LeGrand and Christan Zaccagnino, spoke at length about the crucial importance of raising awareness and funds through events like the gala to help bring the procedures needed to America.
While the Five Fighters closed the evening by taking the stage together as a team, they each took turns sharing their hearts by speaking to the audience. It was at this time that Melson opened up his speech by taking a medal donated to him by Jill Diamond, President of The WBC Cares Program, and placing it around Eric LeGrand’s neck. The medal was a miniature version of the center piece of the WBC World Championship belt and Melson placed it around Eric LeGrand’s neck as a gift from one friend to another thanking him for joining him in this fight.
Melson closed his opportunity to speak by reaching to the audience and asking them to carry his words and loving intentions with them when they leave the night’s events returning to their own lives. He charged them with the favor of picking one day of the week in their busy lives to remember his words, and use that day to try to contribute in any form to Team Fight to Walk’s mission- raising the necessary funds to conduct this much anticipated Clinical Trial this Fall here in New York and New Jersey.
Overall, after covering the expenses to carry out the Gala, the event raised close to $40,000, with additional checks from the evening still coming in. Every penny raised will be used to cover the costs of surgery in the Clinical Trial along with the minimum six weeks of physical therapy immediately after the surgery. With the trial hoping to include 40 patients at $100,000 per patient, a total of $4,000,000 is needed to begin the next critical phase of “FIGHTING FOR THE CURE,” which is the extremely promising Clinical Trial.