*Over 500 beautifully attired guests ditched their expensive dress shoes to change into complimentary K-Swiss Sneakers to cut up on the dance floor to hot DJ-driven music by David Brown Productions at the conclusion of the 10th annual Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH) Sports Ball 2013 on Thursday, April 11, 2013at Pier Sixty/Chelsea Piers in New York City.
Earlier that evening, black tie guests enjoyed a fantastic fun time which featured interactive games, dinner, dancing, entertainment, an awards ceremony, and a silent auction. During the esteemed program, AAIUH’s CEO Ruth C. Browne, Sc.D, and AAIUH’s Chairman of the Board Edgar O. Mandeville, M.D. buoyed the crowd with warm welcoming remarks followed by an inspiring meditation by Rev. Paul Smith.
Mary Carillo (tennis analyst, CBS Sports, HBO, NBC & Tennis Channel) and Cheryl Wills (New York 1 News anchor & author) hosted the event. The sports soiree attracted guests from the worlds of sports, philanthropy, business, entertainment, and medicine to celebrate the legacy of tennis champion and humanitarian Arthur Ashe and to honor individuals who exemplify his commitment to making the world a better place. Funds raised at the Sports Ball support the Institute’s innovative community health education programs and research initiatives.
During a delectable dinner, guests dined on Grilled Shrimp Nicoise (green & yellow haricots verts, heirloom potatoes, tomatoes & greens, pesto drizzle); and Mushroom Crusted Tournedo of Beef (wild mushroom crust, rosemary Dijon marinade, balsamic jus, horseradish parmesan pommes Dauphine, and wilted spinach & leeks). Expensive libations were served throughout dinner and they saved the best for last – a decadent dessert buffet that was served at the end of the dinner program.
Following dinner, AAIHU’s Chairman of the Board Dr. Mandeville presented the Institute’s 2013 leadership awards to Verna Eggleston (Bloomberg Philanthropies), Dr. Eli A. Friedman (distinguished teaching professor, SUNY/LICH), Carla Harris (managing director, Morgan Stanley) and Carol Stiff (vice president, content program & integration, espnW). Mayor David N. Dinkins presented the leadership award to Rod Gilbert (Hockey Hall of Famer and director, community relations for the New York Rangers). In a surprise move, the board presented Dr. Mandeville and his fashionable wife Harriette with special gifts in recognition of their commitment to the Institute since its founding in 1992.
In his closing remarks, Dr. Mandeville thanked AAIHU’s wonderful donors, volunteers, staff and vendors with special thanks to the generosity of its major sponsors: American Express, American Benefits Consulting, AstraZeneca, Bloomberg Philanthropies, BNY Mellon, Doral Arrowwood Conference Center & Resort, Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield, ESPN, Greater New York Hospital Association, Korn/Ferry International, Macy’s, Morgan Stanley, STARSHIP SA LLC, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, USTA, Vladeck, Waldman, Elias & Engelhard, P.C., and Sharon & Christopher Davis.
Dr. Mandeville also extended special kudos to Sharon Carter‐Jones (American Express) and Ty Stone‐Adams (Macy’s), and the Sports Ball team consisting of Wanda Mann(executive producer and founder & editor-in-chief, The Black Dress Traveler), LeeAnn Hicks (producer), Tim Mann (producer), Silent Crow (stage production), and Merrill Black (script) for their contributions to the success of the evening.
Arthur Ashe founded the Institute in 1992, just two months before his death from AIDS, in response to the disproportionate amount of illness and death in urban communities from preventable diseases. The ace tennis player knew that many of these diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, are the result of inadequate health care delivery, late detection, and insufficient health education. (Photos by Kenneth Brown)
Audrey J. Bernard is an established chronicler of Black society and Urban happenings based in the New York City area.