NY Jets, NY Giants and United Way of New York City Raise More Than $1.5 Million for Vulnerable Youth


NY Jet Brandon Moore, NY Giant Chris Snee and NFL Hall-of-Famer Harry Carson Honored

MetLife’s Richard Hong and Jones Lang LaSalle’s Raymond Quartararo Honored as “Community Quarterbacks”

New York, NY – Presented by United Way of New York City, the New York Jets and the New York Giants, tonight's 19th annual Gridiron Gala raised more than $1.5 million to support United Way-led programs that serve at-risk youth in New York City.  The dollars will be invested in a variety of initiatives that ensure children have enough healthy food, strengthen early childhood education, and improve on-time graduation rates across the five boroughs.

"With one in three children in New York City living in poverty, funds raised by the Gridiron Gala are crucial to providing our city's young people with opportunities for a better life," said United Way of NYC President and CEO Gordon Campbell.  "We could not be more grateful to the New York Jets, the New York Giants, and our corporate sponsors for their support of the Gridiron Gala and throughout the year."

More than 1,000 corporate and community leaders, current Jets players Mike DeVito, Vladimir Ducasse, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, Dustin Keller, Matt Kroul, Aaron Maybin, Caleb Schlauderaff, Muhammad Wilkerson, current Giants players Will Beaty, Kevin Boothe, James Brewer, Chris Canty, Jim Cordle, Victor Cruz, Dan DePalma, Hakeem Nicks, Bear Pascoe, Antrel Rolle, Terrell Thomas, Lawrence Tynes, Steve Weatherford, as well as NFL legends Ted Banker, Emerson Boozer, Chad Cascadden, Rich Caster, Mike Damato, Mark Gastineau, Dave Herman, Joe Klecko, Ray Lucas, Greg Murphy, Joe Namath, John Schmidt, Amani Toomer, Wesley Walker, Erich Barnes, Brian Kelley, Sean Landeta, Curtis McGriff, and Karl Nelson attended the lively event, now a New York tradition.

Every year, the Gridiron Gala honors leaders who have demonstrated extraordinary commitment to giving back to the community. The 2012 honorees were:

Hometown Heroes

  • Brandon Moore, Guard, New York Jets
  • Chris Snee, Guard, New York Giants

MVP Award

  • Harry D. Carson, 231st Member, Pro Football Hall of Fame

Community Quarterbacks

  • Richard D. Hong, Vice President, Global Brand & Marketing, MetLife
  • Raymond Quartararo, International Director, Jones Lang LaSalle

"I am humbled to be acknowledged as a Hometown Hero for the work I do in my community," said Brandon Moore, Guard for the New York Jets.  "I am proud to give back and hope that I can inspire others to do the same."

"Hometown Hero is a badge I will wear with pride for the rest of my life," said Chris Snee, Guard for the New York Giants.  "It is so fulfilling to be able to give back to my hometown and I hope that everyone is able to join this effort and help those in need."

"This is the most important MVP award I've ever received," said Harry D. Carson, 231st Member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  "It's crucial for all of us to give back to our communities, and United Way does such an incredible job of helping those who are in need."

The United Way and the NFL have been partners for almost four decades. Back in 1973 the two organizations developed the idea of using the NFL's network contract airtime to promote United Way during telecasts. Since then, this partnership has helped to raise awareness of the value of giving back to the community as well as the good work of both United Way and the league and its players in the community.

The NFL's support of United Way extends well beyond the commercials seen during game broadcasts, however. There is a shared goal to make an impact in communities served by both institutions, with a current focus on encouraging youth to develop healthy eating and exercise habits. 

United Way of New York City relies on active corporate partners.  This year it is recognizing the outstanding commitment by MetLife and Jones Lang LaSalle.

"I am so honored to have been chosen as a Community Quarterback," said Richard Hong, Vice President, Global Brand & Marketing, MetLife.  "MetLife has been a proud partner of United Way for generations, and our employees donate over $1 million to United Way organizations throughout the country each year.  We both have a shared vision of providing a safety net for those in need."

"Jones Lang LaSalle has enjoyed a rewarding relationship with United Way for nearly 10 years," said Raymond Quartararo, International Director, Jones Lang LaSalle. "The United Way is a fabulous organization that does tremendous work with children throughout the New York metropolitan area. We are proud to help raise funds to support the United Way's mission."

Photos of the event will be available as of 9:00 a.m. on Wednesday, May 16 at: http://liveunitednyc.org/press/gg_2012.php

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About United Way of New York City
United Way of New York City fights poverty across the five boroughs. We design and invest in evidence-based programs that help low-income New Yorkers achieve educational success, income stability and good health.  We rigorously evaluate our work and use lessons learned to inform and advance citywide policies and practices that prevent and alleviate poverty citywide   To learn more about our work and how to get involved, visit www.UnitedWayNYC.org.