On November 16, 2017 at the Midtown Loft and Terrace, South Bronx United held its 7th Annual Benefit. More than 330 guests attended and the event raised $105,000, making it the organization’s first ever six-figure fundraising event.
The night was hosted by Roger Bennett, best known as the co-host of Men in Blazers with Michael Davies.
Bennett shared the stage with the evenings honoree, Jon Patricof, President of New York City FC. Patricof was named president of NYCFC in January of 2016 and recently completed his second successful season with the club. As part of his off-the-field initiative, Patricof and NYCFC has partnered with the New York City Soccer Initiative to build 50 mini soccer pitches in underserved communities throughout the five boroughs, including the South Bronx. Through that initiative, he visited an SBU after school program site to see firsthand South Bronx United programs in action.
the organization’s 2017 Youth Honoree was South Bronx United Alum, Mohamed Camara (Watch his video). After immigrating to the Bronx at age 13 with his family to escape the civil war in Guinea, Camara joined South Bronx United as a way to feed his passion for soccer and stay busy to overcome the daily challenges of growing up in the Bronx. The 21-year-old junior at Sarah Lawrence College is an Honor Roll student, led the Gryphon’s Men’s Soccer Team in scoring the past two seasons, and was honored by Sarah Lawrence College with the Emerging Leader Award. In 2016, he served as the Youth Leader for the New York City FC’s City in the Community Program and the opportunity to attend the City Football group Global youth Summit in Manchester, England.
Camara, helped onto the stage while on crutches, explained that an injury prevented him from competing this season but he hasn’t slowed down. Upon graduation, this International Relations major wants to attend law school and dreams of working for the United Nations.
The night continued with a silent auction, live auction, live raffle drawing, and call to action for guests to support SBU’s programs for immigrant youth. In his Remarks, Executive Director Andrew So emphasized that the organization’s work has become more important over the past 12 months as their youth and families have become threatened by changes in federal laws and statements from the oval office. He alluded to new federal policies on immigration (particularly DACA and TPS) actions to silence social justice activism on the athletic field, and the end of the Children’s Health Insurance Program.
The night was a success due to guests who believe in the mission of South Bronx United. The funds raised will help South Bronx United continue to promote educational achievement, health and wellness, and character development through activities on and off the soccer field, and provide integral services to immigrant youth and families.
The night’s sponsors included New York City FC, Two Sigma, Bregal Partners, Barclays, The Third Rail, Dos Toros Taqueria, Pimco Foundation, InterFysio, Seat Geek, NYCFC Nation, Ellenoff Grossman Schole LLP, Open Society Foundations, and PJT Partners.
For more information on South Bronx United, and how you can support our mission, please visit www.southbronxunited.org or call (718) 404-9281.