Thursday, February 5, 2015

Jackie Robinson Foundation Celebrates Living Legacy of Jackie Robinson

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Gregg Gonsalves, Della Britton Baeza, Rachel Robinson, Amber and CC Sabathia

Chairman’s Award presented to Joe Torre’s Safe At Home Foundation, Amber and CC Sabathia’s PitCCh In Foundation and Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation

NEW YORK, NY – On January 15, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) celebrated Jackie Robinson’s 96th birthday (January 31, 2015) with a special event that paid tribute to three organizations that have promoted the values embodied in the life and legacy of Jackie Robinson. At the celebration, JRF Founder Rachel Robinson, JRF’s Chairman of the Board Gregg Gonsalves, and JRF President and CEO Della Britton Baeza honored Joe Torre’s Safe At Home Foundation, CC and Amber Sabathia’s PitCCh In Foundation, and Derek Jeter’s Turn 2 Foundation, touting the profound impact that each of these non-profit organizations have had on the community.

Morgan Stanley and Major League Baseball sponsored the event held at the JRF headquarters, located directly above the future site of the Jackie Robinson Museum in lower Manhattan, New York City. Emceed by Emmy-winning WNBC-TV sports anchor Harry Cicma, Mr. Gonsalves and Ms. Britton Baeza presented the Chairman's Award to Yolanda Jimenez, Executive Director of the Joe Torre Safe At Home Foundation (who accepted on behalf of Alice and Joe Torre), Amber and CC Sabathia, founders of the PitCCh In Foundation, and Sharlee Jeter, President, Dr. Charles Jeter, Vice Chairman, and Dorothy Jeter, Treasurer, of Turn 2 Foundation. Andy Saperstein, Managing Director and Head of Investment Products and Services, represented Morgan Stanley Wealth Management and Thomas Brasuell, Vice President of Community Affairs, represented Major League Baseball.

“Through Safe At Home’s efforts to educate kids on and eradicate domestic abuse; the PitCCh In Foundation’s projects that greatly enrich the lives of inner city teens, and the Turn 2 Foundation’s 20 years of work to motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol, promote healthy lifestyles and provide educational opportunities, these honorees have contributed and continue to contribute mightily to our society,” said Mr. Gonsalves. “The founders, boards and staff of these three organizations don’t just sit in the stands, they make a difference.”

“We are honored to be recognized for the work that we do in the community. Jackie Robinson’s life and his wife Rachel inspire us to strive to make a positive impact in the lives of as many youth as we possibly can,” said Amber and CC Sabathia, who together accepted the honor as co-founders of the PitCCh In Foundation.

“Being recognized by the Jackie Robinson Foundation for our efforts makes both of us very proud, along with our entire Safe At Home team,” said Joe Torre, co-founder, with his wife Ali, of the Safe At Home Foundation. “Improving the lives of others is a legacy that Jackie Robinson left us. He is remembered as one of the most important people in our lifetime, and will remain so for generations to come.”

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Dr. Charles Jeter, Dorothy Jeter, Sharlee Jeter, Rachel Robinson, Della Britton Baeza and Gregg Gonsalves

“For more than 40 years, the Jackie Robinson Foundation has worked with underserved populations to advance higher education and leadership development: two cornerstones as well of the Turn 2 Foundation. That is why I am so proud of our longstanding partnership with the Jackie Robinson Foundation, and so honored to receive this award,” said Sharlee Jeter, President of the Turn 2 Foundation. “The Turn 2 Foundation and its Jeter’s Leaders are not only part of Derek’s legacy – they are part of Jackie Robinson’s extended legacy, as well.”

Rachel Robinson closed the evening, thanking attendees for supporting the Jackie Robinson Foundation, her husband’s living legacy, and appealed to the guests to become engaged in the Foundation’s Jackie Robinson Museum project, which needs $7 million more in contributions to open its doors to supplement the $18 million that has been raised to-date. “This event would surely have made Jackie proud,” said Robinson.

About the Jackie Robinson Foundation

Established in 1973 by Rachel Robinson as a meaningful way to perpetuate the memory of her husband, the Jackie Robinson Foundation (JRF) is one of the nation’s premier education and leadership development programs for minority students. In addition to financial assistance, the nonprofit foundation equips its scholarship recipients with a comprehensive set of support services including extensive, hands-on mentoring, internship placement, career guidance and practical life skills, resulting in a nearly 100% graduation rate, more than twice the national average for African American college students. The over 1,450 JRF alumni are leaders in their professional fields and active ambassadors of Jackie Robinson's legacy of community service. Since its founding, JRF has provided over $65 million to support students who have attended over 100 different colleges and universities across the country.

Source: Press release/Photos: John Vecchiolla

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