UPDATE! New York — Samsung’s Four Seasons of Hope has earned more than $10 million in charitable funds since its inception, D.J. Oh, Samsung president, announced to the 1,000 plus attendees of the charity’s sixth annual Gala last night.
The charity, which since 2002 has gathered the philanthropic foundations of some of the country’s most legendary sports figures under one umbrella to benefit children’s and women’s causes, raised $1 million at Monday’s event. Emcee Regis Philbin presented Oh with a check for that amount, kicking off a night of inspirational words by a star-studded lineup of speakers and a performance by Grammy winner Alicia Keys.
New York Yankees manager Joe Torre spoke of his foundation’s efforts to end domestic violence and introduced former New York Mayor and presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani, who talked about Four Seasons’ efforts on behalf of St. Vincent’s Hospital in lower Manhattan. Actress Susan Lucci had the honor of bringing hockey great Wayne Gretzky to the dais, who subsequently introduced hall-of-fame golfer Arnold Palmer. Gretzky’s foundation supports participation in hockey programs for handicapped and underprivileged children. Palmer’s foundation runs the Arnold Palmer Hospital for Women and Children in Orlando, Fla.
Lucci, flanked by New York football greats Carl Banks, Marty Lyons and Wesley Walker, then introduced Dan Marino and Boomer Esiason, who thanked Samsung for supporting their foundations’ respective efforts on behalf of autism and cystic fibrosis. Marino’s son, Michael, is autistic and Esiason’s son, Gunnar, has cystic fibrosis. The two former quarterbacks traded barbs and fired autographed footballs to those in the crowd willing to pay $500 a pop as well as catch a spiral in a sea of ballroom tables piled high with banquet glassware.
A silent auction was conducted throughout the night for a wide variety of sports and entertainment experiences and memorabilia.
Samsung marketing VP Tim Baxter introduced the performance by Keys and her band. Keys serves as the global ambassador for Keep a Child Alive, a non-profit organization that asks the public for a dollar a day to purchase AIDS drugs for families in Africa.
Retail partners of the charities include Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA and Sears.
To view more images from this event, visit the TWICE Photo Gallery and click on the album called "TWICE On The Scene: Samsung's Four Seasons of Hope Gala."