Asphalt Green hosted a benefit dinner on Wednesday, April 17 to raise awareness about the importance of sports and physical activity and to honor outgoing Board Chairman Andy Nussbaum. The event raised a record-breaking $2.1 million to fund free community sports and fitness programs for underserved New Yorkers. The sum solidifies the benefit as the largest single-day fundraiser in the organization's history.
Over 300 attended the affair at Rainbow Room, which featured original décor from Darcy Miller Designs, flower arrangements form Lewis Miller Designs, and music from Crooner Classic. The vision was brought to life by Jennifer Zabinski of JZ Events. Whimsical décor featured elements from Asphalt Green's wide range of sports and fitness offerings, evoking a playful but elegant vibe.
In addition to the evening's honoree, Andy Nussbaum, special guests included Darcy Miller Nussbaum, Olympians Lia Neal and Rowdy Gaines, and Martha Stewart, among others.
Proceeds from the event will provide opportunities for kids to play sports and get active at a time that it is needed more than ever. Nearly 1 in 5 children in the United States is obese (CDC) and 2.6 million fewer kids play sports today than five years ago (Aspen Institute). Asphalt Green teaches kids how to swim for free, brings active recess to public schools, runs sports leagues for middle school students, and provides scholarships for kids to compete at the highest level.
Lia Neal, who attended the event, started swimming on a scholarship at Asphalt Green when she was 8 years old and fulfilled her dream of competing at the 2012 and 2016 Olympic Games and won a medal at each.
"It was a historic evening for Asphalt Green," said Executive Director Maggy Siegel. "We are thankful for Andy's 13 years of leadership as Board Chairman and for the outpouring of support from the community. Playing sports and staying active are crucial for a child's personal, social, and emotional development. The event's success shows New Yorkers believe in the power of sports and fitness. We look forward to providing opportunities for thousands of children in the coming years."