Nearly 1,000 guests rallied at United Way of New York City's 26th Annual Gridiron Gala hosted by CBS's Otis Livingston and Fox 5's Tina Cervasio—in partnership with the New York Giants and New York Jets—celebrating the impact of our partnership and looking ahead to continued collaboration as we help low-income New Yorkers move along the path toward self-sufficiency.
"Since the inception of the Gridiron Gala more than $30 million have been raised in support of United Way of New York City's initiatives in education, health, and financial stability for NYC children and families," said Sheena Wright, President & CEO of United Way of New York City. "Teaming up with the New York Giants and New York Jets showcases how critical collaboration and teamwork are in helping low-income families achieve self-sufficiency, and we are so grateful for their continued partnership!"
During the event, United Way of New York City proudly presented Jets linebacker Avery Williamson and Giants safety Michael Thomas, with the Hometown Hero Awards—for their outstanding leadership and commitment to community both on and off the field.
"Organizations like United Way of New York City have created programs and opportunities within our community that help us to make a difference in the lives of others," said Jets linebacker Avery Williamson. "By utilizing our platform as football players, we have the ability to work together and support children and families in the area who are struggling with day-to-day financial instability. I feel honored to be given the opportunity to share my commitment to the community and work with United Way to fulfill these initiatives."
For more than 40 years United Way and the NFL have worked together to strengthen communities—the Gridiron Gala in NYC serves as the celebration of the partnership.