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Star Athletes Support Youth Sports In Second Annual Laureus USA Fashion Show Gala

Benita Fitzgerald Mosley (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)
Benita Fitzgerald Mosley (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

Laureus USA hosted the second annual Laureus Fashion Show Gala last night at Mercedes-Benz Manhattan, featuring star athletes and Olympians walking the runway to support Laureus’ mission to improve the lives of youth and unite communities through the power of sport.  Athletes who walked the runway escorted by local youth who will benefit from the evening’s fundraising included Olympic Champion Figure Skater Meryl Davis, Five-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Nadia Comaneci, Super Bowl Champion Malcolm Mitchell, Four-time Olympic Gold Medalist Sanya Richards-Ross, NFL Hall of Famer Marcus Allen, NY Red Bulls Goalkeeper Luis Robles, Olympic Fencer, Monica Aksamit, Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Edwin Moses, and professional lacrosse player Paul Rabil.  Among the highlights were the exuberant eight-time All-American Gymnast Katelyn Ohashi, who did a cartwheel down the catwalk, and NHL Legend Ron Duguay who charmed the crowd with his dance moves along the runway.

The gala, which was co-hosted by Nigel Barker and Summer Sanders and featured musical guests Doug E Fresh and DJ Dee Wiz, raised more than $400,000.

The inaugural Laureus “Nelson Mandela Sport for Humanity Award” was presented to Michael Novogratz, Founder/CEO of Galaxy Digital Holdings and Founder of Beat the Streets for his impactful work in using the power of sport to positively change his community, a vision which was proclaimed by Laureus’ founding Patron, Nelson Mandela.

Upon receiving the award, Novogratz said, “I am honored to receive the Nelson Mandela Sport for Humanity Award tonight. The values and lessons learned from sport stay with you for a lifetime, long after you stop competing. My experience as a wrestler has helped fuel my success today.”

Ron Duguay (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)
Ron Duguay (Photo by Steven Ferdman/Getty Images)

The event launched in 2018 and was conceived by Laureus USA CEO and Olympic Gold Medalist Benita Fitzgerald Mosley who remarked to guests, “Star athletes have come together tonight as one team, with one purpose – to make a difference in children’s lives. Regardless of our sport or what team we play for, we all believe in the power of sport to improve the lives of youth.”

The show was styled by famed NYC-based celebrity and athlete stylist Cannon.  Athletes were wearing fashions by emerging designers Amesh Wijesekera, Steven Tai, Soeren Le Schmidt, Mimi Plange, and Nobi Talai, all of whom are part of “Mercedes-Benz Fashion Talents”, a program that supports young people in the world of fashion.  NYC children who walked the show were from Laureus-funded programs including Figure Skating in HarlemAmerica Scores, and South Bronx United and were dressed in designers including Levi, Kangol, Burberry, Converse, Polo Ralph Lauren, Starter, Theia, Bloomingdales and Zara. NYC based DJ Hesta Prynn served as musical director and provided musical entertainment for the night.

The evening was filmed by CBS to air as a special on CBS Sports Network on October 15 at 7pm.

Sponsors for the evening included Mercedes-Benz USA, IWC Schaffhausen, MUFG, Montblanc, Cartier, NFL and UBS. Host Committee members included Billie Jean KingAndre Pienaar, Nigel Barker, Donna DeVarona, Jim Benson, and C. David Moody.

About Jerry Milani

Jerry Milani is a freelance writer and public relations executive living in Bloomfield, N.J. He has worked in P.R. for more than 25 years in college and conference sports media relations, two agencies and for the International Fight League, a team-based mixed martial arts league, and now is the PR manager for Wizard World, which runs pop culture and celebrity conventions across North America. Milani is also the play-by-play announcer for Caldwell University football and basketball broadcasts. He is a proud graduate of Fordham University and when not attending a Yankees, Rams or Cougars game can be reached at Jerry (at) JerryMilani (dot) com.

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