Right To Play, a global organization that uses sport and play programs to educate and empower children facing adversity, announced that their Big Red Ball netted $1.6 Million including on-site donations on Tuesday April 29 at Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan. Over 25 Olympic athletes came to show their support of the 20th anniversary of Johann Olav Koss’s triple world record-breaking gold medal wins at the 1994 Lillehammer Olympic Games, which was the visionary launch point to bring the power of sport and play to disadvantaged communities around the world. Koss’ Olympic success led to the founding of Right To Play in 2000. The event was hosted by TODAY Show and NBC correspondent Willie Geist.
“We are very thankful to those Olympians and all of our guests who joined us on this historic night for Right To Play USA,” Koss said. “Our mission is to use the power of sport to change the lives of children around the world. The incredible amount of money raised for our New York City program Play At The Core shows that we have great support in our mission, with more exciting things coming soon.”
Among those athletes who participated were: 2014 Sochi Olympic athletes: Matt Antoine, Bronze Medalist, Skeleton, Brittany Bowe, Bronze Medalist, Speedskating, Emily Cook, Olympian, Aerialist, Kaitlyn Farrington, Gold Medalist, Snowboarding, Jazmine Fenlator, Olympian, Bobsled, Nick Goepper, Bronze Medalist, Freestyle Skiing, Devin Logan, Silver Medalist, Freestyle Skiing, Patrick Meek, Olympian, Speedskating, Elana Meyers, 2-Time Olympic Medalist, Bobsled, Alana Nichols, Paralympic Skiing, Molly Schaus, Silver Medalist, Hockey, Anne Schleper, Silver Medalist, Hockey, and the team of Alex & Maia Shibutani, Ice Dancing.
Others showing support from previous Olympics included: Bonnie Blair, 5-Time Gold Medalist, Speedskating, Joey Cheek, Gold Medalist, Speedskating, Devon Harris, Olympian, Bobsled (Jamaica), Sarah Hughes, Gold Medalist, Figure Skating, and Dan Jansen, Gold Medalist, Speedskating, Nastia Liukin, 5-Time Olympic Medalist, Gymnastics, Tim Morehouse, Silver Medalist, Fencing and Summer Sanders, 2-Time Gold Medalist, Swimming.
The Big Red Ball is Right To Play’s signature fundraising event that happens every Olympic year in New York City. The Ball is a seated dinner event and program highlighting the organization’s successes over the past year and convening Right To Play donors, partners and Athlete Ambassadors. All monies raised go directly to the efforts of Right To Play.
About Right To Play:
Right To Play is a global organization that uses the transformative power of play to educate and empower children facing adversity. Through playing sports and games, Right To Play helps children in more than 20 countries to build essential life skills and better futures, while driving lasting social change. Founded in 2000 by four-time Olympic gold medalist and social entrepreneur Johann Olav Koss, Right To Play is headquartered in Toronto, Canada and has national offices in Canada, the Netherlands, Norway Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Our programs are facilitated by 600 international staff and more than 13,500 volunteer Coaches.