Blog: Walter Thurmond Foundation Gala
Shadow Boxers, New York City’s newest upscale sports bar, was the place to be on Friday night as New York Giants defensive back (and recent LocalBozo.com interviewee) Walter Thurmond III launched The Walter Thurmond Foundation for Arts and Education. The spacious venue was the perfect spot for an evening of mingling with the cornerback and other famous athletes (including fellow Giants’ safety Quintin Demps), performances by the Harlem-based youth performing arts company the Impact Repertory Theatre, a sizable silent auction and a full open bar for all of the well-dressed tastemakers in attendance.
The evening kicked off in style with a red carpet welcoming Thurmond and many of the Foundation’s notable players. Amid the sea of flashbulbs, we grabbed a few short minutes with Thurmond to discuss the Foundation’s focus and initiatives. Despite being a new arrival to the New York area as a west coast lifer, Thurmond explained how he hoped this Foundation would be able to give back to the community and keep today’s youths on the straight and narrow path by giving them a better quality of life. As a living testament of working hard and making his dream a reality, his goal is to inspire kids to empower themselves, and believes the Foundation’s support to different programs will help today’s youth to get the best education possible for themselves.
As the drinks flowed and the hors d’oeuvres (the “Lobster Mac and Cheese Balls” were a definite highlight) were passed around, guests were introduced to the Foundation’s partner, Bill Starkie of Pros for Africa—a volunteer-led, nonprofit organization that encourages professionals to share their knowledge and inspiration with the children of Africa. Starkie would invite guests to gather around to enjoy the evening’s performances by the kids of Impact. This group’s talent is out of this world and acted as a great reminder to why we were all here: to foster a safe, supportive environment for underprivileged youths to follow their hopes and dreams. From singing and rapping to full out dance segments, it was easy to see the potential these kids had to offer.
As the night came to a close, Thurmond’s manager Teddy Palmer would announce the names of the individuals who won a variety of items from the silent auction, where thousands of philanthropic dollars would find their way toward the foundation. The items ranged from luxurious vacation packages to signed New York sports memorabilia- some of which we may have even successfully won ourselves- well worth the thousand or so dollars that we dropped for a cause this inspiring. As we watched Walter Thurmond walk around the room and thank guests for attending, you could see his genuine care and passion for his Foundation. Not only does Walter Thurmond have huge impact on the football field, but it seems he may have an ever bigger impact off of it.
—Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose—
- Alexandra Fetsey