Six hundred notable business and thought leaders, athletes, and supporters of student nutrition, physical activity and youth empowerment came together for GENYOUth’s inaugural gala on Wednesday, December 7th at the famous Waldorf Astoria New York.
The evening’s highlights included six powerful speeches from students who experienced first-hand the benefits of GENYOUth’s Fuel Up to Play 60 and AdVenture Capital programs.
Former NFL Super Bowl Champion quarterback Peyton Manning also provided remarks on this GENYOUth milestone and encouraged attendees to support GENYOUth’s efforts by saying, “schools can’t do it alone. They need our help – our time, talent, and treasure – to give our kids the opportunities they deserve to create healthy, high-achieving futures.”
In addition, special recognition was given to Dr. David Satcher, the 16th U.S. Surgeon General and GENYOUth board member who has served as a vocal advocate from the organization’s founding.
NFL Commissioner and GENYOUth board member Roger Goodell joined Manning in providing remarks, and introduced GENYOUth’s first Vanguard Award winner: SAP CEO Bill McDermott. The Vanguard award is presented to a leader who exemplifies courage, compassion and commitment in service of youth.
During Goodell’s introduction, he acknowledged that, “thanks to Bill McDermott and SAP, hundreds of student-led health and wellness solutions have been funded in several hundred schools across the country impacting over 100,000 students.”
Under Bill’s leadership, SAP has set a bold agenda for digitizing the health care industry, and McDermott personally has set an example as an advocate of entrepreneurial thinking, supporting innovation and design thinking to solve some of our country's greatest health concerns. His humility, spirit and determination served as a model for this year’s award, and will do so in the years ahead.
During Bill’s Vanguard Award acceptance speech, he described his own challenges during his youth and said, “young people, everywhere, just remember, through it all, if you have the hunger, the imagination and the bold dream - you can do anything.”
Carla Hall, of ABC’s “The Chew,” and also a GENYOUth board member, joined Mike Golic and Hannah Storm to lead a live gala auction, with exciting prizes such as a private performance by David Copperfield and a trip to Turks and Caicos, allowing the audience to further contribute to the expansion and sustainability of GENYOUth’s programs.
The fifth anniversary gala brought together valued partners to both acknowledge and renew their commitment to GENYOUth’s mission of building on the long legacy of passionate American youth as leaders of social change. The event wouldn’t have been possible without our sponsors; SAP, Microsoft, Fairlife, Land O’Lakes, NTT Data, The National Retail Federation, CoBank and Sirius XM.
Highlights from the event can be found in this video and photos are available here.
To support GENYOUth with a donation or bid in our virtual auction that includes Peyton Manning-signed Super Bowl 50 helmets or footballs, visit this page. Please share with friends, family or colleagues that might be interested in supporting this great cause.