Several hundred people wearing their favorite sports jerseys attended the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades in Tenafly’s first annual Sports Night of Champions on February 13.
The evening featured NY Giants football star Phil Simms and his son, NBC commentator Chris Simms.
It was the first in what will be an annual event to support scholarships at the JCC. The evening included a dinner, a live auction that yielded $40,000 for four tickets to next year’s Super Bowl, an awards ceremony honoring community leaders, and scholarship presentation to high school athletes.
Phil Simms, the two-time NFL Super Bowl champion and MVP in Super Bowl XXI, and Chris Simms, an NBC football commentator, both spoke. Tracy Wolfson, a CBS sideline reporter, moderated the program, interviewed the father-and-son team, and asked them questions submitted by the audience. To show their support of the JCC’s scholarship advancement initiative, Phil and Chris Simms personally donated $5,000.
The evening also celebrated the life and legacy of Joseph Taub, z”l, a former co-owner of the New Jersey Nets and a founder of Automatic Data Processing. A longtime close friend and member of the JCC family, Mr. Taub received the JCC Lifetime Achievement award in recognition of the tremendous impact he had on young people who show promise in both academics and athletics. The award was presented by NBA all-star Otis Birdsong and accepted by Taub’s wife, Arlene, who talked about her husband’s passion for inspiring young athletes and how he loved providing them with the financial assistance they need to realize their goals.
Gordon A. Uehling, III, the founder of CourtSense, a tennis-training facility, received the JCC Emerging Leader award. It was presented by Jeff Kurtz, one of the evening’s MVP sponsors, who spoke about the JCC’s appreciation for Gordon’s unique inspiration and guidance, which has helped many aspiring young athletes in the community.
Barry Zeller, vice president of the JCC board, presented the Joseph Taub Scholar Athlete award to high school seniors Tobias Zypman of Cresskill High School and Alexandra George of Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan. Each received a $3,600 college scholarship. Four other high school seniors received runner-up and honorable mention scholarships.
“The night exceeded our expectations,” JoJo Rubach, who chairs the JCC’s board of directors, said. “The energy was at an all-time high, and I am pleased to announce that we raised nearly $200,000 for scholarships. I’m also proud to share that in the last year alone, the JCC has given out over $1 million in scholarship assistance, allowing us to help people in need benefit from all the programs we have to offer.”
The evening’s presenting sponsors included Marilyn Taub and family; Michelle and Scott Tesser and family; Alpine Associates; Elle and JoJo Rubach and family, and Jill and Jason Rubach and family. Englewood Hospital and Medical Center was the Hall of Fame sponsor; Lynne and Charles Klatskin and the Kurtz family were the MVP sponsors; and the Grand Slam sponsors included the Garden family, Gayle and Mel Gerstein and family, the Kaplen Foundation, Marc Rubach, Beth and Josh Rubach and family, and Karen and Marc Taub and family.
To support scholarships at the JCC, call Alison Holzberg Kenny, the JCC’s development director, at (201) 408-1405, or email her at email@example.com.