(Courtesy of Kaplen JCC on the Palisades) Several hundred people gathered in their favorite sports jerseys at the Kaplen JCC on the Palisades on Tuesday, February 13, to celebrate the launch of its first annual Sports Night of Champions, to support scholarships at the JCC. The evening featured a dinner, a live auction that raised $40K alone, four tickets to next year’s Super Bowl, an awards ceremony honoring community leaders, scholarship presentations to high school athletes and special guest appearances by Phil Simms, two-time NFL Super Bowl Champion and MVP in Super Bowl XXI, and Chris Simms, a nationally celebrated NBC football commentator. Supporting 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, former co-owner of the New Jersey Nets and a founder of Automatic Data Processing (ADP). A longtime close friend and member of the JCC family, Taub was acknowledged with the JCC Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of the tremendous impact he had on underserved youth in the area of athletics. The award was presented by Otis Birdsong, who spent 12 seasons in the NBA and appeared in four NBA All-Star Games. Taub’s wife, Arlene, accepted the award and spoke about her husband’s passion for inspiring young athletes and providing them with financial assistance to realize their goals.
Gordon A. Uehling, III, founder of CourtSense, a tennis-training facility that employs digital technology that can measure and improve athletic performance, was also honored at the event with the JCC Emerging Leader Award. It was presented by Jeff Kurtz, one of the evening’s MVP sponsors, who expressed everyone’s appreciation for Gordon’s unique inspiration and guidance that has helped thousands of aspiring young athletes in our community.
Barry Zeller, VP 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. They each received a college scholarship of $3,600. Four additional seniors were awarded with runner-up and honorable-mention scholarship awards.
“The night exceeded our expectations,” says JoJo Rubach, chair of the JCC board of directors. “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 children, families and seniors in need benefit from all the programs we have to offer.”
To support future scholarships at the JCC, please contact Alison Holzberg Kenny, JCC director of development, at 201-408-1405 or [email protected].