In 1996, Paul Savramis founded the Rising Stars Youth Foundation with one goal: To provide every child with an equal opportunity for success in life and to be their best. That was more than three decades ago. Today, his simple formula of utilizing a basketball program to reach and teach has morphed into a lifestyle for hundreds of boys and girls. Each year, RSYF hosts an annual dinner to honor these students and recognize the men, women, and businesses that help to make Rising Stars’ programs possible.
For the past seven years, the Gala has been hosted at the New York Athletic Club on Central Park. 2018 continued this tradition and introduced the most recent Man of the Year, Mr. Joe Feshbach. Mr. Feshbach joined an impressive fraternity of past men of the year. They include
MidOcean Partner CEO Ten Virtue, Mr. Thomas J. Quinlan, III, Chairman, President and CEO of LSC Communications, Mark Clouse, CEO Pinnacle Foods, Seth Waugh, Former CEO of Deutsche Bank, and Goldman Sachs director of Alumni Mike Troy. All of these men have been honored for their belief and support of Rising Stars programs, but Mr. Feshbach was the first to have gone through the foundation with his son Josh from grades three through graduation of college (Brown University). His moving speech and personal perspective brought a special meaning and awareness to the event.
The Gala, which raises awareness of RSYF’s good work, is always a sold-out event and features Master of Ceremonies, Jay Williams. Williams is a former NBA pro and ESPN personality that is also an alumni of Rising Stars. Paul Savramis explains that Williams and his family have always been supportive of the program and like Mr. Feshbach have had the added perspective of being a part of the program since Jay was in 5th grade. But as Paul Savramis is quick to point out, the real stars of the event are always the kids.
In addition to honoring the Man of the Year and getting to enjoy Mr. William’s commentary throughout the evening, guests of the Gala get to see first-hand the impact RSYF has on their community through the stories, speeches, and testimonials of the actual RSYF kids and parents.
Paul Savramis explains that the Gala kicks off scholarship season, where deserving students are given the chance to attend one of the area’s best high schools to receive a needed private education. These kids, who have all shown academic prowess, community involvement, and athletic skill, are tomorrow’s leaders and role models for their brothers, sisters, and classmates today.
The Gala is not simply about financial assistance, says Paul Savramis. It helps to provide hope for some of NY’s most vulnerable adolescents.
For more information about RSYF, visit RisingStarsYouthFoundation.com.