Exclusive interviews and report by Ibrahim Dabo
For the first time since the inception of his foundation 12 years ago, NBA Champion Trent Tucker will host an All 4 Kids Foundation Welcome Dinner in New York City, the place where he spent nine years as an NBA player for the New York Knicks. The Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation will collaborate with Tucker on both the dinner and a celebrity golf outing to take place a day later in Clifton, N.J.
The dinner is slated for June 26 at The Ainsworth in Manhattan. The celebrity golf outing will follow June 27 at the Upper Montclair Golf Club. The events are being planned to help raise funds for charity.
Charles Oakley, BJ Armstrong, Patrick Ewing, Kris Humphries, Howard Cross, and Byron Scott are all expected to participate.
“For years I’ve always done a celebrity golf tournament and a welcome dinner in Minneapolis,” Tucker told Ib Talk Online in an exclusive telephone interview.
“I am so excited this year to be able to bring the event to New York City. I’ve always had the good fortune and great luck of having so many wonderful people come out to participate from a celebrity standpoint. Over the years, we’ve had guys like Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, Scottie Pippen, Charles Oakley, just to name a few, attending,” he said.
“I think it’s going to be a lot of fun being back in New York once again as part of the New York community. I was fortunate to be there for nine years [as an NBA player] and I’ve always embraced and loved being in New York City. I’m just happy to have a chance to go back and maybe make a difference in a place we’re in a position to give back and help some people in need,” he said.
Tucker’s success includes winning the NBA Championship with the Chicago Bulls in 1993, but his determination to build on a successful philanthropy career off the basketball court is inspiring. He has never forgotten the importance of giving back as he works with and empowers kids — and gets them to focus on their education.
“The main reason I started the program about 12 years ago was to promote early college awareness for middle school kids and to get them thinking about their education and long term goals in terms of what good academics could do for them,” Tucker said.
“So I felt if I could provide the right opportunities and put them in front of the right resources, it would help give potential benefactors something different to look at for the first time.”
This month, Tucker will collaborate with the Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation, the largest and oldest charitable organization in the United States committed to the care of children suffering from blood diseases and cancers.
“I want to make sure half the proceeds go to that organization,” he said
“It’s always a great opportunity to help someone give back, people who are out there raising money for good causes,” Robinson said.
“June 27 will be a good opportunity to catch up with some old friends and enjoy playing golf with other celebrities, whether they are past or present NBA, NFL, or other sport or non-sport professionals.
The most important thing, Robinson said, is the ultimate goal of the exercise is to raise money for a worthy cause.
“For guys to use their celebrity status to help someone in need is extremely important,” Robinson said.
“Trent has been raising money to help kids for quite some time now. Though it will be a fun event, at the same time it’s for a worthy cause.”
MJ Pedone, president and CEO of Indra, a New York City public relations firm, was instrumental in bringing the dinner to town. She is overseeing the organization of both events.
She told Ib Talk Online: “It is important for people to attend the Welcome Dinner so they have the opportunity to meet supporters of the All 4 Kids Foundation such as the sponsors, donors and celebrities who believe in Trent and all the great things that he is providing for at-risk youth who wouldn’t succeed otherwise.”
“It will be rewarding for all the individuals who attend the Welcome Dinner and golf in the event knowing that their support will go a long way. It’s always more a privilege to give than to receive!” MJ Pedone said.
The former Victoria’s Secret model said she has had the chance to work with Tucker and meet some of the students who started out life with such an unfair chance and who were headed in such a poor direction.
“Many of the students from the Trent Tucker Youth Program have graduated from college. Amazing! Simply amazing!” she said.
Brief History of All 4 Kids Foundation
The Trent Tucker Foundation was established in 1998 as a 501 (c)(3) with a mission to provide youth an opportunity to grow academically and understand how to be successful despite the challenges they face in their neighborhood environments.
In 2001, The Trent Tucker Youth Program was developed and provides underprivileged students a chance to be successful socially, emotionally and academically through tutoring and mentoring programs.
In 2010, the Trent Tucker Foundation was renamed the All 4 Kids Foundation. This non-profit organization will continue to expand the Trent Tucker youth programs as well as partner with other causes that benefit children.
For more information and to join Trent Tucker and his team in making a difference, visit the All 4 Kids Foundation website.
A two-fold full exclusive interview with Trent Tucker will be posted on this site within the next few days. Please visit again to learn more about Tucker’s work and how he continues to impact the lives of youngsters.
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* All 4 Kids Foundation
* Children’s Cancer & Blood Foundation
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* EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Former NBA Player Cliff Robinson on the Importance of Athletes Taking on Humanitarian Causes
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