(New York, N.Y.) – Asphalt Green, the New York City sports and fitness nonprofit, raised $875,000 at its Big Swim Big Kick Benefit on Saturday, May 7, 2016 at its Upper East Side campus. The money will support the organization’s scholarships and Community Programs, which transform the lives of over 33,000 New York City kids each year through sports and fitness programs and scholarships.
After 20 years of its annual Big Swim, Asphalt Green held its first-ever Big Swim Big Kick this year, featuring swimming and soccer for over 635 kids ages 6-10. For the Big Swim, kids participated in a 25-yard race in Asphalt Green’s Olympic-sized pool. For the Big Kick, they participated in soccer activities on Asphalt Green’s turf field. The festivities were hosted by three-time Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Rowdy Gaines and Fox 5 reporter Jennifer Lahmers.
“We are thrilled that our first-ever Big Swim Big Kick was such a huge success, with families celebrating the joys of sports and fitness,” said Maggy Siegel, Asphalt Green’s Executive Director. “We are deeply grateful for our donors, members, staff and all the elite athletes who joined us to support our mission to bring sports and fitness to New Yorkers of all ages and backgrounds.”
Big Swim Big Kick’s two featured athletes were former Real Madrid and Spain national soccer team star Raúl González Blanco and four-time Olympic gold-medalist swimmer Jason Lezak. Raúl, who now serves as LaLiga Country Manager USA, played soccer with the Big Kick participants. Lezak joined a group of other Olympians and elite athletes who presented medals to all Big Swim finishers.
The event’s honoree was Kirsten J. Feldman, a member of Asphalt Green’s Board of Directors for 18 years, currently serving as vice-chair. Passionate about both environment causes and sports for children, Feldman was Asphalt Green’s biggest advocate in its successful efforts with New York City to move the East 91st Street Marine Transfer Station (MTS) ramp from 91st Street to 92nd Street. As a result, children at Asphalt Green will be kept safe through cleaner garbage trucks, improved traffic patterns, and stricter measurements of air quality.
Big Swim Big Kick featured a benefit luncheon to support Asphalt Green’s scholarships and Community Programs. One such program, Waterproofing, provides free water safety and swim instruction to public school students. Children who learned to swim through Waterproofing were among those who completed the Big Swim. Another Asphalt Green Community Program, Community Sports Leagues, provides team sports to 750 public middle school students and free soccer clinics to 220 kids in the Bronx – many of whom participated in the Big Kick.
New York State Assembly Member Rebecca Seawright, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and City Council Member Ben Kallos attended Big Swim Big Kick to show their support for Asphalt Green and cheer on the swimmers and soccer players.
Big Swim Big Kick’s corporate sponsors include Fried Frank, Glenwood, PepsiCo, Bloomberg, Skadden, LaLiga, Bloomberg Philanthropies, TYR, Morgan Stanley, Omni New York LLC, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Hospital for Special Surgery, Citizen360, Elite Service Group, Paul Hastings, Sakura Lifesave Associates, Inc., Skanska and USA Swimming.
About Asphalt Green
Asphalt Green is a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting individuals of all ages and backgrounds achieve health through a lifetime of sports and fitness. Community service is at the core of our origin and at the heart of the organization’s mission. A city-wide agency, Asphalt Green has two first class campuses: a beautiful 5½-acre Upper East Side campus and a 52,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility in Battery Park City. Asphalt Green will help over 33,000 public school children be fit this year through free programs in schoolyards, gymnasiums, and pools across New York City. www.asphaltgreen.org