The Dr. Theodore A. Atlas Foundation is a New York-based 501(c)(3) community service organization that provides financial, legal and emotional support to individuals and organizations in need, and focuses particularly on the needs of children. It was founded in 1997 by boxing trainer and commentator, Teddy Atlas, in order to honor the memory of his father. In the spirit of Dr. Atlas, who provided free medical care to those who could not afford it and made house calls to give personal care to his patients until he was 80 years old, the Foundation has attempted since its inception to ease the burden of the less fortunate among us. And it accomplishes this in a very human way, in a way which preserves the dignity of the people it helps. The Foundation holds an annual dinner, which is the single largest source of the Foundation’s donations.
This year, the event runs on Nov. 18 at the Hilton Garden Inn on Staten Island, New York.
Over one thousand supporters attend the “Teddy Dinner, along with numerous celebrity athletes and actors who show their support for the work of the Foundation. Notable sports celebrities such as Bill Parcells, Eric Mangini, Chad Pennington, Curtis Martin, Gary Sheffield, John Franco, John McEnroe, George Foreman, Michael Moorer, Sugar Ray Leonard, Pete Rose and Harry Carson, and entertainment celebrities such as Chris Noth, Chuck Zito, Danny Aiello, Tony Siricco, Max Kellerman, Bob Papa, Joe Tessitore, Mike Fransceca and Steven Baldwin have attended the Dinner to help raise funds and support the Foundation.
This year, the featured honoree will be Dick Ebersol, and special celebrity guests will include Twyla Tharpe, Goose Goosage, Phil Simms, Jeff Pirrami, and many more. Please call 646-670-7654 for tickets.
The Foundation comes to the aid of people in a variety of difficult situations, people who would otherwise fall between the cracks. It has engaged in large endeavors, such as creating incentive programs in schools to encourage and motivate students, opening and operating a food pantry in Staten Island to make sure that children do not go to bed hungry, and distributing turkeys on Thanksgiving and toys on Christmas to families who do not have the financial resources to properly celebrate the holidays. And it has helped literally thousands of individuals and families in their time of need. It purchased a special machine to oxidate the blood of a young girl with pulmonary atresia; it purchased a central air conditioning unit for the home of a young boy whose rare condition caused his skin to blister painfully when the room temperature increased; it surprised a 12-year-old boy with cancer who returned home from chemotherapy to find that his bare room that his mother could not afford to furnish, except for a mattress on the floor, had been painted and equipped with a new bed and furniture and a television; it helped to pay the health insurance of a young boy with lymphoma who was receiving chemotherapy treatments, and then brought him to a Yankee game, where he spent time in the dugout with Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez, in order to lift the spirits of the 5-year-old Yankee fan. This is just a small sampling of the kind of work that the Foundation does every day.
And it has done so with a volunteer staff and without any bureaucratic obstacles. Administrative costs are minimal, so that nearly every penny that comes into the Foundation is disbursed to help people in need. And once the Foundation determines a particular need, it acts immediately to help. This no-nonsense approach to helping people is a direct product of the character and approach of its founder, Teddy Atlas.
My friend, the attorney Keith Sullivan, was at Gleasons Gym on Tuesday, during the Oscar De La Hoya youth tutorial, plugging the dinner. Attorneys get a bad rap–you may have heard Shakespeares quote from from King Henry VIm The first thing we do, lets kill all the lawyers–but in the case of Sullivan, the bard got it real, real wrong. Here is a guy hustling not to pad his bank account, but to help the Foundation, help needs families and children.
I ask you TSS readers to attend the dinner, and give to this most worthy cause. I ask any boxing bigs reading this, who have some extra in the coffer, to attend, and write a fat check.
This is so much bigger than boxing, people. Most everyone, myself included, sometimes gets down, because funds arent as plentiful as wedlike. But the people the Foundation helps, they are in another category alltogther. Lets make a difference, and pitch in.
Go here to get tickets: www.dratlasfoundation.com/teddydinner.html