It is an accepted fact of life at the New York Athletic Club that top class athletes, and those aspiring to be, enjoy unwavering support. That's how it has been since the Club's founding in 1868 and that's how it will remain. The Athlete's Fund exists, in large part, to further that mandate, providing funding - especially in Olympic years - for Club athletes at the highest level. While the Club's and the Fund's focus is firmly on its athletes, it should never be forgotten that there are many organizations that benefit from the Club's largesse and that are an essential element in the raison d'etre of the Athlete's Fund.
Participants in the 20 Tournaments prior to this year have taken considerable pride in the fact that, not only were they contributing to the wellspring of Club athletes, they were also making a significant difference to the more than 40 worthy organizations that receive donations from the Fund. Many of those organizations will be well known to members and have received donations over several years: the Special Olympics of Connecticut, the Police Athletic League, the Achilles Track Club and the Ronald McDonald House of New York, among them.
Other organizations that are among the beneficiaries are: the Brooklyn Bandits, providing opportunities for inner city children to play baseball; the V Foundation, founded by Jim Valvano and dedicated to finding a cure for cancer; Figure Skating in Harlem, seeking to help young inner city girls grow confidence, leadership skills and academic accomplishment; and the Armory Foundation, the nation's premier indoor track and field facility located at 168th Street in upper Manhattan.
This is the tip of the iceberg in terms of the commitment that the Athlete's Fund makes to worthy causes. Suffice it to say that, over the past 21 years, the Fund has distributed $1.9 million and growing to worthy organizations, in addition to those amounts provided to the Club's elite athletes.
If you would like to see tangible evidence of the impact that these donations make, pay a visit to the NYAC room at the Ronald McDonald House - better still, volunteer - or attend one of the events organized by the Beat the Streets program (wrestling programs for inner city kids) or the Inner City Handball Foundation. The list is seemingly endless and the impact incalculable.