Queens Resident Joins Jets Players To Support Cotchery Foundation at ESPN Zone
On Monday night October 19 a day after the New York Jets lost in overtime to the Buffalo Bills 16-13 many Jets players including, quarterbacks Mark Sanchez and Erik Ainge, full back Tony Richardson a resident of Long Island City, wide receivers Braylon Edwards, and Brad Smith, defensive players James Dearth, Kris Jenkins, David Harris, Calvin Pace, Darrelle Revis and Kerry Rhodes joined team mate Jerricho Cotchery and his lovely wife Mercedes the hosts of the evening. The players came show their support to the work of the Cotchery Foundation and its work with children. The fundraiser was the Second Annual “Tailgate with the Pros,” organized to raise money for the Cotchery’s foundation.
The Cotchery Foundation is a not-for-profit organization, established to benefit underpriviledged youth. The mission is to inspire children to establish and achieve goals through programs and services designed to enhance their futures.
The Foundation wants to show that anyone can do extraordinary things if they have the desire and the passion. The Cotchery Foundation hopes to plant seeds that will bridge the gap between what children have and what they hope for, ultimately demonstrating that the two can be one and the same.
Thousands of dollars were raised through a silent auction with the Mark Sanchez jersey bringing in $2,000 after mark agreed to put it on and personally give it to the highest bidder. Mark Sanchez played it to the cameras by having teammate Kerry Rhodes open two buttons on Mark’s shirt. He finally put on the jersey he had signed over his shirt and presented it to the highest bidder. Sanchez also agreed to double the top bid. He agreed to donate $2,000 of his own to the Cotchery Foundation an organization he agreed did good things for children. Other game worn jerseys included one owned by running backs, Thomas Jones (#20) and Leon Washington (#29), neither of whom were in attendance.
Joe Beningo, popular with New York sports fans as a radio personality on WFAN and an outspoken Jets fan joined CBS sportscaster Sam Ryan to share the role as the MC. The two acted as such as sports celebrity auctioneers promoting sports memorabilia, interactive fan experiences, and luxury packages.
Kevin Striker (36) a resident of Astoria and an employee at the ESPN Zone in Manhattan was ecstatic that he got to meet Jerricho Cotchery and many of his Jets teammates. Kevin was trilled to take a photo with Cotchery.
Mel Weiss and his family residents on West 57th Street in Manhattan joined the festivities to support what Cotchery is doing for kids, “ We are here tonight to celebrate people who are doing good for other people.” said Mr. Weiss.
The proceeds from the event was designated to support the Pride School in East Orange, NJ and six Citizen School sites in Newark, Brooklyn and Harlem.
Comedian Michael Jr. provided entertainment help keep the crowd smiling. He even offered a children’s book he wrote that was just published as a fundraising item. He offered to sign the book and have every member of the Jets present to also sign it. He was a hit as was the evening.
Jerricho Cotchery told this writer “The Cotchery Foundation is an organization my wife and I started a couple of years ago when we were trying to inspire our youth to start them to think about what they want to be when they grow up. The earlier they start that process of thinking the better off they will be.”
Jerricho Cotchery was motivated to start the foundation because of his own person experiences growing up.
Cotchery’s Foundation promotes the concept that there are several points in our lives when we reach a “fork in the road.” At every fork there is a decision to make, given the right tools our youth will be equipped to “internalize” a decision make today and “visualize” its impact on their lives tomorrow.
“It is our belief this visualization can only occur if children effectively understand their possibilities and opportunities,” said Cotchery.
Tonight’s event was a big success. Readers can obtain additional information and learn how to contribute to the Cotchery Foundation by visiting their web site, www.cotcheryfoundation.com.