NEW YORK CITY – Approximately 700 celebrities, athletes, friends, family and supporters joined Miami Marlins owner and former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter at the 21st Annual Turn 2 Foundation Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street on Wednesday evening. The highly anticipated gala celebrated Turn 2 and its work to improve the lives of young people for more than two decades, raising funds for its programs that foster academic achievement, healthy lifestyles, positive behavior, social change and leadership development.
Among the evening’s highlights was a special panel discussion presented by The Players’ Tribune. Moderated by Holly Rowe – longtime ESPN correspondent and college football sideline reporter – the panel featured Derek Jeter and Devon Still, an NFL defensive end who previously played for the Cincinnati Bengals, Houston Texans and the New York Jets. The panel featured a range of topics, from life on-and-off the playing field, to philanthropy, to fatherhood, bringing fans closer to the games they love while providing a unique insight into the daily sports conversation. Following the panel, GRAMMY award-winning R&B group Boyz II Men closed out the evening with a memorable performance featuring some of their greatest hits. The event also included a live auction and silent auction featuring unique memorabilia.
“The 21st Annual Turn 2 Foundation Dinner is not only a celebration of the milestones we achieved together over the last year, but it also signifies a new and exciting phase for our foundation,” said Derek Jeter, who founded Turn 2 with his father in 1996. “Each year the funds raised during this event allow us to continue building upon the Turn 2 legacy, ensuring that we can make a positive difference in the lives of more young people across the country. I’d like to thank all who stood by our side over the last 21 years, and continue to remain part of the Turn 2 family as we enter our next chapter.”
As part of the evening’s program, Turn 2 honored Chick Lee with its 2017 MVP Award. Lee serves as executive vice president and chief financial officer at ICON International, and launched the Derek Jeter Celebrity Invitational in Las Vegas in 2015. The foundation also celebrated the 16 college freshmen who in June graduated from its signature Jeter’s Leaders program, honoring them for their academic achievements and for serving as leaders in their communities and beyond. The Jeter’s Leaders initiative is a four-year leadership program for high school students in New York City and West Michigan who serve as ambassadors for Derek in their communities.
“Through our life-changing programs, we have seen an incredible transformation in thousands of young people in New York, West Michigan, Tampa, and beyond,” said Sharlee Jeter, president of the Turn 2 Foundation. “There are countless more children and teenagers nationwide who are in need of guidance and support when navigating the challenging issues we all witness in today’s society, and as we celebrate Turn 2’s 21st anniversary, we are focused on expanding upon our initiatives in order to serve even more young people.”
Celebrity guests included Carl Banks, Tiki Barber, Nate Burleson, Chris Canty, Harry Carson, Swin Cash, Tom Cavanagh, Dr. Sampson Davis, Lisa Evers, Joey Fatone, Cecil Fielder, Dr. Rameck Hunt, Dr. George Jenkins, Hannah Jeter, Gayle King, Angie Martinez, Tino Martinez, Josh McCown, Chris Mullin, Mariano Rivera, Sharon Robinson, Holly Rowe, John Starks, Devon Still, David Villa, Teresa Weatherspoon, Mack Wilds and Jay Williams.
About The Turn 2 Foundation
Since its launch in December 1996, the Turn 2 Foundation has created and supported programs and activities that motivate young people to turn away from drugs and alcohol and “Turn 2” healthy lifestyles. Its signature Jeter’s Leaders initiative is a four-year leadership development program that fosters academic achievement, positive behavior and social change among high school students in New York City and West Michigan. During its 20 year history, Turn 2 has given back more than $27 million, funding its signature programs as well as organizations that support its mission.
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