The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health will host Sports Ball 2016, their 22nd Annual Black Tie & Sneakers Gala, on Wednesday, October 19th at the Grand Hyatt, 109 East 42nd Street in New York City.

Loreen Arbus, Disability Rights Activist, Altruist, Producer and Author; Dr. James E. Cottrell, Distinguished Service Professor & Chairman of Anesthesiology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Member of the Board of Regents at New York State Education Department; Howard Cross, Sports Analyst for NBC Sports, Senior Vice President of Cresa New York and NFL Super Bowl Champion; Richard Levychin, CPA, CGMA, Managing Partner, KBL LLP; Patrick J. McGovern, Senior Director, Government Affairs, Gilead Sciences, Inc.; and Robin Roberts, Co-Anchor, Good Morning America, and Author, will each be honored at Sports Ball with the Leadership Award.

Cheryl Wills, award-winning NY1 News Anchor and best-selling author will return to co-host the gala. She will be joined by David Ushery, award-winning NBC 4 New York Anchor, creator of The Debrief with David Ushery, and co-host of Moms and the City and a Dad named David, who will be co-hosting the SportsBall for the first time.

“Our 22nd annual gala is a milestone occasion and we are honored to celebrate it by honoring the legacy of our founder Arthur Ashe – the late tennis champion and humanitarian,” says Ruth C. Browne, CEO of The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. “Like Arthur, each of our honorees is a trailblazer and they exemplify their commitment to making the world a healthier and more equitable place.”


“I am delighted that this year for our 22nd Sports Ball, that we will have the opportunity to honor six such groundbreaking leaders, from the heights of sports, media, finance, and health care,” says Brett Wright, Board Chair of The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health. “They all truly reflect Arthur Ashe’s philanthropic ideal of making the world a better place. I can’t wait for what will be a very special evening in the company of these worthy honorees.”

The funds raised at Sports Ball support the Institute’s innovative community health education programs and research initiatives. Arthur Ashe founded the Institute in 1992, in partnership with SUNY Downstate Medical Center, just two months before his death from AIDS and in response to the disproportionate amount of illness and death in urban communities from preventable causes. Arthur knew that many diseases, such as diabetes and hypertension, are the result of inadequate health care delivery, late detection and insufficient health education.

Loreen Arbus is currently the President of the Loreen Arbus Foundation, The Goldenson-Arbus Foundation and Loreen Arbus Productions, Inc. Her philanthropy supports a broad scope of interests, including advocacy for women and girls, as well as for the world’s largest minority, people with disabilities. She has established and funds many scholarships that both enhance and elevate social consciousness around her philanthropic interests – scientific and medical research, public policy, the arts, media responsibility, human and animal rights. Arbus holds the distinction of being the first woman to head programming for a U.S. network, a feat accomplished twice (both at Showtime and Cable Health Network/Lifetime). She has been twice nominated for an Emmy. She is the author of six books and numerous articles. Ms. Arbus’ many awards include The Heart of Giving Award presented by President Bill Clinton in 2001 and being chosen as one of the Leading Women Entrepreneurs of the World 2002. She serves on over a dozen nonprofit boards, including the Executive Committee of the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Women Leadership Board and Women Moving Millions. Ms. Arbus is also a high profile professional Argentine Tango choreographer and dancer.

James E. Cottrell, M.D., FRCA, is Distinguished Service Professor and Regional Chair of the Department of Anesthesiology at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Lutheran Medical Center and Interfaith Medical Center, and past Chair of Kings County Medical Hospital Center. Dr. Cottrell has served as President of the American Society of Anesthesiologists (ASA), of the Society of Academic Anesthesiology Chairs, and of the Society of Neurosurgical Anesthesia and Critical Care (SNACC). His honors include Distinguished Service Awards from the ASA, SNACC and the New York State Society of Anesthesiologists, as well as the West Virginia University Distinguished Alumnus Award. He is a Member of the Board of Regents at New York State Education Department. Dr. Cottrell has been published in The New York Times, Newsday, and The Washington Post, and has appeared on ABC, NBC and Fox News. His writing includes the book Under the Mask, over 125 papers, and co-editing three major textbooks. He is currently Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Neurosurgical Anesthesiology. He has delivered more than 200 presentations around the world. Dr. Cottrell has been Chairman of the AIDS Action Foundation, on the Board of God's Love We Deliver, and Vice Chairman of the Board of Doctors of the World. He served as a Health Policy Advisor to Senator Edward Kennedy where he helped draft the first AIDS Non-Discriminatory Legislation.

Howard Cross is Senior Vice President of Cresa New York, who he joined with over 10 years of real estate experience. Howard is an exclusive tenant rep broker licensed in New York & New Jersey, and an accomplished public and motivational speaker. During the football season Howard can be seen as a sports analyst on NBC Sports and FOX, and heard as a sideline reporter on NY Giants Radio. Prior to joining the world of real estate, Howard spent 13 years in the NFL. He played his entire career with the New York Giants and was a major contributor in the Superbowl XXV championship. He returned to the Superbowl 10 seasons later when the Giants fell to the Baltimore Ravens. Howard is very active in the community, giving back via charities such as Autism Speaks, JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation), the Mental Health Association of New York City (MHA-NYC) and The Valerie Fund. He also makes frequent stops at schools and camps for kids.

Richard Levychin, CPA, CGMA is a Managing Partner with KBL, LLP, where he is the Partner-in-Charge of the firm’s Emerging Business Group. KBL is the winner of the 2015 Best of Manhattan Award in the Certified Public Accountants category and was awarded the 2014 SmartCEO New York Accounting Firm of the Year award. Richard is a Certified Public Accountant and a Chartered Global Management Accountant, with over 25 years of accounting, auditing, business advisory services, and tax experience. Richard’s recognitions include the Baruch College “Alumni Leadership Award for Business,” “Best Accountant” from The New York Enterprise Report, and The Network Journal’s “40 Under 40” award, as well as several awards from the National Association of Black Accountants. Richard’s writing has appeared in Dollars and Sense, Black Enterprise Magazine, Forbes, and Business Insider, among others, and he has spoken before the Black Enterprise Entrepreneurs Conference, the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (New York chapter) and the Learning Annex. Richard is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) Council and was one of the founding members of the AICPA National Commission for Diversity and Inclusion, and is co-chairperson of EO 2030, an initiative of the New York Chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a dynamic, global network of more than 11,000 business owners in over 40 countries.

Patrick J. McGovern joined Gilead Sciences’ Government Affairs unit as a Director in September of 2010 and became a Senior Director in 2013. He is responsible for the development of FOCUS, a nation-wide initiative to promote the creation and dissemination of best practices to make routine HIV and HCV screening a standard of care within health care settings. Through over 200 partnerships, FOCUS has supported over 2.5 million HIV tests and 600,000 HCV tests. The FOCUS model has been broadly adopted as an efficacious and efficient approach to diagnosing blood borne viruses. Formerly the Chief Executive Officer of Harlem United Community AIDS Center, Inc. and its affiliates from 1999-2010, Patrick has been a leader in the fight against HIV/AIDS for more than twenty years. Under Mr. McGovern’s leadership, Harlem United underwent dramatic financial, programmatic and management improvements. The agency’s combined FY 2009 operating revenue of $35 million represented a more than eightfold increase over the 1999 operating budget of $4 million. Patrick evolved Harlem United into a comprehensive service organization to meet the health care and housing needs of homeless persons living with or at risk for HIV.

Robin Roberts is co-anchor of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” Under her leadership, the broadcast has won four Emmy Awards for Outstanding Morning Program. In 2014, Roberts received the Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Journalism, was inducted into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame, and was named one of Glamour’s Women of the Year. She has appeared on the Hollywood Reporter’s New York Power List multiple times. She was voted the “Most Trusted Person on Television” by a Reader’s Digest poll in 2013. Roberts’ headline-making interviews include President Barack Obama on his support of marriage equality, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, First Lady Michelle Obama, Amanda Knox, US women’s soccer star Hope Solo and NBA Superstar LeBron James. Roberts launched her production company, Rock’n Robin Productions in September 2014, which creates original broadcast and digital programming for ABC and other networks.

Roberts was diagnosed with breast cancer in June 2007. Five years later, she faced another health battle, when she was diagnosed with MDS or myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease of the blood and bone marrow once known as pre-leukemia. Her courageous, public battle has been recognized with awards and honors, including The Susan G. Komen Foundation, The Congressional Families Cancer Prevention Program, and Gilda’s Club. Roberts was also honored with a George Foster Peabody Award, Gracie Award and CINE Award for “Robin’s Journey,” reports on her MDS that inspired hundreds of potential bone marrow donors to register. Roberts was recognized with the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPY’s in July 2013 for the courage she displayed throughout her life and career. In 1983, Roberts graduated cum laude from Southeastern Louisiana University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications. She was a standout performer on the women’s basketball team, ending her career as one of the school’s all-time leading scorers (1,446 points) and rebounder (1,034). In 2012, Roberts was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame.

Leading sponsors for Sports Ball 2016 (list in formation) include American Express, BNY Mellon, BMW, Korn Ferry Intl., Maimonides Hospital, Northwell Health and SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Each guest will receive a pair of sneakers compliments of the Institute. The evening includes interactive games, dinner, dancing, entertainment, an awards ceremony, and a silent auction. Individual Sports Ball tickets are $1000 per person and tables are available for $10,000-$100,000.

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