Sportsball 2022, the 28th Annual Black Tie & Sneakers Gala benefiting the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH), took place on Thursday, October 20th, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.

Honorees Anthony Welters, Lori Stokes, Kitaw Demissie MD; AAIUH CEO Dr. Marilyn Fraser; Hosts Mike Woods and Ines Rosales
Honorees Anthony Welters, Lori Stokes, Kitaw Demissie MD; AAIUH CEO Dr. Marilyn Fraser; Hosts Mike Woods and Ines Rosales

Renowned guests representing sports, philanthropy, business, entertainment, and medicine gathered to celebrate the legacy of tennis champion, activist, and humanitarian Arthur Ashe and celebrated the 30th anniversary of the organization.

This year’s gala was co-hosted for the first time by Emmy-winning FOX 5 Good Day New York meteorologist Mike Woods, a 2018 Sportsball honoree, and Good Day New York Traffic Anchor Ines Rosales.

Sportsball 2022 honored Lori Stokes, nine-time Emmy-winning journalist; Kitaw Demissie, MD, PhD, Dean and Professor, School of Public Health, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University; and Anthony Welters, Founder and CEO, CINQCARE.

Dr. Marilyn A. Fraser, CEO of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, presided over the gala. The event benefited the ongoing community health education programs and research initiatives of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.

Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH) board members attending the event included Brett Wright, Board Chair; Dr. Edgar Mandeville, Chairperson Emeritus; Robin Rosenblum, Dr. JoAnn Bradley, Harold Iselin, Errol Pierre, Tiffany McGhee, Olaseni Alabede, Ariel Knight, Michael Mann, Anubhav Singh, Dr. Hassan Tetteh, and Heidi Leeds.

Howard Cross, NFL Super Bowl Champion and past Sportsball honoree, served as one of the auctioneers for the evening. Other VIPs in attendance included: Yvonna Kopacz Wright, Actress, The Village, Blue Bloods, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Guiding Light; Clifford W. Knights II and Steve Vixamar, Co-founders of IMG Helps; LeeAnn Hicks, Executive Producer, Sportsball 2022, and Nikki Stokes-Thompson, Chief of Staff, Ariel Alternatives.

The Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH) was founded in 1992 by tennis champion, activist, and humanitarian, Arthur Ashe, to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes for underserved communities. As an organization, the Arthur Ashe Institute is focused on promoting health equity through a social justice lens. The Institute utilizes a model of community health empowerment to develop and implement innovative community-based health promotion and research programs to encourage individuals to be advocates for their own health and the health of their communities. Another key aspect of the Institute’s work is its focus on increasing the representation of people of color in the health professions by training the next generation of healthcare professionals, which is achieved through its pipeline STEM education programs. The Institute’s vision is the development of an equitable healthcare system that reduces health disparities, improves outcomes for underserved communities of color, and better prepares a more diverse and inclusive healthcare workforce.

AAIUH partners with leaders, activists, legislators, providers, academic institutions, small businesses, and community members on a range of programs and initiatives that address health inequities, including the social determinants of health. Through these efforts, AAIUH works to research and develop innovative community health empowerment programs, provide evidence-based behavioral health interventions in community settings (e.g. barbershops, beauty salons) that help participants address chronic health conditions and advocate for their health, prepare underrepresented minority urban youth to succeed in college and become healthcare providers, and improve healthcare providers’ capacity to address racial health disparities through conferences, trainings, and workshops.

For additional information about Sportsball 2022 and the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, go to:

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