IT’S TIME TO SOAR
Nov 02, 2013
PROFESSIONAL ATHLETES, LOCAL STARS AND RENOWNED NEUROSURGEONS ATTEND “MOVEMENT FOR CHANGE: IT’S TIME TO SOAR”, A BENEFIT FOR WALKING WITH ANTHONY FOUNDATION, AND HELP RAISE OVER $150,000 FOR SPINAL CORD INJURY VICTIMS
FORT LAUDERDALE, FL – (November 14, 2012) – Over 300 of South Florida’s hottest social notables, celebrities, professional athletes and philanthropists attended Movement for Change: It’s Time to Soar, a red carpet event that was held to raise funds and create awareness for Walking With Anthony, a non-profit organization dedicated to raising funds to provide financial assistance for spinal cord injury (SCI) victims, expand rehabilitation centers and support research relating to SCI recovery. The fabulous gala, which took place on Friday, November 2nd at Hangar 9 at the Fort Lauderdale Executive Airport, raised over $150,000 for the organization. Special guests included former NFL great and University of Miami star athlete Kevin Everett, who served as the Honorary Chair of the event; Miami Dolphins Tight End Anthony Fasano; Miami Marlins catcher John Buck and Pittsburgh Pirate first baseman Gaby Sanchez. They all joined Micki Purcell, President and Founder of Walking With Anthony; and SCI victim Anthony Purcell, Executive Director of Walking With Anthony, in helping to support the cause.
“We are so very grateful to everyone who was involved with Movement For Change: It’s Time To Soar and for all of our guests who helped us raise over $150,000 that will be used to help more individuals with SCI recovery” said Micki Purcell, President and Founder of Walking With Anthony. “The costs for rehabilitation are astronomical and the money raised at the event will allow us to help at least four more people with SCI, as well as maintain rehabilitation for those we have already sponsored.” Walking With Anthony relies heavily upon donations to fund its efforts and is continuously seeking new corporate partners to help cover the costs of rehabilitation.
Purcell added, “In addition to raising funds, The Movement for Change: It’s Time to Soar event created more awareness to the spinal cord injury community, and it is important that this continues. Recovery from this type of injury is costly and takes a lot of time, but it is possible. We plan to do as much as we can to help those with spinal cord injury throughout the country -- we are changing lives, one at a time.” According to Purcell, SCI victims need at least three hours of therapy, four times per week at a cost of approximately $110.00 per hour. That is almost $1400.00 a week, totaling almost $70,000 per year.
Walking with Anthony was founded in 2010 after Anthony Purcell endured a tragic accident in Miami Beach, which left him paralyzed. Determined to beat the odds, Anthony quickly began intense rehabilitation which helped him get stronger, healthier, more independent, and come closer to his goal of being able to walk again. As a result of his experience, Anthony and his mother, Micki Purcell, created Walking With Anthony, a foundation to help give others with SCI the same chance at recovery.
Guests attending “Movement for Change: It’s Time to Soar” were awed by the magnificent transformation of the airplane hangar into a chic red and white (Walking With Anthony’s signature colors) nightclub style venue, as they indulged in tasty delicacies courtesy of Jet Runway Cafe and Silver Lining Inflight Catering, cocktails from ONEHOPE Wines, and bid on magnificent silent and live auction items. Chills could be felt through the room, and it was hard to find a dry eye in the house during the event’s inspirational video and stage presentation that featured stories and testimonials from SCI victims whose lives have been impacted by the help and support of the Walking With Anthony Foundation. Honorary Chair Kevin Everett presented a message of hope as he spoke about his arduous recovery from the threat of paralysis and his unrelenting support of others who have sustained similar injuries. Former Rutgers football player Eric LeGrand, who also suffered a catastrophic spinal cord injury that has left him paralyzed, appeared via satellite.
Additionally, Anthony’s surgeon, Dr. Allan Levi, Chief of Neurospine Service and Fellowship Director at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, was honored during the presentation for his ongoing efforts and dedication to helping and healing individuals with SCI. World renowned neurosurgeon Dr. Barth Green, Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine & Co-Founder and Chairman of The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis, was also in attendance to support his colleague and the ongoing mission to cure paralysis. Anthony Purcell also awarded scholarships to two local Fort Lauderdale SCI victims, Nick Williams and Chris Hickox, so they can attend the Project Walk Spinal Cord Injury Rehab in Carlsbad, CA -- the rehabilitation center that Anthony attends for treatment. This will pay for one month of rehabilitation and living expenses, for each. After they leave Project Walk, they will take part in the Telehealth program where they can continue their rehab at home and be assigned a trainer from Project Walk who will monitor their progress. Similar to Anthony, both Nick and Chris were students at Cardinal Gibbons High School in Fort Lauderdale.
EXTRA Special Correspondent and Y-100's own Michael Yo from "The Yo Show” served as Master of Ceremonies, and musical guest FUSION kept the energy flowing throughout the night. The evening also featured private jet tours and several Lamborghini’s and Ferrari’s were on display from Prestige Imports. Event sponsors included Global Cash Card as the title sponsor along with Visa, AutoNation, Tripp Scott, SmartWater, Inspirato, Jet Runway Cafe and Silver Lining Inflight Catering, and ONEHOPE Wines.
For more information please visit www.walkingwithanthony.org or call 866.954.3344.
About Walking With Anthony
Founded by spinal cord injury (SCI) victim Anthony Purcell and his mother, Micki Purcell, Walking With Anthony is a non-profit organization with the mission to forever change the recovery outcome of Spinal Cord Injury, currently perceived as unchangeable. The organization is dedicated to raising awareness of the impact of SCI, raising funds to provide financial assistance for SCI victims, expand rehabilitation centers and supporting research relating to SCI rehabilitation. For more information, please visit www.walkingwithanthony.org.
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