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Inspirational young athlete and cancer survivor to be honored at SU Sport Management Club’s Fourth Annual Charity Sports Auction April 2
Inspirational young athlete and cancer survivor to be honored at SU Sport Management Club’s Fourth Annual Charity Sports Auction April 2March 27, 2009Michele Barrettmibarret@syr.edu
Adam Bender, an 8-year-old athlete who excels at multiple sports despite the loss of one leg, will be the recipient of the Perseverance in Sport Award presented by Syracuse University’s Sport Management Club at its Fourth Annual Charity Sports Auction on Thursday, April 2, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Carrier Dome.
In addition to the award presentation, the Fourth Annual Charity Sports Auction will feature the Jreck Subs Distinguished Lecture by Jim Abbott, a former major league pitcher and Olympic gold medalist, and a silent auction including more than 400 items. Event proceeds will benefit the Golisano Children’s Hospital at Upstate and the Sport Management Club.
Born with a cancerous tumor on his leg, Bender endured significant ongoing treatment before eventually having his leg amputated at the hip at age one. Like many young children, Bender dreamed of competing in team sports. At age three, he started playing soccer on crutches and became an instant success. Soon after, he began playing football-mastering the position of quarterback-and competed in baseball and wrestling.
Bender plays sports today for his own personal enjoyment and challenge. He is best known for his skills in soccer, football and baseball, with a reputation for making critical plays that help his teams win games. In 2008, with the help of his parents, he founded the Adam Bender Foundation, which is dedicated to increasing participation by physically challenged children in mainstream youth sports and inspiring people of all ages to focus on their abilities rather than their disabilities.
Bender has received numerous honors and distinctions, including listing as one of People magazine’s Heroes of 2008, the Chicago Pitch and Hit Club’s 2009 Bo Jackson Courage Award and the Lexington Herald-Leader co-winner of Kentucky’s Most Intriguing Newsmaker of 2008.
The Perseverance in Sport Award is presented annually to role models who have overcome tremendous adversity in life through personal connections with sport. The list of past honorees: Kyle Lograsso (2008), Alexi Salamone (2007) and Jason McElwain (2006). For additional information regarding Adam Bender, former award winners and the SU Charity Sports Auction, visit http://www.sucharitysportsauction.com.
Tickets for the event are available at the Carrier Dome Box Office or by phone at 1-888-DOME-TIX, $10 for adults and $5 for students and children 18 and younger.
The Sport Management Club is a student-run organization in the SU College of Human Ecology’s Department of Sport Management. Since its inception, the club has participated in numerous community service efforts and raised more than $50,000 for local charities.