Archive for the ‘athletics’ Category

KEEN is a national, nonprofit volunteer-led organization that provides recreational opportunities for children and young adults with developmental and physical disabilities.  They get children involved in a variety of different activities and basketball2sports, including basketball.

I arrived at Attucks Park in Brooklyn on a gorgeous Saturday morning.  There were plenty of volunteers and lots of children running around having a good time.  After 20 minutes of free time, the athletes were gathered together and separated into three groups.  Each group completed a different drill: shooting, dribbling, and passing.  I spent most of my time with a boy named Julio.  He was a happy kid with tons of energy.  We spent time on the court participating in drills, chasing each other around the court, and having a ball of laughs.  After basketball, we went to the playground next to the court and did more of the same.

For me, this deed was a full circle of sorts.  The first time I volunteered was for a program called “Buddy Ball” in my home town when I was in high school.  Buddy Ball is a sports program for children with disabilities.  It was at that time that I picked up the volunteer bug and knew I wanted to make a difference in the world.  It just took me some time to get back into it.

With 29 deeds completed it is onto number 30 and beyond!

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For those of you that know me or have been following my progress, you know I currently live in Hoboken, NJ.  While it is important to volunteer or give back anywhere I believe it is especially important to help in your local community.  I came across an organization called “Party with a Purpose” which was quite intriguing.  Party with a purpose is a Hoboken based “not-for-profit organization founded on the concept of producing great events to raise money for charities and bring the community together in the process”.  Since being founded in 2002, they have raised $425,000 to help those in need.


Me, Hollis, and Lily

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Post Race Fun

Each year for the past nine years they have held a 5k to benefit local youth charities, including the Jubilee Center and the Hoboken Boys and Girls Club.   It has grown over the years with over 1400 runners this year raising over $60,000.  I ran(walked) in the race with my friend Hollis and her younger sister.  Her sister is no stranger to walking for a cause after raising money and participating in AIDs walk earlier this year(quite admirable especially for a 14 year old!).  We finished the race in a cool 50 minutes or so while the winner finished in just over 15 minutes.  The time didn’t matter as it was a lot of fun that raised a lot of money for a great cause.


Pool at Asphalt Green

Swimming with Stanley Isaacs is a program with New York Cares that takes place at the Asphalt Green Center in NYC.  The program is designed to teach and encourage children to swim.  I have loved to swim my entire life (and consider myself a good swimmer) so this program was a great fit for me.

On the day I volunteered there were about 15 children and 7 volunteers.  Soon after I arrived, I jumped in the pool and got to work.  I was paired with 4 boys in the shallow pool with various swim levels.  We first started with some kicking drills with a kick board, which then quickly evolved into fun relay races.  After a while, I took the 2 stronger swimmers into the deep end.  I encouraged both of them  to swim laps and supported them along the way.  They both were quite impressive, especially considering it was one boys first time in the deep end!  After a few more games, we got out, dried off, and headed to a pizza place around the corner (I also consider myself a good pizza eater 🙂 ).

I had a great time volunteering and am looking forward to taking part in this program again.  I have mentioned it before, but I will say it again…Volunteering does not have to feel like a chore and can be a lot of fun!

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After the Race with Hollis, Kali and Reeni

The Hair of the Dog 5k at the Silver Decoy Winery in Robbinsville, NJ is a great event for runners/walkers and their four legged friends.  It is an annual 5k for people and dogs that has been running for the past 6 years.  All proceeds go towards supporting animal rescue.  I have participated in the last 3 events with my Aunts dog, Kali.  We won the event the previous two years, so I was really looking forward to winning for the third year in a row (OK…so we didn’t win but that is what I always tell Kali, so don’t tell her!).

photo (4)I arrived at the event with Kali, my girlfriend Hollis, my parents, and their dog Reeni.  Reeni happens to be a new addition to the family after she was abandoned on the streets of

Celebrating with the Winner!

Celebrating with the Winner!

Philadelphia.  We picked up our registration, t-shirt and goodie bag, and headed over to the starting line along with almost 1,000 other runners.  We completed the race in record time and Kali was able to defend her championship(I may or may not be joking 🙂 ).  After the race there was a small festival with local vendors and free wine tasting at the Silver Decoy Winery.  It was a great event for a great cause, and I can’t wait to do it again for the fourth time next year!

I was lucky enough to have a photographer from the Star Ledger cover me at the event and more photographs can be found here: Photo Essay of Deed 19 the Hair of the Dog 5K


At the Yankees Game

All my life, I have loved sports and have been a die hard Yankees fan.  I have my own blog (duh 🙂 )  That is why signing up for a Sports Blogging after school program, at a high school in downtown Manhattan was a natural fit.  The “deed” was carried out in two parts over consecutive Saturdays.

Part 1: Attending a New York Yankees Game:  I woke up early on a Saturday morning to travel downtown to meet the students at their high school.  I was greeted by an enthusiastic teacher and the New York Cares team leaders.  The students and volunteers gave a brief introduction before piling onto the subway to head to the game.  They were each equipped with a notepad, camera, and recorder.  It was their “job” to pay attention to the sights and sounds of the game, and my “job” to give them tips and ideas on what to write about.  I spent most of my time with two students named Travis and Raheem.  Both were big sports fans like myself, so we spent our time talking about the game and sports in general.  After a comeback win by the Yankees, we left the game to head back to our respective homes.

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Helping Write the Blog

Part 2:  Writing the blog:  The following Saturday I traveled back downtown to the high school to meet with the same students.  I helped them upload pictures from the cameras and assisted with their posts.  I spent most of my time with Raheem.  He and I are big basketball fans, so outside of helping him with the blog, we spent a lot of time talking about the state of the NBA and who we thought would win in the playoffs.

I know I have mentioned this before, but this is yet another example of how volunteering can be fun instead of a “chore”.  I thoroughly enjoyed it and hope they bring the program back next year so I can volunteer again!

Read the students blog here: Wolverine Sports Blog

Every day I travel on the Path train from Hoboken to New York City.  For the past few months, I have noticed advertisements for an event called Cycle for Survival.  The event is four hours of spinning sponsored and held at Equinox Fitness Centers around the country.  When you sign up for Cycle for Survival a webpage is created to allow you and your team to collect donations leading up to the event.  All donations go directly towards Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center to support  rare cancer research.


I participated in the event at an Equinox Fitness in NYC on Sunday, March 3rd.  When you first walk into the room, you can feel the energy.  Music is blasting, people are buzzing,  130 bikes are lined up and the room is lit up in orange(the official Cycle for Survival color).  The event was kicked off with a touching speech from a cancer survivor before quickly jumping into spinning.  In total, there were four 45 minute sessions which my team of three split up in 15 minute increments.  For those of you that have done spinning, you know it is not a walk in the park.  It was challenging but there was inspiration everywhere you looked.  Between the speeches delivered by cancer survivors, messages on a board about who people were riding for, blasting high energy music, and instructors yelling, it was relatively easy to push yourself to honor those who have been affected by cancer.

In all, it was a great event that I plan on doing again next year.  My team was able to raise $1,760 while the event raised over 13.6 million dollars to date.  Special thanks to my team and to those that donated as I could not have done it without your support.

30deeds Cycling Team

30deeds Cycling Team

Donations can still be made through the end of March here: 30deeds Cycling Donation page

crossfitI recently signed up for Crossfit in Hoboken, which is a gym that is known for high intensity group workouts.  I quickly discovered that it is different than a typical gym and encourages a sense of community.

Crossfit has a program they call “Hope for Kenya”.  The program allows you to collect donations in order to participate in a workout that took place on February 16th, 2013.  The workout was AMRAP (As many rounds as possible) in 12 minutes of: 50 Air Squats, 30 push ups, 15 pull ups.  The workout was difficult and exhausting, but well worth it.  All donations are used to supply, food, water, and education in and around Mombasa, Kenya.  The event raised over $250,000 across the country.

Most of the deeds have been in and around my local community.  Hope for Kenya allowed me to help people across the world.  It is a trend I would like to continue as I complete the rest of the deeds.


Achilles International is an organization that enables people with disabilities to participate in mainstream athletics.  A chapter in New York holds a run/walk every Tuesday in central park throughout the year.  Volunteers are matched with participants depending on the speed of the runners/walkers.  On the day I volunteered, there were just as many volunteers as athletes (about 20 of each).  I was not prepared to run, so I was partnered with a man named Patrick.

Patrick is a regular participant in the program.  He participated in the program when he was a kid 25 years ago and joined back up about 8 months ago.  In that 8 months, he has lost over 60 pounds and turned his life around.  On the day I volunteered, he walked from 3:00 until 7:15(the actual program only runs from 6:00-8:30).  It was freezing cold and pouring rain.  Patrick did not complain, kept a smile on his face, and continued to walk…and walk..and walk..and walk….All while using a walker.

Patrick is truly an inspirational athlete.  Witnessing what he does without issue truly makes you realize what you take for granted on a daily basis.  Even through the bad weather, it was one of my favorite deeds so far.