On March 12, the Miami Heat basketball team played host to a benefit for the Buoniconti Fund and the Miami Project. Marc Buoniconti, the son of NFL star Nick Buoniconti, headed up both efforts. Marc presented a special award to the Miami Heat family for their contributions to both projects, an article on NBA.com reported. Before the game, Marc said, ‘We are proud to have this special game to share with the Miami HEAT family and look forward to sharing our message of a cure for paralysis with the team and its fans. By allowing us to be a part of the amazing game of basketball, they are helping us move closer to a cure.’
The Heat game allowed the Buoniconti Fund to generate funds and awareness for the support of groundbreaking research on spinal cord injury at the Miami Project at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. In addition to the special halftime presentation, the Buoniconti Fund also arranged for various other fundraising efforts and events at the game. Fans who bought tickets through a special Miami Project Web site were entered into a raffle for a drawing at halftime to win prizes such as a vacation packages, tickets to the Buoniconti Fund’s Great Sports Legends Dinner, and an autographed photo of Dwyane Wade.
A portion of the profits from all ticket sales of the game went to the Miami Project and the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis. In what must have been a special treat for hometown fans, the Heat defeated the Chicago Bulls 108 to 95.
The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis was founded in 1985 after Nick Buoniconti’s son Marc suffered a spinal cord injury while playing college football. Since that time, the project has grown to support a team of over 200 clinicians and scientific researchers around the world creating innovations to develop a cure for paralysis and spinal cord injury.
Associated Press. (March 12, 2010) ‘Chicago Bulls vs. Miami Heat ‘“ Recap.’ Retrieved on March 15, 2010 from the ESPN Web site: http://espn.go.com/nba/recap?gameId=300312014
The Buoniconti Fund Staff. (March 15, 2010) ‘About the Buoniconti Fund.’ Retrieved on March 15, 2010 from the Buoniconti Fund Web site:http://www.thebuonicontifund.com/Page.aspx?pid=489
NBA.com Staff. (March 11, 2010) ‘HEAT and the Buoniconti Fund Join Forces to Help Raise Awareness and Funds to Find a Cure for Paralysis.’ Retreived on March 12, 2010 from the NBA Web site:http://www.nba.com/heat/news/heat_the_buoniconti_fund_join__2010_03_11.html