Champions of Play

The New Orleans Recreation Department hosted its inaugural fundraising gala at Tulane University’s Yulman Stadium honoring longtime supporters Peyton Manning and Jerome Smith.

Freedom Rider and community leader Jerome Smith was presented the Unsung Hero Award by Sybil Haydel Morial. Peyton Manning, Legacy Tribute Recipient and former NORD participant, was awarded for his commitment to philanthropy. Manning accepted his reward “talk show style” with an interview from his older brother, Cooper Manning.

NORD also recognized individuals and organizations who have honored major commitments to revitalize NORD with the “Wall of Fame” distinction award, presented to Mayor Mitch Landrieu, City of New Orleans; Andy Kopplin, City of New Orleans; Mark Hatfield, Chevron; Charles Rice, Entergy New Orleans; Ashton Ryan, First NBC Bank; Robert Boh, Boh Brothers; Bobby Garon, NORD Citizens Advisory Panel; and Roy Glapion, NORD Citizens Advisory Panel.

Mayor Mitch Landrieu opened up the program, and NORD Foundation Chairman Louis Lauricella, gave welcome remarks. Traffic reporter Tamica Lee of WWL-TV served as emcee.

Prior to the gala, around 200 people attended the Patron Party, which featured cuisine by Olive Blue Catering and offered a photo opportunity with Legacy Tribute Recipient Peyton Manning. Food for the gala was provided by Zea’s, 1718 Catering| Hyatt Regency New Orleans, Odi’s Cookies, Marché, Tommy’s Cuisine, Boulevard American Bistro, Galatoire’s and Bombay Club. Libations were provided by Sazerac Company and Coca-Cola.

Piano students from NORD performed selections from their musical repertoire. The event also featured a silent auction, which included sports memorabilia, dining experiences and excursions.


What: “CHAMPIONS Inaugural Gala,” benefiting New Orleans Recreation Development Foundation
When: Tuesday, April 11
Where: Tulane University’s Yulman Stadium

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