In The City: The 28th Annual Black Tie & Sneakers Gala Celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health

Credit — Mark D. Phillips

Last week we were on the scene for the Sportsball 2022, the 28th Annual Black Tie & Sneakers Gala benefiting the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH), which took place on Thursday, October 20th, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City.

Renowned guests representing sports, philanthropy, business, entertainment, and medicine gathered to celebrate the legacy of tennis champion, activist, and humanitarian Arthur Ashe and celebrated the 30th anniversary of the organization.

This year’s gala was co-hosted for the first time by Emmy-winning FOX 5 Good Day New York meteorologist Mike Woods, a 2018 Sportsball honoree, and Good Day New York Traffic Anchor Ines Rosales.

Sportsball 2022 honored Lori Stokes, nine-time Emmy-winning journalist; Kitaw Demissie, MD, PhD, Dean and Professor, School of Public Health, SUNY Downstate Health Sciences University; and Anthony Welters, Founder and CEO, CINQCARE.

Dr. Marilyn A. Fraser, CEO of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health, presided over the gala. The event benefited the ongoing community health education programs and research initiatives of the Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health.

Arthur Ashe Institute for Urban Health (AAIUH) board members attending the event included Brett Wright, Board Chair; Dr. Edgar Mandeville, Chairperson Emeritus; Robin Rosenblum, Dr. JoAnn Bradley, Harold Iselin, Errol Pierre, Tiffany McGhee, Olaseni Alabede, Ariel Knight, Michael Mann, Anubhav Singh, Dr. Hassan Tetteh, and Heidi Leeds.

Credit — Mark D. Phillips

Howard Cross, NFL Super Bowl Champion and past Sportsball honoree served as one of the auctioneers for the evening. Other VIPs in attendance included: Yvonna Kopacz Wright, Actress, The Village, Blue Bloods, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Guiding Light; Clifford W. Knights II and Steve Vixamar, Co-founders of IMG Helps; LeeAnn Hicks, Executive Producer, Sportsball 2022, and Nikki Stokes-Thompson, Chief of Staff, Ariel Alternatives.

AAIUH partners with leaders, activists, legislators, providers, academic institutions, small businesses, and community members on a range of programs and initiatives that address health inequities, including the social determinants of health.

Through these efforts, AAIUH works to research and develop innovative community health empowerment programs, provide evidence-based behavioral health interventions in community settings (e.g. barbershops, beauty salons) that help participants address chronic health conditions and advocate for their health, prepare underrepresented minority urban youth to succeed in college and become healthcare providers, and improve healthcare providers’ capacity to address racial health disparities through conferences, trainings, and workshops.



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Tony Bowles, Contributing Columnist

Tony Bowles is one of the youngest sought journalists in the media world. He focuses on lifestyle, travel, entertainment, food, and more! Based in New York City