*The Pigskin Ball, a fundraising event held last Friday that was spearheaded by Coughlin and Jets running back Curtis Martin, raised $425,000, to be split by two children’s charities. Coughlin’s Jay Fund and the National Law Enforcement and Firefighters Children’s Foundation (NLEAFCF), which Martin works with, each have an additional $212,500 to pursue their missions of helping children in need.
The inaugural event was a combined initiative of Coughlin’s Jay Fund Foundation and the NLEAFCF. It was held at Cipriani’s in Manhattan and was attended by approximately 450 people, including over 40 active and retired members of the Giants and Jets. Coughlin and Martin were the event’s co-hosts and American Airlines was the presenting sponsor.
The evening’s program, which included a performance by Bette Midler, was anchored by Masters of Ceremony Chris “Mad Dog” Russo of WFAN and WNBC-TV sports anchor Bruce Beck, whose live auctioneering was a highlight of the event. Singer-songwriter Daniel Cage also performed. Eli Manning, Tiki Barber, Wayne Chrebet, Harry Carson and Mark Gastineau were some of the players in attendance.
Coughlin and Martin both addressed the audience about their respective charities along with Alfred Kahn, founder of the NLEAFCF and Chairman/CEO of 4Kids Entertainment. The Jay Fund assists children with Leukemia and other cancers and their families while supporting related research. The NLEAFCF is dedicated to helping the children of law enforcement and firefighting personnel who have been killed in the line of duty.