“O King Philip, when he grows a little older, give your son over to a master of gymnastics to harden his body; and later I will come to undertake his soul”
-Aristotle to King Philip of Macedonia
Much like King Philip of Macedonia turned his son over to coach Leonidas of Epirus on Aristotle’s instruction to first develop young Alexander’s body, there is an organization in the South Bronx called Gauchos who in many ways has done the same for generations of youth from the Bronx and upper Manhattan.
The Gauchos Teamwork Foundation held their 7th annual fundraiser this past Wednesday night. Unlike previous years the event was held at their gym located at 478 Gerard Avenue. Dwayne “Pearl” Washington, one of the organizations many NBA stars was this year’s honoree. Conducting the charity event at the gym allowed everyone to feel the magic and history that permeates the Gauchos gymnasium which has provided countless young men and women scholarships opportunities to prestigious universities as well as producing multiple NBA legends.
In addition to the lavish tables, open bars, video screens and philanthropists that took the place of young men and women conducting basketball drills for an evening, banners of great NBA athletes, Gauchos coaches and the founding contributors could be found decorating from the gymnasium walls. Some of the Gaucho NBA legends granted banners included Mark Jackson, Stephon Marbury, Rod Strickland, Jamal Mashburn, Ed Pickney and this year’s honoree Dwayne “Pear” Washington. Additional banners identifying the founding contributors included Lou d’ Almeida and Ann L. Bronfman. Lou d’ Almeida was a central figure in the evenings festivities. In many ways I compared him to King Philip of Macedonia in relation to the comparison above. His banner read, * 1967 Founded New York Gauchos, *1980 Formed the Teamwork Foundation, * 1986 Opened Gauchos Gym. Much of his evening was spent giving and receiving hugs and kisses from everyone in the room. It was obvious he was the loved “King” who invested in the youth of the community with his time and money. If Lou d’ Almedia was the King I assume the banner of Ann Loeb Bronfman identified the Queen. Her banner read, * Founding Sponsor 1967, *All Time Outstanding Contributor 1967 – 2010, *Foundation Advisor and Mentor. As a side note for those who don’t know, the Bronfmans are one of NYC “Blue Blood” Banking and Real Estate families. Her father Francis Lehman Loeb was one of the founding fathers of Loeb, Rhoades and Company the predecessor of Shearson Lehman and American Express. Even though Ms. Bronfman is no longer with us, her philanthropy has guaranteed that her name and her families name will live on for ages to come. There was a photo of her posted in the gymnasium that intrigued me. I photographed and posted it for everyone to view below.
Overall the Fundraiser was a huge success. The gymnasium was packed with Gaucho executives, board members, coaches, proud parents, countless volunteers, future NBA stars and always much needed philanthropists. Each in their own special way helped make sure the 44 year Gaucho tradition of excellence continued steadfast and strong. I posted photos of the event below and provided a link for additional photos to be previewed as well. I also provided the Gauchos web address for anyone wishing to learn more about the organization. Besides the company the food which was catered by Mikes Deli of Arthur Avenue was delicious. It was truly an honor to be in the presence of this special community.
Official Gauchos Web Site:
Pictures posted to Shutterfly.com