EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. – Wyckoff police officers, officials from St. Joseph's Academy in Bogota and members of a Park Ridge dance studio were among those who joined New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning at MetLife Stadium to celebrate raising more than a quarter-million dollars to support critical research projects and programs at the Children's Cancer Institute at Hackensack University Medical Center.
Sports notables, as well, turned out on Sunday -- retired Giant Shaun O'Hara, former New York Knick John Starks and New York Red Bulls Goalie Luis Robles, among them.
Manning – winner of the National Football League’s Walter Payton Man of the Year and a two-time Super Bowl MVP -- matched the first $100,000 raised by the “Eli’s Challenge” campaign.
“It is truly inspiring to see how many community groups held bake sales, car washes and other fundraisers for this cause, and I want to challenge more of them to join our team,” the Giants quarterback said while presenting an oversized check to the Tackle Kids Cancer program.
“Eli Manning’s commitment to Tackle Kids Cancer has extended far beyond what we could have imagined," said said Jon M. Fitzgerald, president of Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation. "Not only has he volunteered to be the face of our campaign -- he has made numerous visits with the children, families and health care team at our Children’s Cancer Institute.
"With Eli’s Challenge, he has taken his role as champion of this cause to higher level, and we could not have raised more than $4 million for our Tackle Kids Cancer initiative without his support.”
With more than 100 active oncology and transplant clinical trials currently open, the Children’s Cancer Institute at Hackensack University Medical Center is a national leader in seeking a cure for pediatric cancer.
“While extremely rare, pediatric cancer is the number one cause of death by disease in children in the U.S.,” said Stephen Percy, M.D., interim chairman of the Department of Pediatrics at the Joseph M. Sanzari Children’s Hospital. “Every dollar received through the Tackle Kids Cancer campaign will support our most important programs and research.”