NFL and New York Jets Legend Marty Lyons Wins the 2013 Jefferson Award For 30 Years of Giving Back

New York, NY (PRWEB) March 06, 2013

Known as the Nobel Prize for public service, the Jefferson Awards, at a national ceremony held today at the Pierre Hotel, honored former New York Jets and NFL defensive tackle Marty Lyons for Outstanding Service by a Professional Athlete. Dedicated to reaching out to terminally ill children, the Marty Lyons Foundation has granted over 6,000 wishes since its founding and has expanded its philanthropic efforts throughout twelve states.

The Jefferson Award was presented to Lyons by NFL great, Troy Vincent; a fifteen year veteran cornerback, who now serves as Senior Vice President of NFL Player Engagement. Vincent was the 2012 recipient of this coveted award for community service. Previous recipients in the outstanding athlete category include former Buffalo Bills quarterback and NFL Hall of Famer Jim Kelly and NHL Hall of Famer, Pat LaFontaine.

Marty Lyons life-long, personal commitment to community service and making a difference in the lives of others, comes from that same spirited dedication we all saw in him when he played in the NFL, said Troy Vincent, I am honored to present this Jefferson Award to one of our own–someone who is such an inspiring example of the extraordinary impact both present and former NFL players are making in our communities.

I am humbled to receive this award and accept it on behalf of the children who have come through the doors of our foundation these past thirty years, said Marty Lyons, now a New York Jets radio analyst, Once you have witnessed the strength and courage seen in the eyes of a child facing a life-threatening illness, you fully understand the meaning of your own mission. Their spirit of hope and belief that anything is possible, reminds all of us what the focus of our own lives must be.

The Robin Hood Foundation received the 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award. Hailed by Fortune magazine as one of the most innovative and influential philanthropic organizations of our time, Robin Hood has donated $ 1.25 billion dollars since 1988 to end poverty in New York City.

Recipients of the Globe-Changers youth service award included a Yale University senior whose international non-profit Girls Helping Girls has trained and mentored thousands of girls worldwide to incubate entrepreneurial projects in more than twenty countries; a 22 year old coder whose organization Code The Change has generated over $ 250,000 worth of value for the social sector, and a Pittsburgh teenager whose military veteran-focused group Seeds of Hope is expanding nationwide.

The award for Outstanding Service by an Entrepreneur went to Gerald Chertavian, whose organization Year Up provides professional training to low-income youth.

Founded by Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Senator Robert Taft Jr., and Sam Beard, and now celebrating its 40th anniversary year, the Jefferson Awards honor extraordinary individuals and companies whose profound achievements and commitment to their communities are making the world a better place to live.

This years Jefferson Awards recipients have made real and lasting differences in the lives of countless people across the United States, said Sam Beard, the Jefferson Awards President.

About the 2013 Jefferson Awards National Ceremony Recipients:


New York Jets Player; Jets Radio Analyst; Chairman, Marty Lyons Foundation,

New York, New York

Marty Lyons’ football experience matured under the guidance of the late Paul “Bear” Bryant at the University of Alabama where he was recognized as consensus first-team All-American in 1978. His athletic skill propelled him to be a first round draft pick in the 1979 National Football League draft. His professional football career with the New York Jets spanned eleven years, 1979-1989. He played both defensive tackle and defensive end and was a member of the Jets famed New York Sack Exchange along with Mark Gastineau, Abdul Salaam and Joe Klecko.

In 1982, three events led to the founding of the Marty Lyons Foundation the passing of his father, the birth of his eldest son; and the passing of a little boy for whom Marty was a Big Brother. The foundation focuses on fulfilling special wishes for children diagnosed with a terminal or life threatening illness. Over 30 years, the Foundation has fulfilled over 6,000 wishes. The Foundation has grown to include 13 chapters covering: Alabama, New York, New Jersey, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland, Massachusetts, Georgia, Connecticut, Texas, Virginia and Pennsylvania.



The Robin Hood Foundation is honored for following their single mission for 25 years:

End Poverty in New York City. Over the course of its history, Robin Hood has distributed more than $ 1.25 billion to hundreds of the most effective New York City-based soup kitchens, homeless shelters, job training programs and other vital services that give New Yorks neediest citizens the tools they need to build better lives for themselves and their families. Robin Hood employs a rigorous system of metrics and third-party evaluation to ensure accountability, and works closely with its grantees to make them even more successful. Robin Hoods board of directors covers all of the organizations fund-raising and administrative costs, so 100% of every dollar you donate goes to helping New Yorkers in need.

Robin Hood established a Relief Fund in the wake of 9/11 to help New Yorkers recover from the devastating terrorist attacks that rocked New York City. Robin Hood reactivated the Relief Fund following Hurricane Sandy and has raised more than $ 67 million including more than $ 50 million from the historic 12-12-12 Concert for Sandy Relief held at Madison Square Garden — to help individuals and communities rebuild and recover.

Robin Hood was founded by a team of visionaries including Paul Tudor Jones II, Peter Borish, Glenn Dubin, David Saltzman, and the late Maurice Moe Chessa. Robin Hoods board of directors is led by Barry Sternlicht and the vice chairs are David Einhorn and John A. Griffin.


Gerald Chertavian is dedicated to closing the opportunity divide that exists in our nation. Determined to make his vision a reality, Gerald combined his entrepreneurial skills and his passion for working with urban young adults to found Year Up in 2000.

An intensive one-year training and education program that serves low-income youth ages 18-24, Year Up provides the technical, professional and communication skills needed to empower urban young adults to make successful transitions to careers and higher education. Gerald Chertavian cites, There are 6.7 million young adults out of work and out of school. There are 14 million middle-skill jobs that are unfilled.

Year Up offers low-income youth the skills and training to close that gap. Were creating a hand up not a hand out. Year Up is one of the fastest growing non-profits in the nation. It has been recognized by Fast Company and The Monitor Group as one of the top 25 organizations using business excellence to engineer social change. Year Up has also been named one of the nation’s top 50 non-profits to work for by the Non-Profit Times.

Gerald began his career on Wall Street as an officer of the Chemical Banking Corporation. Following graduate school, he co-founded Conduit Communications and fostered its growth to more than $ 20 million in annual revenues and more than 130 employees in London, Amsterdam, New York and Boston. Following the sale of Conduit to i-Cube in 1999, Gerald turned his full attention to opportunities for others.

Gerald earned a B.A. in Economics, Phi Beta Kappa, Summa C

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