This year I was fortunate to meet Steven and Maureen Van Zandt.
I have always been a fan but was especially impressed by their giant hearts and willingness to help so many in need. Steven helped the policeman’s ball raise $200,000 for the Detectives’ Endowment Associations’ Widows and Children’s Fund.
Van Zandt had a couple of his “Sopranos” cast mates in attendance; performances by the Max Weinberg Orchestra and singer Darlene Love were also featured.
“The police have had a particularly difficult year,” Van Zandt had told those in attendance, “and I believe a bold statement of support is appropriate right now.”
A week earlier, Steven and Maureen Van Zandt joined forces with my good friend and business associate, Alfred Zaccagnino from the Samarian Group, to bring holiday cheer and gifts to over 500 kids at the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club in the South Bronx.
This was the ninth year that Zaccagnino has helped out and with the big presence of the Van Zandt’s, this was the best Christmas these kids have had. “Knowing the history of the Yankees and the things that George Steinbrenner had done for so many children has influenced me to always do the right thing especially during the holidays.” Said Zaccagnino.
“And to see what Steven and Maureen give of themselves reminds me of how George Steinbrenner used to help everyone.” Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club President, Daniel Quintero was quick to state that he has never had to ask Zaccagnino for anything. “He knows we need him and he is always there.”
Former Phantom of the Opera star Ciaran Sheehan was there to sing some songs adding holiday cheer to the party. Said Sheehan, “When I see the Van Zandt’s and Alfred giving their time for the less fortunate like they do, I know that I must also help.”
It makes me feel good to see so many people helping the less fortunate just like the Boss used to do.
Ray Negron is a sports executive with over 40 years of experience in baseball. His first job came from a chance encounter with George Steinbrenner as a youth. He has become an American film producer, a best-selling author, and a philanthropist. His memoir is entitled, “Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers.” For more of his reports, Go Here Now.