While with the New York Mets, Nelson recalls meeting a fan that would forever impact his life. Peri Finkelstein, a young Mets fan from Long Island, New York had handed Figueroa a good luck bracelet. The value of receiving the bracelet meant so much to Nelson since Peri suffers from Muscular Dystrophy and is confined to a wheelchair.
“I took the bracelet and wore it for the rest of the season.”
Nelson kept in contact with the family throughout his career. Peri’s brother reached out to Figueroa and sent him a video of his sister participating in the Miami Marathon. Peri had been preparing for the big day by training with a special wheelchair.
“She did 1400 steps in the Miami Marathon and I was just moved to tears,” Figueroa shared.
The Annual Charity Bowl was Peri’s request, “It’s the coolest thing ever, and she wanted to raise money for other kids to go to Camp Simcha.”
All of the money raised during Monday night’s event will benefit the Chai Lifeline. Chai Lifeline is an international support network for families battling childhood illness. What started out, as a small summer camp for children with cancer has become a huge organization that provides emotional, social and financial support to these children and their families. Chai Lifeline offers year-round programming and the staff and volunteers never stop helping. Chai Lifeline provides meals, both in the hospitals and at home, big brothers/sisters for seriously ill children, family weekend retreats, trips, support groups, bereavement support, parties, financial guidance, after school help for siblings… the list goes on and on. One of the most spectacular aspects of the organization is Camp Simcha and Camp Simcha Special, where kids can go to a sleep away camp, which is essentially a hospital in disguise. Kids can get their treatments and feel like kids again, while parents get a much-needed break.
If you would like to support Nelson Figueroa’s Annual Charity Bowl, below is where you can purchase your tickets. The event will take place on January 16, 2017 from 6-9pm.
A Chinese Auction will be held at the event. Each ticket, which can be entered into any auction, costs $3 for 1, $5 for 2, $10 for 6, and $25 for 18. Tickets for the auction may be purchased at the door.
Auction Prizes Include:
- 2 Mets tickets to sit with the 7Line and a 7Line shirt
- Drew Brees signed SI cover
- Zack Wheeler signed baseball
- Nelson Figueora pitching lesson (up to 4 people)
- Tiki Barber signed football
- Jim Kelly HOF football
- Vanessa Williams Signed DVD
- 2 Mets BP passes
- CC Sabathia Baseball
Confirmed Attendees (more TBA):
- Former MLBer and current SNY analyst Nelson Figueroa
- Former Mets GM Jim Duquette
- Former MLBer Frank Rodriguez
- Blue Bloods star Robert Clohessy
- Blue Bloods star Jerry Todisco
- 3 Radio DJ Ken Dashow
- Male supermodel Michael Dean Johnson
- Model Gabe Snow
- Gotham star David Mazouz
- Teen investor Connor Bruggeman