On August 23, the GMM Foundation held its 4th annual “Hoop4Hope” at the Jose Marti Gym, which raised an astounding $25,000 to help families that have been faced with tragedies and in need of support. The foundation was started by Julio de la Mata and Javier Perez after their friends Gabriel Maynoldi and Michael Sanchez were involved in a car accident in 2001. Maynoldi sustained severe brain damage and was rendered a quadriplegic while Sanchez passed away.
Instead of dwelling on the tragedy, the GMM Foundation has used Mike and Gaby’s love for sports as the driving force behind fundraising events. Funds raised by the foundation’s athletic events and the generous donations from the community help them deliver financial and emotional support to victims and families that have been impacted by serious car accidents. Last year the funds were used to purchase a wheelchair accessible van for Gaby.
“When Javi and I started the GMM Foundation & Hoop4Hope we could have never envisioned that within two years we would be able to purchase a wheel chair accessible van for our childhood friend,” said De La Mata. “However, with the support of our friends, family, community leaders like DJ Irie, Jon Jay, Chad Johnson and Braylon Edwards – we have done it.”
This year the tournament grew into two divisions “Top Gun” & “Couch Potato.” The “Top Gun” division was won by “Spo Knows’ who won a 4-day & 3-night trip to Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Punta Cana as well 50-inch TVs. The “No Flex Zone” team won the “Couch Potato Grand Prize” and were awarded 43-inch TVs.
The GMM is also ready to share their success by helping those who have been effected by tragedy. Members of the community will be able to contact the GMM with the story of a youth they know affected by an accident and solicit GMM’s knowledge. The foundation will select four individuals and the public will have one month to select one person, via Facebook, that GMM will help. Once the winner has been chosen there will be a meeting with their support group where GMM will guide them to create a similar “Hoop4Hope” for their cause.
For more information, visit www.hoop4hope.com.