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Cashman sleeps on street to support cause

Yankees GM spends night on concrete in benefit for homeless youth
MLB.com @BryanHoch

NEW YORK -- There was no point in checking the weather forecasts this week as Brian Cashman prepared to spend Thursday night sleeping on the streets of Manhattan. No matter the temperature or the wind conditions, it's the concrete that is most unforgiving.

Along with more than 750 of the nation's business, sports and entertainment executives, Cashman participated in the Covenant House's "Sleep Out" movement, aiming to raise awareness for homeless youth. It marked Cashman's fourth consecutive year supporting the event.

NEW YORK -- There was no point in checking the weather forecasts this week as Brian Cashman prepared to spend Thursday night sleeping on the streets of Manhattan. No matter the temperature or the wind conditions, it's the concrete that is most unforgiving.

Along with more than 750 of the nation's business, sports and entertainment executives, Cashman participated in the Covenant House's "Sleep Out" movement, aiming to raise awareness for homeless youth. It marked Cashman's fourth consecutive year supporting the event.

"I have no idea how any human being possibly can do it for one night, let alone weeks on end," Cashman said. "It's a disaster. There's no way to simplify it. That's why obviously for those who are less fortunate, if we can get people to raise funds here and contribute to Covenant House, they've got programs to put people back on the right track and be a safe harbor."

Covenant House provides job training, education and long-term housing, aiming to offer a second chance to homeless youth. The nationwide movement of solidarity started in New York with a candlelight vigil in Times Square.

After meeting with groups of homeless youth and hearing their stories, the executives slept -- or attempted to sleep -- in a parking lot adjacent to the Covenant House on West 41st Street. Tim Pernetti, chief business officer of the recently founded New York City Football Club of Major League Soccer, also took part in the event.

Some of the other known participants were Michael Chernow and Daniel Holzman, owners of The Meatball Shop restaurants; Gail Grimmett Sr., Delta Airlines vice president; and employees from luxury home builder, Toll Brothers, which had sleep-out teams posted in Atlantic City, N.J., New York, Orlando, Fla., and Philadelphia.

"We're honored to have Brian, Tim and all of these selfless sports and business leaders sleeping out as a unified, powerful voice for our kids at Covenant House," said Kevin Ryan, the president of Covenant House International. "All of these leaders are selflessly using their amazing gifts to bring hope to the 1,900 kids who are in our shelters each night."

Cashman's introduction to the program came via Ryan, who was a friend of the future Yankees GM while attending college. At Ryan's urging, Cashman toured the Manhattan facility and was touched by what he saw.

"Once you're in, you're hooked," Cashman said. "You've got to see the great work these people are doing for people that just need a fighting chance."

Using his arm as a makeshift pillow over the asphalt, Cashman said that he planned to wear layers of sweaters with a scarf, ski jacket and hat. He said that he did not get a wink of sleep his first time participating in the event back in 2011, and Cashman did not expect to rest well on Thursday either.

"I'll be a cranky Yankee tomorrow," he said.

Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

New York Yankees