More than 650 celebrities, athletes, friends, family and supporters joined Miami Marlins CEO and part-owner Derek Jeter at the 22nd annual Turn 2 Foundation Dinner at Cipriani Wall Street on Sept. 27.
The star-studded gala celebrated Turn 2 and its work to make a positive difference in the lives of young people. The event raised more than $1 million for the Foundation's programs that foster academic achievement, healthy lifestyles, positive behavior, social change and leadership development.
This year's program was emceed by MLB Network host and reporter Heidi Watney. Among the evening's highlights was a special panel discussion with Derek Jeter and surprise guest Jimmy Fallon, host of The Tonight Show. Presented by The Players' Tribune, Derek and Jimmy discussed fatherhood, the transition from baseball player to Derek's current role, balancing business and family, and more. After the panel concluded, RBRM -- featuring Bell Biv Devoe and Bobby Brown, all formerly of New Edition -- entertained the crowd with an impressive performance of their greatest hits. During the evening, guests also had the opportunity to bid in a live auction and silent auction featuring one-of-a-kind memorabilia and experiences.
"Through the tremendous support we receive during our annual dinner, our Foundation is able to continue our mission of empowering youth to excel in their academics, lead healthy lifestyles, strengthen their leadership skills and ultimately serve as positive members of society," said Derek Jeter, who founded Turn 2 with his father in 1996. "I'm so proud to celebrate 22 years of inspiring positive social change with the people who have been instrumental in building this Foundation into what it is today, and I'm incredibly excited for the future.
Turn 2 honored Goldman Sachs vice president DeDe Agar-Lawrence and managing director Ron Cortina as its 2018 co-MVPs. Since the Foundation began its partnership with Goldman Sachs in 2001, Ron and DeDe have been instrumental in growing its key initiatives. The two were honored in recognition of their dedication to Turn 2's mission.
The Foundation also celebrated the 2018 graduates of its signature Jeter's Leaders program, all of whom graduated high school in the spring, and are currently pursuing their dreams in college. Turn 2 recognized the students for their commitment to academic excellence, community service, leadership and social change. The Jeter's Leaders initiative is a four-year leadership program for high school students in New York City and West Michigan who serve as ambassadors for Derek in their communities.
"Teaching young people the power of using their voices and actions to create social change is an important component of our programs. From an inspiring service project in Miami, to various community service initiatives, in the last year alone our Jeter's Leaders have truly made a positive impact and empowered other youth to follow suit," said Sharlee Jeter, president of the Turn 2 Foundation, Inc. "Each year our annual dinner raises critical funds that enable us to provide young people with these unique, hands-on opportunities to serve as leaders and give back. We are grateful for the ongoing support of our partners, sponsors and supporters, and we are proud to celebrate another fantastic year together."
Celebrity guests included Tiki Barber, Robert Burke, Bobby Brown, Harry Carson, Dr. Sampson Davis, Lisa Evers, Jimmy Fallon, John Franco, Tim Green, Dr. George Jenkins, Hannah Jeter, Natasha Hastings, Nancy Lieberman, Tino Martinez, Ibtihaj Muhammad, DJ Premier, Holly Rowe, Tanyon Sturtze, Dennis Walcott, Heidi Watney, Teresa Weatherspoon and Tristan Wilds.