This past Saturday, nearly 300 people gathered at Bridgewaters conference center in New York City to honor the life and spirit of former men’s lacrosse player George Boiardi ’03 at the second annual 21 Dinner.
The dinner is held each year to raise money for the division of Teach for America in South Dakota. Boiardi planned on joining Teach for America after his graduation from Cornell. However, Boiardi passed away during a lacrosse game on March 17, 2004. Jesse Rothstein ’03, a good friend of Boiardi, was inspired to create the event after watching a documentary about former Sun editor in chief, Dick Schaap ’55.
“I got the idea after watching a movie about Dick Schaap,” he said. “I never realized that he also played lacrosse at Cornell and wore No. 21, too. So I got in touch with Jeremy Schaap [’91] through some mutual friends, and he thought it was a great idea.”
After raising around $50,000 last year, Rothstein said that he has high hopes for matching that number this year. He has raised upwards of $20,000 already, with some silent donations still to come. Jeremy, a former Sun sports editor and currently a reporter for ESPN, emceed the event and sports columnist Bob Ryan was the keynote speaker.
“Bob’s speech was great, very funny,” Rothstein said. “He talked about the evolution of journalism from newspapers to the internet, and the dramatic changes that have come with that. He spoke about how Dick was able to change with the times, and he tied that back to George and how he had a very similar personality.”
The money raised from the event will help Teach for America grow their South Dakota core of teachers past the current number of 40, up from 17 only two years ago.