Ricky Palermo’s tireless efforts to raise money for spinal cord research will be recognized when he receives the prestigious Major Donald Holleder Award at the 70th annual Rochester Press-Radio Club Day of Champions Children’s Charities Dinner, Wednesday, April 3, at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.
The award is named after Holleder, a former Aquinas Institute and U.S. Military Academy football star who was killed in a Vietnam War battle while attempting to rescue several wounded members of his battalion. It is presented annually to an individual who exhibits the character, courage and achievement displayed by Holleder.
Palermo, a former three-sport most valuable player at Byron-Bergen High School, was paralyzed in an automobile accident in 1981. Since 1997, he and his foundation have held an annual golf tournament and auction that has raised more than $1.4 million. The funds have been contributed to The Miami Project, a pioneering spinal injury research organization, as well as to local organizations, such the Batavia YMCA bike program for people with neurological challenges.
Palermo will be honored at the dinner, which features 2018 NFL MVP Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs as the Coca-Cola Sports Personality of the Year and other award winners.
Tickets for the dinner are $135, with a table of 10 available for a discounted price of $1,250. To reserve tickets or packages, call 585-340-1460. Credit cards or money orders are accepted as payment.
The club gratefully acknowledges its corporate sponsors: Coca-Cola of Northern New England, ConServe, the Democrat and Chronicle, ESL Federal Credit Union, the Rochester Red Wings, and the Rochester NY Sports Commission.
Photo: File photo, Ricky Palermo with his cousin John Curtiss.