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Ricky Palermo Foundation

June 11, 2022 - 7:38pm

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Ricky Palermo, front center, talks about his Foundation during a "Rock With Ricky" fundraiser concert Friday at Batavia Downs Gaming in Batavia. Bruce in the USA, a tribute band to the boss and his E Street band, was the first concert of the season and the first time the Ricky Palermo Foundation partnered with Batavia Downs to further its cause of raising awareness and money for spinal cord research. Palermo's Foundation has raised and donated $1.7 million for the community and research at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.  Photo by Nick Serrata.

 

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Comedian Nick Marra opens up before the main act, Bruce in the USA, Friday at Batavia Downs Gaming. Marra has also performed in Batavia previously, and all to support the Palermo Foundation's cause. Photo by Nick Serrata.

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A commemorative T-shirt for the Ricky Palermo Foundation's "Rock with Ricky" concert Friday at Batavia Downs Gaming in Batavia. Photo by Nick Serrata.

 
May 31, 2022 - 6:09pm

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Press release:

Representatives from Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel and the Ricky Palermo foundation today donated over 3,300 tickets to the Genesee County Veterans Service Agency for the upcoming concerts at Batavia Downs.

The first concert, featuring Bruce in the USA, the World’s #1 Tribute to Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, will take place on Friday, June 10th.  100% of the proceeds from ticket sales, chair rental and raffles that day will go to the Ricky Palmero Foundation for Spinal Cord Research.  The fifth Rockin’ the Downs concert series, presented by Pepsi, will start the following week on Friday, June 17th.

“We are happy to extend these complimentary tickets to our local veterans, “said Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO of Batavia Downs and a retired member of the US Navy.  “We thank all the men and women of the Armed Forces for all that they have done and continue to do for our great nation.”

“Our Ricky Palermo Foundation has worked with many veterans and veteran agencies throughout the years,” said Ricky Palermo, President and CEO of the Ricky Palermo Foundation.  “Just like Batavia Downs has done in years past, we too wanted to extend complimentary tickets to our concert for area Veterans to thank them for their service.”

“We are grateful to receive tickets for all 11 concerts, said William Joyce, Director of the Veterans Service Agency of Genesee County.  “Our area Veterans love going to the concerts and we are pleased to be able to extend this opportunity to them once again.”

Tickets can be purchased to all Batavia Downs Events including the Ricky Palmero Charity Concert at BataviaConcerts.com

About Batavia Downs/WROTB
Western Region Off-Track Betting Corporation is a public benefit corporation with headquarters in Batavia, NY. WROTB owns and operates 10 branches, as well as Batavia Downs Gaming, a standard bred racetrack and gaming facility. Since its inception, Western Region OTB has generated over $232 million in operating and surcharge revenues to the taxpayers of participating municipalities.

About The Ricky Palermo Foundation
When we first started our foundation, we started small, hosting a cut-a-thon and selling T-shirts that raised a total of five thousand dollars for The Miami Project. In 1996, with the help of my family and close friends, we started The Ricky Palermo Spinal Injury Golf Tournament. Our first year we set a goal to raise five thousand dollars. By the end of the day we had raised eleven thousand, exceeding our goal by over fifty percent. Fast forward to today, our tournament is one of the largest in Western New York with 200 plus golfers, raffles, fun, and even a helicopter golf ball drop. Our foundation has grown into more than just raising awareness and money. We have annual comedy shows, soccer, basketball and lacrosse clinics, and dinners with both live and silent auctions. In 25 years, we have donated $1.7 million to our community and to research at The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

About the Veterans Service Agency of Genesee County
The Veterans Service Agency of Genesee County Provides services for veterans and their families.   We assist with filing claims and obtaining psychological, employment, and financial counseling.  We also offer assistance in military review of discharges and in obtaining New York State benefits.  Services are free to veterans, spouses, widows, and children of veterans.

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April 30, 2022 - 12:27am

Press release:

We are honored to be partnering with Batavia Downs gaming to host the first of its kind fundraising concert that will benefit our local UMMC Hospital (Rochester Regional Health), our new YMCA, Strong Memorial Hospital and research at the Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

Now in its fifth year as a concert venue, Batavia Downs has been averaging about 3000 to 5000 concertgoers per show as part of their Rockin The Downs Concert Series. Although our Concert is not part of this series and tickets must be purchased separately, we are hoping to draw the same kind of crowd with our Nationally recognized headliner Bruce In The USA and local guests including 97 Rock’s Dave “DJ” Jickster and Comedian Nick Marra. As an added bonus from our friends at Batavia Downs everyone that buys a ticket will receive a $15 free play. . “Wouldn’t it be amazing if a bunch of the concertgoers went back inside at the end of the night and won lots of money, with their free play”?

This concert will be the largest event that we have ever attempted and we are very excited to bring so many people together for yet another fun fundraising event. Sponsorship opportunities include special seating, tickets to the show, $30 of free play, signage, verbal promotion, and shout-outs during the concert. For more information about our three sponsorship tiers, visit RickyPalermoFoundation.

Tickets are selling nicely so if you want to look into joining our concert you can go to my site www.RickyPalermofoundation.org OR go to EVENTS while looking at the Batavia Downs concerts. You could also look for our QR code, which will also guide you to the information needed to buy tickets.

Special thanks to Batavia Downs CEO Henry Wojtaszek, Concert Manager Ryan Hasenauer, Kathy Paradowski and so many others who have been great to work with.

January 24, 2022 - 4:49pm
posted by Press Release in Batavia Downs, Ricky Palermo Foundation.

Press Release:

The Ricky Palermo foundation announced today that a charity concert will be taking place at Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel on Friday, June 10th.  All proceeds from tickets sales will go directly to the Ricky Palermo Foundation to fund spinal cord research.

The concert will be headlined by Bruce in the USA, the World’s #1 Tribute to Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band.  It is a high-energy musical experience that is a note-perfect and visually accurate recreation of a Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band show.  The band consists of seasoned world class professional musicians and has toured all over the globe for more than 15 years. 

“We were honored that Ricky thought of us when he and his foundation were looking for a place to hold their show,” said Henry Wojtaszek, President and CEO for Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel. “Through the concert we hope to assist Ricky and his foundation to not just raise funds but also awareness of spinal cord research.”

“Our Ricky Palermo Foundation has been finding many ways to raise awareness and much needed money to help our community and find a cure for spinal cord injuries,” said Ricky Palermo, President and CEO of the Ricky Palermo Foundation.  “A large portion of the money raised from this year's concert on June 10th will be staying in our community as we donate to our local YMCA and UMMC, Rochester Regional Health, as well as the Strong Memorial Hospital Spinal Injury Unit and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.  Our Foundation would like to thank the Batavia Downs Gaming and Hotel staff for partnering with us as we continue to find yet another way to bring people together. We normally have an annual golf tournament, comedy shows, soccer clinics, dinners with live and silent auctions but this is our first attempt at such a huge concert. Everyone has been so generous and supportive as they continue to help our foundation which has raised over $1.7 million in 25 years.  I would like to give a special THANK YOU to my committee that has continued to help me find different ways to have fun and raise much needed money for spinal cord research.”

Tickets for the concert are on sale now at www.BataviaConcerts.com.

Ticket prices for the concert match what Batavia Downs does for their summer concert series:  $15 for General Admission, $30 for VIP, $50 for Premium.  Front row tickets for $75 have already sold out, but additional tickets in the front row may go on sale at a later time.  All tickets can be redeemed at Player’s Club at any time in the three days following the concert for $15 Free Play to be used on one of Batavia Downs Gaming’s 800+ gaming machines. This event is a stand-alone event and is not a part of the Rockin' the Downs summer concert series. Purchased season passes for the concert series will not be honored for this concert.

 

August 2, 2020 - 4:04pm
Video Sponsor

We stopped in for a quick chat with Ricky Palermo at Terry Hills on Saturday during his annual golf tournament to benefit spinal injury research.

July 26, 2019 - 7:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ricky Palermo Foundation, Ricky Palermo, batavia, sports.

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More than 100 young soccer players turned out today for the annual clinic at the Batavia Sports Park hosted by Ricky Palermo and the Ricky Palermo Foundation.

February 26, 2019 - 5:26pm
posted by Billie Owens in comedy, Ricky Palermo Foundation, news.

From a flier sent in by Ricky Palermo:

The nonprofit Ricky Palermo Foundation presents a Comedy Show starring Moody McCarthy and Nick Marra at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 29, at Ascension Parish Hall.

Pat Mancuso is the show's master of ceremonies. Doors open at 7 p.m.

Tickets are $50. VIP packages are available for $500 for a table of eight -- includes VIP seating, signage and table wine.

Proceeds will benefit Rochester Regional Health, Batavia YMCA, Strong Memorial Hospital Spine Center and The Miami Project to Cure Paralysis.

Come and enjoy a night of laughs, heavy hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar! Dibble Family Center is catering.

Register to attend by March 22.

Make checks payable to:

Spinal Injury Tournament C/O Ricky Palermo

5159 Sunset Terrace

Batavia, NY 14020

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Questions? Contact Ricky Palermo at (585) 739-8522 or email  [email protected]

To find out more about the Ricky Palermo Foundation, click here.

About Moody McCarthy

He's a stand-up comic (writer and comic writer) who has performed on Conan, Jimmy Kimmel, and the Letterman Show. He was raised in Syracuse and now lives in New York City. He began doing comedy in the 1990s and before moving to the Big Apple, he was on Syracuse's top radio show covering sports.

Moody, the nickname his big Irish family gave him (born Matthew), has also been featured on "The Last Comic Standing," the 2003 reboot of "Star Search," and "America's Got Talent." He's performed at the world-famous Comedy Cellar and can be heard on SiriusXM radio.

His material is described as original but universal, smart without being trite. Couple that with a disarming stage presence and in-the-moment chops and you'll see why he's earned the admiration of his peers for his ability to "go up cold." From pubs to corporate outings, this versatile performer brightens any event.

About Nick Marra

He's been entertaining crowds with his down-to-earth comedy for more than 20 years. Drawing on his experiences from growing up in an Italian Catholic home, to his current family comprised on two sons in their 20s and a young daughter (born 16 years later), audiences easily relate to his quirky observations.

Nick performed live at the 2017 Red Carpet Live ESPY show on ESPN.

Producer Bill Bonnell of ABC/ESPN television networks said: "Nick Marra is a throwback. That's what I love about Nick. It's like he parachuted in from another time and place. To me, his style represents the glory days of stand-up comedy. It's good to know that there's still a comedian that represents those days gone by. He never disappoints!"

February 19, 2018 - 1:37pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Ricky Palermo, Ricky Palermo Foundation, news, notify.

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For the first time in awhile, Ricky Palermo -- whose own charity has raised more than $720,000 for spinal injury research -- was the center of attention at a fundraiser on Sunday night at T.F. Brown's.

"People don’t realize what it’s like when you’re at a fundraiser and it’s directed at you," Palermo said. "It’s kind of a weird thing. We all want to help other people and we do but when it’s directed at you, it doesn’t seem real.

"I’m pretty damn lucky, as you can see. It’s not just my relatives, though we’re a huge crowd. It’s my relatives and friends from all parts of my life that makes it all fun."

There were more than 300 people at T.F. Brown's to make donations so Palermo can receive experimental treatment at the Miami Project that, if successful, could give him more mobility.

Palermo, who was a three-sport star athlete at Byron-Bergen High School in the 1970s, suffered a spinal injury in an automobile accident 37 years ago and became paralyzed from the chest down.

For 15 years, Palermo and family and friends, have used the Ricky Palermo Foundation -- with an annual golf tournament and other events -- to raise funds for spinal injury research. Now it's Palermo's turn to take advantage of some of the scientific advances led by the Miami Project.

"My goal in life — everybody thinks it is to walk again — but my goal in life is to be able to take care of myself," Palermo said. "What they’ve got going on, it’s no longer a whacky dream. It’s pretty much a possibility. That’s my goal. If I could recover enough to actually take care of myself, I would consider that — not a victory, but a big, big, big advance toward victory."

The Miami Project was cofounded in 1985 NFL Hall of Fame linebacker Nick Buoniconti after Buoniconti's son, Marc, sustained a spinal cord injury during a college football game. A team of 250 doctors and researchers led by cofounder Dr. Barth A. Green have since made breakthrough discoveries in the field of spinal injury treatment. 

"A lot of people thought the book was closed (on spinal injury research), but it's not," Palermo said. "The Miami Project is getting people back up on their feet. Yes, their injuries are minute compared to mine, but (people with) slight injuries today are getting back up on their feet."

Wade Bianco, a good friend and a business partner with Ricky's brother, heard that Palermo had a chance for treatment at the Miami Project but that it would cost $10,000 plus he would need to bring two nurses with him. So Bianco got together with friends and family members at breakfast and said they should organize a fundraiser.

They all agreed. Bianco called Rick Mancuso at T.F. Brown's, who quickly agreed to host the fundraiser, donate the food and reduce the price of drinks at the bar.

Others donated items for auction, including four Yankee tickets, Sabre tickets, and Jim Kelly donated autographed footballs and a book.

It just so happened the fundraiser fell on Bianco's birthday.

"I can’t think of a better birthday present than to help somebody else, especially Ricky," Bianco said.

In all, the event brought in about $30,000.

Bianco said he was awed by the response and chalks it up to the special nature of the Batavia community.

"I’m from Long Island," Bianco said. "I moved here. I couldn’t believe what a great place this is. It’s just an awesome place to raise kids, to live -- my wife says 'don’t you want to go Florida?' I’ll go for two months. My friends are in Batavia. I really don’t want to go a long time. I’ll take February and March when I retire, but I don’t want to be gone. I want to hang out with my friends and my friends are in Batavia."

Palermo said he has long felt grateful to the local community for their support, their help, and for just being there for him. It all started 37 years ago when he was injured and has never stopped. He said he feels lucky, very lucky, to have so many great people around him.

"It’s an incredible feeling to know that when you go places that everybody there wants to do something for you," Palermo said. "It makes me feel good about our society. There are so many good people out there.

"They don’t get the credit. All you see is the bad stuff. All I can say is if people want to see what's positive in life, get involved with some of these people that support us. It’s incredible. It wakes you up in a good mood and it puts you to sleep in a good mood."

August 4, 2012 - 10:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, sports, terry hills, Ricky Palermo Foundation.

Joe Maiorano (top) and Charlie Hamilton (bottom) tie off during the annual Ricky Palermo Foundation charity tournament at Terry Hills today. Maiorano came from Danbury, Conn., and Hamilton from Tampa, Fla., for the tournament.

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