MANHATTAN – Two-time Olympian Summer Sanders remembers like it was yesterday back in 1997 her first trip to Rwanda to help tutor kids as an ambassador for the “Right to Play” charity.
“My first trip to Rwanda in ’96 has stuck with me my whole life. ” Sanders said. “And this one little girl, who was a double-amputee, only wanted to do a relay race and I just kept focusing on her eyes and she ran her race. And she stood tall with this huge smile on her face that lit up Rwanda, literally.”
Summer was one of the many athletes who walked the red carpet Monday night for the Right to Play Big Red Ball 2015.
New York Rangers Chris Krieder and Derrick Brassard, Brooklyn Nets rookie Rondae Hollis-Jefferson and three-time U.S. World Cup soccer champ Heather O’Reily were just a few who have committed to former Norwegian Olympian gold medalist speed skater Johan Olav Koss who started this charity back in 2000.
The purpose to teach kids in third world countries about education and health through playing games.
“We take for granted that [we have a] safe place, good coach and other things required for kids to participate,” Koss said. “Millions and millions of children don’t get these life skills.”
Krieder and Brassard conducted a clinic in Norway. After that they decided to get involved with one day being ambassadors.
“We had a charity event in Oslo and we’re here to learn more about the organization to hopefully be ambassadors one day for them,” Brassard said.
Event organizers wish to bring in around one million dollars the same as last year.
Proceeds help kids in 20 different countries.