Behind the Bench
Behind the Bench, The National Basketball Wives Association’s Touching A Life Gala has been one of the highlights of NBA All Star Weekend since 1994. This red carpet event honors individuals who have demonstrated sustained commitment to empowering our communities, particularly women, children, and families.
Previous honorees have included Muhammad Ali, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Janet Jackson, Penny Marshall, Hank Aaron, Patti Labelle, Magic and Cookie Johnson, Julius Erving “Dr. J”, Shaquille O’Neal and many others. Throughout the years,Behind The Bench has supported numerous charitable organizations around the world, and has raised over two million dollars for much needed services and treatment programs. Their work has supported thousands of families in need, given direction to at risk youth, helped to close health disparity gaps, supported arts and recreational programs in schools, and empowered women and children. Behind The Bench has provided funding for Susan G. Komen Race For The Cure, Harlem Hospital’s Neonatal Unit, Girls Inc, Boys and Girls Clubs, St PJs Children’s Home, The Children’s Assessment Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters and many other worthy charities.
2015 distinguished Touching A Life honorees, included Peggy and NBA Great KiKi VanDeWeghe, Amber and MLB Great CC Sabathia among other notable philanthropists. Proceeds from this year’s Touching A Life Gala will benefit The American Cancer Society.
This year’s fundraiser was in tribute to an 11 year old young man, Kyle Markes, who lost his battle to leukemia. The event carries forth the work started by the Oklahoma City Thunder, and presented the “Heart of Courage” award to Dr. Jackque Markes, mother of Kyle Markes.