The Garden of Dreams Foundation has awarded Knicks Legend John Starks the 2023 Garden of Dreams Hero Award. Established in 2009, the annual Hero Award honors organizations or individuals who embody the spirit of the Paradise Dream Foundation through an active and ongoing dedication to the lives of young people impacted by obstacles, while serving as a force and inspiration for others. Starks has not only exemplified, but over the years gone above and beyond these values in caring, kind and charitable work with the Foundation. Knicks Alumni Allan Houston and Garden of Dreams Vice President Gary Fuhrman presented Starks with the courtroom at Madison Square Garden during Sunday’s Knicks game.
Over the many years Starks has been involved with the Foundation, he has been extremely generous with his time and work, showing constant, unwavering support for the children and families he serves. Since the inception of the Foundation, Starks has participated and attended countless events and experiences on a regular basis, where he has met and positively impacted countless young people and their families. As an active Garden of Dreams Board Member, Starks attends all Garden of Dreams Knicks-related community events, including all season giving events in November and December, as well as the annual Holiday Breakfast with the Department of Homeless Services for over 300 families.
“The Garden of Dreams Foundation has been an important part of my life for many years and the relationships I’ve built with the children and families through it mean the world to me,” said Starks. “I’m so proud of the Foundation for everything it does, and it’s a great honor to be selected for this year’s Garden of Dreams Hero award.”
Also an ambassador for the Garden of Dreams Foundation, Starks regularly speaks at fundraising events that benefit the Foundation, and advocates for its annual program, which has resulted in millions of dollars in student scholarships for colleges and universities since it began in 2015. Starks actively participates in the study program, reading applications, working with the board to select scholarships, and selecting recipients. In addition, he visits Knicks games and spends time with young people, he has produced hundreds of memories to brighten the days of children battling life-threatening illnesses and those who have recently suffered personal loss, and achieve zero basketball with youth in their communities; meeting them and learning the basics of basketball. Starkey fulfilled twelve wishes and remained present and in the personal lives of many of the Foundation’s children and their families.
A prime example of Starks remains a part of the family’s personal life on Staten Island’s Perez family. In 2012, the Starks surprised young Knicks fan Nicolas Perez, who was battling a life-threatening illness, with a custom Knicks room, complete with a hallway, locker room and Knicks-themed furniture. The Starks have already become extremely close to the family, having a special relationship with them over the years. He provided them with financial and material support after Nicholas passed away, stayed in regular communication with them and even attended family groups.
“It is an absolute honor to present John Starks with the 2023 Garden of Dreams Hero Award,” said Maggie Jacobs, executive director, Garden of Dreams Foundation. “He could not be more deserving of the award as an integral member of the Foundation on numerous levels. Without him, the Foundation would not touch almost as many lives as it has so far. The time and dedication that John has given time and time again is invaluable and has touched so many young souls.”
The Garden of Dreams Hero Award was established in 2009. Past recipients of the award include sports radio personalities Mike Francesa and Chris Russo; Rangers greats Adam Graves and Henrik Lundqvist; model/actor Damaris Lewis; NY Knicks broadcaster and Today Show contributor Jill Martin; legendary artist and talent show creative director Darryl “DMC” McDaniels; legendary actor and comedian Tracy Morgan; the band OAR and its frontman Marc Roberge; Michael Roberts, former director of the Garden of Dreams, partner in the organization of the children’s support; Emmy Award-winning producer Rory Rosegarten; and the actor Stephen Schirippa.
In partnership with AV Entertainment and MSG Sports, the Paradise of Dreams Foundation, a non-profit charity, provides youth in our communities with life-changing access to educational and skills opportunities, memorable programs and memorable experiences that help shape lives. let him build his future and eternal joys. The foundation focuses on youth facing illness or financial challenges, as well as children of uniformed personnel who have been lost or injured while serving our communities. Since its inception in 2006, the Garden of Dreams Foundation has impacted more than 400,000 youth and families.
For more information on the Dreams in the Garden Foundation, the programs it runs, and the children they serve, please visit www.GardenofDreamsFoundation.org
The Garden of Dreams Foundation
The Garden of Dreams Foundation is a non-profit charity dedicated to bringing life-changing opportunities to young people in need. In partnership with AV Entertainment and MSG Sports – including the Knicks, Rangers, Rockettes, Westchester Knicks, celebrity shows, TAO Group Hospitality, and two sports and television networks – Garden of Dreams brings young people to inspire, build resilience. and provide networking and educational opportunities through the CPV community building effort. All of the Foundation’s activities are driven by four guiding principles – Education, Inspiration, Grants and Moments of Joy – and target young people facing illness or financial challenges, as well as children in uniform who have been lost or injured while serving our community. . Since its inception in 2006, the Garden of Dreams Foundation has impacted more than 400,000 youth and their families.