Hardy, Levitre join Brees at charity dinner

Buffalo Bills wide receiver James Hardy and offensive guard Andy Levitre were among the local celebrities who joined New Orleans Saints Super Bowl Champion quarterback Drew Brees at the 61st annual Rochester Press-Radio Club Day of Champions Children's Charity dinner.

Brees was honored as the sports personality of the year and headlined the event held at the Riverside Convention Center on May 12. Also joining Brees, Hardy and Levitre were New York Rangers star and Olympic hockey silver-medalist Ryan Callahan of Greece.Many local amateur athletes were recognized as well.

The event generated record totals in its live and silent auctions and much of the financial success of the event was attributed to the friends of Mark Muench, a Perinton resident who is battling a brain tumor.Muench, 54, won the Christine Wagner Welch Inspiration Award and approximately 300 of his friends were at the event to support him.

Brees told the sold-out crowd of 1,200, "This event has a great reputation around the country, but I can honestly say by being here tonight that this is one of the best events I've ever been to, not only because of the people in this room but, because of what it stands for."

Dinner co-chair Pat Grover said the silent and live auction totals, plus the raffle, would bring in record totals.Ticket sales were also expected to be at record highs.

Drew Brees is no stranger to helping the community.The Brees Dream Foundation, founded by Drew and his wife, Brittany, has raised over $5 million over the past several years and the ninth-year pro has helped New Orleans through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Regarding Drew Brees as the featured honored guest, Scott Pitoniak, Press-Radio Club president said, "He continues the club's tradition of providing top-notch sports headliners and his spirit of giving back fits in perfectly with the mission of our organization."

Since the Press-Radio Club's inception in 1949, it has donated more than a million dollars to Rochester charities.For more information regarding the Press-Radio Club visit www.pressradio.org.

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