NJ Nets lend a hand

Meet the Nets! Step right up and greet the Nets!

That is just what some lucky Bronxites got to do on the evening of Wednesday, September 24, when representatives from The National Basketball Association’s New Jersey Nets organization allied with special events company Val’s Pals Presents to help raise money and awareness for academic scholarships and potential endowments for the Arts in the Mott Haven community. The event held at The Gallery Lounge, 26 Bruckner Boulevard, featured Latin Jazz musicians blending their fused sound with impressionistic dance numbers and Slam Poetry. The evening’s performances were headlined under the dual titles, Manhattan Meets the Bronx and Jazz Meets the Arts.

The founder of Val’s Pals Valery Varleriano expressed hope that the event would be the first of many, and is actively seeking additional corporate sponsorship.

Varleriano, a Bronxite by birth, expressed a strong desire to give back to the Bronx by infusing its performance venues with upscale, multicultural, entertainment geared towards an older, more discerning audience than say the hip-hop crowd. She also hopes that these events will result in the foundation of scholarships and corporate internships for Bronx students.

The Nets came to sponsor this rousing event after their director of Ticket Sales, J.M. Caparro, was approached by Miss Varleriano’s partner Jeff Watkins, a Nets season-ticket holder. “Jeff knew about our Influential Program, an organizational initiative intended to strengthen the Nets visibility in Manhattan, and the outer boroughs, in preparation for when we, hopefully, move to Brooklyn before the 2010-2011 seasons, and came to us with the idea of sponsoring this event”, Caparro explained. “We immediately saw the potential to both bolster our brand in the city while contributing to a worthy cause”, he later added.

Though no players from the Nets attended the event, two fetching members of the Nets’ Dancers, Miss Jackln Sabol and Miss Laura Torres, were on hand to greet guests, pose for pictures, and politely fend off unwanted advances from the friendlier male attendees.

If you are an individual, or business, who might be interested in sponsoring future Val’s Pals Presents events you can contact Valery Valeriano at (646) 924-9062 or Mr. Jeff Watkins at (917) 682-8267, or visit their website www.valspalspresents.org.

NJ Nets, Bronx academic scholarship drive

More from Around NYC