Write on Sports 2020 Online Benefit

15th Anniversary Celebration

Write on Sports
2020 Online Benefit

October 28, 2020 at 8pm ET

Event Sponsors

Event Highlights

Event Highlights
Host and Emcee Peter King (NBC Sports)
Greetings from Executive Director Byron Yake
Conversations with Write on Sports Students
Interviews With

Jocelyn Willoughby (NY Liberty)

Dion Dawkins (Buffalo Bills)

Featuring Appearances By

Greg Amsinger (MLB Network)
Chris Broussard (Fox Sports)
Chris Carlin (ESPN Radio New York)
Eric LeGrand (Team LeGrand)
Steve Politi (NJ Advance Media)
Dave Popkin (Seton Hall Radio)
Hugh Weber ( President, HBSE & New Jersey Devils)

Special Guests

Special Guests
Peter King

Peter King

Master of Ceremonies
NBC Sports
Football Morning in America


Jocelyn Willoughby

WNBA New York Liberty

Dion Dawkins

Dion Dawkins

Offensive Tackle
NFL Buffalo Bills

Student Stars

Student Stars

Daniel Aguilera

Daniel Aguilera is a sophomore in the Institute for Math and Science (IMS) at West Orange High School in West Orange, NJ. His favorite sport is baseball, and he enjoys playing for the high school team and the Legends Baseball club. He is also a distance runner and a musician. He has participated in Write on Sports since 2017, and he really enjoys writing about various athletes and sports, especially baseball and football.

Amari Akakpe

Amari Akakpo is in the 8th grade at Discovery Charter School in Newark, NJ. His favorite interests range from sports to the arts. He loves playing golf, basketball, football,and running. His interest in Arts is making my own beats and playing the saxophone and piano. His favorites subjects are math and science. His all time favorite athlete is Bo Jackson because “he reminds me that you can balance academics and play multiple sports”. Amari participated in Write on Sports programs in 2018 and 2020.

Samuel Bellot

Samuel Bellot is a sophomore at West Orange High School in West Orange, NJ. He enjoys watching and playing basketball. He also enjoys playing the piano. He aspires to be an NBA General Manager. Sam has participated in Write on Sports programs since 2017.

Nia Caesar

Nia Bonita Caesar is a sophomore at West Orange High School and she is excited to be participating in Write on Sports 2020 Online Benefit. She plays volleyball and enjoys editing videos. Nia has participated in Write on Sports programs in 2018 and in 2020.

Penelope Fleming

Penelope Fleming is an 8th grade student at Our Lady of Częstochowa school in Jersey City, NJ. She plays soccer, volleyball and is a fan of all sports. She aspires to be a sports journalist one day and would love to focus on college football broadcasting. Penelope participated in the WoS 2020 Summer Speaker Series program.

Kayla Griffith

Kayla Griffith is a freshman at Dumont High School in Dumont, NJ . She enjoys playing basketball and video games with friends. Kayla has participated in Write on Sports programs since 2018.

Sean Harrington

Sean Harrington is a freshman honors student in the Institute of the Humanities program at West Orange High School in West Orange, NJ. Sean wrestled for the West Orange Junior Mountaineers for seven years and played baseball for West Orange PAL for five years and hopes to do both for his high school team. Sean has participated in Write on Sports since 2017.

Earl Hart, III

Earl Hart, III is an 8th grader at Maplewood Middle School in Maplewood, NJ. While he is a huge fan of all sports, he plays basketball and baseball and hopes to one day be a D1 athlete. Earl has been thinking about college since he was 9, with the University of North Carolina or the University of Florida are at the top of his list. His dream job would be either an Architect, Professional Basketball Player, or a Sports Reporter for ESPN. Earl has participated in Write on Sports programs since 2018 and has said that the “WoS program has opened my eyes to a career beyond just playing sports”.

Fraine Joroff

Fraine Joroff is a senior at West Orange High School in West Orange, NJ. He plays baseball and runs indoor track. His favorite sports to watch are baseball, basketball, and football. Outside of sports, he enjoys watching Netflix, listening to music, and following politics. Fraine participated in Write on Sports programs from 2015-2017 and in 2020.

Franklin Smith-Fullwood

Franklin Smith-Fullwood is a freshman at North Star Academy in Newark, NJ. He enjoys watching all sports and closely follows the business side of sports as well. He has a YouTube Channel, Trending Sports, where he shares his insights and an Instagram page, @power.nfl, with over 500 followers,. Franklin has participated in Write on Sports programs since 2018.

WoS 15 Years of Thanks

15 Years of Thanks

On the occasion of the 15th anniversary of Write on Sports, we wish to honor 15 persons/groups who have infused life, dollar support, guidance and wisdom to WoS.

Malcolm (Mac) and Sandy Borg

Owner of The Record, Malcolm Borg knew a good story when he saw it. And he knew WoS was about writing, news, sports journalism and kids – that the concept made sense. Consequently, Mac and Sandy were original funders, providing critical foundational support to launch WoS. 

David Lohuis and Mary Beth O’Connor

David and Mary Beth were enthusiastic early advocates of the WoS concept to teach youth how to write about sports. As important event sponsors and supporters and two sons who served as summer interns, David also served on the WoS board a dozen years.

John Campbell and Jean Walker

During a social moment and discussion about  the early concept of Write on Sports,  John and Jean encouraged taking the next step and offered start-up funding to launch WoS.

Dr. Larry Londino, Dave Kaplan, Patricia Piroh, Beth Albert.

When I happened to meet Dr. Susan Cole, President of Montclair State University, I shared the vision to start WoS. She referred me to Dr. Londino, Director of the MSU Broadcast Department. The chemistry was immediate. It became the team of Londino,  Kaplan, Piroh, Albert and Yake. WoS was born and the first camp was launched in 2006.

John and Anne Goldsmith

John and Anne Goldsmith held the first WoS fund raiser in their home. John became counsel to WoS, handled all legal work since the beginning and today is chair of the WoS board. Every nonprofit needs a John and Anne Goldsmith.

Nancy and Steven Magee

Nancy Magee was the first volunteer teacher at the first camp in 2006 and serves year after year on the Gala committee.  She and Steven and their families are invaluable sustaining supporters and advocates.

Dr. Ada Beth and Dr. Chuck Cutler

Someone suggested WoS should be part of the College of Education and Human Services at Montclair State University. Ada Beth Cutler, Dean, CEHS, replied to an email within hours, brought several persons to a meeting, including Dr. Erik Jacobson, Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education, who joined WoS immediately.  Ada Beth and Chuck are loyal supporters and Ada Beth served as WoS trustee until this year.

Rose Cali

Over time, Rose Cali proposed the idea of “Write on Sports in a Box”. Today, WoS is growing by creating self-contained Affiliates in three states. Rose also suggested WoS add a mentoring component, which was added in 2020. WoS  has greatly benefited from her vision and philanthropic support.

Henry and Lynne Heilbrunn, PJ Johnson, Bob Ottenhoff, Paul W. Corliss

For many early WoS years, Henry Heilbrunn provided day-and-night business, journalism, and management wisdom. A key to the 15-year growth and success. Trustees PJ Johnson and Bob Ottenhoff, too have provided countless hours of valued consultation and assistance. And Paul Corliss, activist, fundraiser, and ambassador for Write on Sports, also started two Affiliate camp programs for Long Branch and Asbury Park at Monmouth University.


Dr. Erik Jacobson (“Dr. J”), Andy Beutel, Shannon Schmitt

Dr. J’s vision, intellect and academic excellence as an educator are key to the strong credibility and stability of the WoS experience. He authored the 106-page curriculum and is program director. Andy Beutel, assistant program director, brings a rich day-to-day experience to WoS of being a seasoned seventh-grade teacher. He and Erik share academic leadership of WoS.  Each joined WoS in 2007.  Joining WoS in 2013, Shannon Schmitt recruits students, volunteers, guests, arranges for food, transportation, and attends to every operational camp detail.

Jerry Tarnoff, Superintendent of West Orange Public Schools;  John Vogler, Principal of Liberty Middle School, West Orange; Dr. Gayle Griffin, Assistant Superintendent, Newark Public Schools.

These three educators eagerly welcomed Write on Sports to their schools. They literally opened doors, recruited teachers and students. When there was no inside space available at the West Orange High School, Jerry Tarnoff designated two external trailers for the camps. John Vogler served as WoS camp principal and was invaluable in student recruiting at the Liberty Middle School for many years. Dr. Gayle Griffin engaged the Marion Bolden Center for a camp site, recruited teachers and served as an important consultant in WoS’ middle years.


The Levin Family

Sally Levin, the family matriarch, was in love with the magic of words, language and newspapers. She adopted the literacy mission of Write on Sports and shared her enthusiasm with her family. Their valued support and generous participation continue today.


Peter King, Jenny Vrentas

The world of WoS is about journalism, kids  and sports. Peter jumped off a red-eye flight one summer morning to attend one of the first WoS summer camp events to meet, speak, inspire kids. And, more than a dozen years later, this NBC Monday morning columnist and blogger, continues to give generously to WoS. Peter has been host at Galas and special fund-raising events for years and is hosting the online 2020 Benefit. 

Jenny Vrentas, staff writer for Sports Illustrated,  annually speaks with students at WoS camps  about her work and the world of interviewing and writing about athletes. She started participating with WoS as a pro football writer at the Star-Ledger, Newark. Both Jenny and Peter serve as WoS trustees.

Chris Broussard, Doug Doyle

Fox Sports Analyst and Commentator Chris Broussard for years has been a guest at WoS camps, a supporter of WoS  programs and a key connector to other sports  guest figures. News Director Doug Doyle of WBGO Newark is the consummate broadcast news and sports announcer, a valued annual WoS camp guest.  He excels in teaching kids how to ask good questions – good follow-up questions – and makes journalism exciting.

New Jersey Devils: Hugh Weber and Jeff Vanderbeek

When Hugh Weber arrived at the NJ Devils from New Orleans, he embraced the work of WoS. He made his conference room available for WoS after-school programs. Soon thereafter, The  Prudential Center became a Newark home (along with St. Benedict’s Prep) for summer WoS camps.  

Also, previous Devils’ President Jeff Vanderbeek hosted an inaugural fundraiser at the Prudential Center during construction, which provided early critical funding to sustain WoS programming.    

The Devils’ support as a sports team for WoS is unparalleled. 

Event Sponsors

Event Sponsors

Signature Partner

Kenneth Gruber
The Levin Family

Impact Partner

Rose Cali


Nancy and Steven Magee
Pete and Betsy McKinnell


The Astorino Financial Group
Drs. Ada Beth & Chuck Cutler
FlapJack & The Hawk
John & Anne Goldsmith
Geri & Mason Haupt
Peter & Ann King
Dick and Marla Lavanture
The Mironov Family
PNC Foundation

Social Share