Suffolk County's James Funaro will receive the Knicks "City Spirit" Award before tonight's game. Here is part of the release:
The Knicks named 7-year-old James Funaro of Suffolk County’s Nesconset, NY, is the recipient of the Sweetwater Clifton "City Spirit" Award for the month of January for creating a men’s necktie fundraiser that generated over $9,000 to singlehandedly grant a wish for a Make-A-Wish child.
Each month, a winner is chosen by members of the Knicks front office staff and honored at center court during a Knicks game with a $2,000 donation on his or her behalf to a charity of the winner's choice.
James, a second grader at Nesconset Elementary School, decided to combine his passion for giving back to those in need and wearing neckties.
After seeing his cousin’s wish granted, he approached Make-A-Wish with the idea of wearing a necktie for 300 consecutive days to bring awareness and raise $1,000. Soon local newspapers and residents started to learn about his story and that led to attracting the attention of donors across the country.
The 7-year-old’s dedication was so deep that he created a duct tape tie to wear while swimming. After the 300-day campaign, James collected more than $9,000 to grant Javier Romero’s, a seven-year-old with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, wish of going to Hawaii. James believes that this is just the beginning and hopes to inspire other children around the world to give back.