Buoniconti dinner raises $3M for spinal cord research

Updated: September 20, 2006, 8:45 AM ET
Associated press

NEW YORK -- More than $3 million was raised at a dinner to honor former Citadel football player Marc Buoniconti, who was paralyzed while making a tackle in 1985.

Buoniconti honored celebrities such as Lance Armstrong, Patrick Ewing and Norman Schwartzkopf on Monday at the 21st Annual Great Sports Legends Dinner. More than 1,300 people attended the event in support of The Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis.

"In the not-too-distant future, people in wheelchairs will be walking because of what we're doing. Together, we will be able to look back and smile and say, 'It's about time.' " Buoniconti said.

Other honorees were tennis star Michael Chang, baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, former North Carolina basketball coach Dean Smith and former All-Pro NFL receiver Michael Irvin.

Buoniconti has recently reconciled with The Citadel, which plans to honor him Sept. 30 when the Bulldogs play Chattanooga.

The Buoniconti Fund supports the Miami Project, the world's most comprehensive spinal cord injury research center based at the University of Miami.