Judy Collin’s is a Grammy award winning singer, songwriter, and activist.
Judy has performed with some of the all-time greats including Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell and James Taylor. Some of her biggest hits include her versions of, "Amazing Grace" and "Send in the Clowns."
When I told the wonderful Ms. Collins that I'm friends with the great singer/song-writer Jose Feliciano, her eyes just gleamed. She said that Jose is an all-time great.
I told Judy that she and Jose have something else in common besides music and Grammy awards. "What is that?" She asked. I told her that Jose also loves the New York Yankees.
I also told her that Jose sang "The Star Spangled Banner" at Yankee Stadium.
She laughed and said that she performed the national anthem at Fenway Park for the Red Sox. When I asked her why she laughed and said, "The Yankees didn’t ask me."
She added that she has always loved the Yankees and hopes to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" at Yankee Stadium someday.
Judy was the keynote speaker at the Angel Ball, the annual fund raiser for the Long Island Council on Alcoholism and Drug Dependence (LICADD), an organization that was started over 60 years ago by the great philanthropist, Brinkley Smithers.
After Brinkley’s passing in 1993, his wife Adele would take charge of the organization. Adele became big time friends of George Steinbrenner and myself.
Adele helped the Yankees with the rehabilitation of Doc Gooden and Daryl Strawberry. Adele later became a sponsor of the Boys and Girls Club along with Hal Steinbrenner and the Yankees in Tampa, Florida.
Judy had a great friendship with Adele and I honestly believe that both of these great ladies learned from one another.
Adele Smithers was truly the "Mother of Recovery" and was always there for whoever needed her.
Judy has battled addiction for many years and has helped save many lives just by sharing with people the story of her own battles with addiction. Last night, two years after Adele died, Judy was at the Angel Ball to honor Adele and all people that refuse to give in to this crazy disease known as addiction.
She gave a wonderful, funny, yet very heartfelt speech about her journey. Even though she is a major star, she showed everyone in the room that she is still human and lives life one day at a time!
Sitting next to Judy during dinner, I couldn’t help but notice that she was staring at my World Series ring. I took it off for her try it on and as she had it on her finger, I told her, "Adele, like you, also loved the Yankees."
A special thank you to former Channel 7 Eyewitness News sports director and sportscaster, Scott Clark. Scott did another masterful job as the event’s master of ceremonies. Scott was truly out of this world.
Ray Negron is a sports executive with over 40 years of experience in baseball. His first job came from a chance encounter with George Steinbrenner as a youth. He has become an American film producer, a best-selling author, and a philanthropist. His memoir is entitled, "Yankee Miracles: Life with the Boss and the Bronx Bombers." For more of his reports, Go Here Now.
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