NEW YORK, NY, July 14, 2011 - Armory Executive Director Dr. Norb Sander received the Leadership Award during the 2011 New York City Neighborhood Achievement Awards presented Tuesday by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel and Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh.
Sander's award was one of 14 presented to recipients from all five boroughs. Established in 2002, the awards honor organizations, businesses and individuals that have demonstrated excellence in enhancing New York City neighborhoods by fostering economic opportunity. Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor Steel and Commissioner Walsh presented the recipients with their awards in a ceremony at Gracie Mansion.
"I am deeply honored to receive such a prestigious award which is on behalf of our dynamic chairman, Mike Frankfurt and the hundreds of New Yorkers who have made the Armory in Washington Heights possible," said Dr. Sander.
"New York City is home to the world's most vibrant, diverse and interesting neighborhoods, and in every one of them there are people taking steps to make them even better place to live, work and visit," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The annual Neighborhood Achievement Awards gives us a chance to recognize and thank some of them."
Sander is the founder and Executive Director of the Armory Foundation, a nonprofit which operates the New Balance Track and Field Center at the Armory. The Armory played a role in some of Sander's biggest accomplishments: he won a scholarship to Fordham University thanks to his long hours practicing there and, in 1974, became the first and only New York City resident ever to win the New York City Marathon.
When the Armory fell into a state of decline in the '70s and '80s, "Doc Sander" decided to rescue it. In 1991, he formed the Armory Foundation and, just two years later, the City agreed to give him the keys to his beloved childhood track. Today, the Armory Foundation is the home to the busiest indoor track facility in the country, hosting over 100 indoor track and field meets each year for more than 125,000 athletes from across the United States.
Close to 2,000 high school students practice at the Armory each week. Thanks to Sander's leadership, the Armory has become an anchor to a host of businesses in the neighborhood and an inspiration to the thousands of people who run there.
About the Armory Foundation:
A non-profit organization based in New York City, the Armory hosts more than 100 indoor track & field meets yearly with over 125,000 individual athletes. In addition to its many youth sports and educational programs, the Armory directs the Hispanic Games, the New Balance Games, and the New Balance Collegiate Invitational at the Armory, the largest indoor college meet nationally. The Armory is additionally the owner of the Millrose Games and home to the National Track & Field Hall of Fame. For more information please visit: www.ArmoryTrack.com