Arash Completes the 2013 NYC Marathon in Babak's memory

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Arash Najafi completed the 2013 NYC Marathon in memory of his brother, Babak Najafi. He set out to raise $3,000 for the Boomer Esiason Foundation  and surpassed his goal, raising $4,437! The Boomer Esiason Foundation is committed to increasing awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis, while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure.



First Giving - Arash Najafi Raises over $4k For the Boom Esiason Foundation

Arash Najafi set out to raise $3,000 for the Boomer Esiason Foundation at the 2012 ING NYC Marathon and surpassed his goal, raising $4,437! The Boomer Esiason Foundation is committed to increasing awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis, while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure.

 

Read his mission below:

My Dearest Friends, Family & Colleagues,

On December 4th, 2005, My Brother, Babak Najafi passed away from Arterial Sclerosis in his college dorm room at Syracuse. He was 18 years old. He was captain of his high school football team and an officer on student council.

Like me, his ultimate goal was to win. But, not to win medals or accolades. He wanted to win by helping his fellow man, but more importantly, his family.

Though he was 4 years younger than I was, he was my older brother in many ways. He bought me my first acoustic guitar with allowance money he never had.

He would drive me around to the mall and to my friend’s place in his Mitsubishi 3000GT. He helped me pick out my wardrobe and played cool whenever I went into his room to borrow his clothes.

I am entered to run the NYC MARATHON this coming November 4, 2012! I have signed up to run the race with the New York Road Runners Foundation “Team Boomer” and have pledged a donation. In memory of my brother Babak, I want to run the NYC Marathon with Team Boomer and make him proud.

The Boomer Esiason Foundation is committed to increasing awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis, while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure.

Boomer Esiason established the Boomer Esiason Foundation in 1993 after learning that his young son, Gunnar, was afflicted with a fatal genetic disorder cystic fibrosis.

The Boomer Esiason Foundation is a dynamic partnership of leaders in the medical and business communities joining with a committed core of volunteers to heighten awareness, education and quality of life for those affected by cystic fibrosis, while providing financial support to research aimed at finding a cure.

Losing a child violates the natural course of life. I wish every single day that I could trade my life for his. My parents and I deal with this pain and though it will never go away, your continued love and support helps us get through it.

I have pledged to donate a minimum of $3,000 to Team Boomer. Any amount you can donate would be greatly appreciated (Please note that you will receive a tax voucher via email for any donation you make)!

http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/arashnajafi/2012-ing-nyc-marathon

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my message.

Love you all,
Arash

 


USA Today HSP - Football Fundraiser to Continue Ramapo Grad Babak Najafi's Mission

Written by Chris Iseman

Babak Najafi’s tragic death in 2005 left a hole in the hearts of those around him as big as his 6-foot, 250-pound frame. Those people continue to honor him through two things he loved the most: football and school.

A graduate of Ramapo High School, Najafi — known to friends as Bob — was 18 when he died of a heart attack four months into his freshman year at Syracuse University. Najafi’s girlfriend, Lauren Lopez, and several friends created the Babak Najafi Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually to a Ramapo senior student-athlete. The seventh annual Babak Najafi flag football games will be held Saturday at noon at Ramapo High School to raise money for the scholarship. The games are open to the public. Those wishing to play must purchase a T-shirt for $12.

“We saw that upon graduating, Bob had said, whatever he did, he wanted to give back to the Ramapo Gryphons and the sports programs at Ramapo that he had been so active in,” Lopez said. “That’s really what prompted it.”

The $1,000 scholarship is given to a student-athlete who shows a dedication to athletics, academics and leadership.

Najafi was a standout center for the Ramapo football team and wrestled during the winter. David DiNuzzo, a member of the Ramapo football coaching staff, was a senior varsity football player when Najafi was a freshman. Even then, DiNuzzo saw Najafi as a captain in the making.

“From understanding what it took both on the football field and off the football field,” DiNuzzo said, “as a student-athlete here at Ramapo, he excelled in both.”

Najafi planned to study psychology and business at Syracuse, with the goal of eventually supporting Ramapo athletics financially. But on Dec. 4, 2005, he died of a heart attack caused by arteriosclerosis. Najafi had two severely blocked arteries.

Maxito Sainvil was the first to receive the scholarship named in Najafi’s honor before earning a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from William Paterson University. He’s working toward a master’s degree in divinity at the Nyack Alliance Theological Seminary at Nyack College and is a volunteer program director at the Rockland County Crime Prevention Bureau.

“He was a great role model on and off the field,” Sainvil said. “It was an honor to receive it, and the fact that it was in his name made it even better.”

Lopez said money is raised through donations, as well as the sale of T-shirts and wristbands at the football game. But the day is perhaps more to remember Najafi and continue his legacy than it is about football.

That legacy means helping Ramapo student-athletes succeed.

“I’ve had connections with all the recipients we’ve awarded the scholarship to in the past six years — they’ve gone on to be successful, such pleasant people,” Lopez said. “It’s really rewarding to see that.”

Journal News - Football Fundraiser to Continue Ramapo Grad's Mission

Written by Chris Iseman

Babak Najafi’s tragic death in 2005 left a hole in the hearts of those around him as big as his 6-foot, 250-pound frame. Those people continue to honor him through two things he loved the most: football and school.

A graduate of Ramapo High School, Najafi – known to friends as Bob – was 18 when he died of a heart attack four months into his freshman year at Syracuse University. Najafi’s girlfriend, Lauren Lopez, and several friends created the Babak Najafi Memorial Scholarship, awarded annually to a Ramapo senior student-athlete. The seventh annual Babak Najafi flag football games will be held …

Eventful - NYC Social Fundraiser at Turtle Bay

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Come to the the NYC Social Fundraiser at Turtle Bay!

-Turtle Bay donated wristbands!Wristbands are $10 each.

-All proceeds will go to the scholarship fund.

-Drinks are half-priced with wristbands 5-8pm

-Appetizers are half-priced 6-9pm.

Sponsors also donated great raffle prizes! Tickets are $5 each. All proceeds will go to the scholarship fund.

-Outdoor Personal Training Series

-Month of Outdoor Group Fitness Training

-Hand-Crafted Jewelry Set

-Brunch at Beacon Restaurant and Bar -Steak Dinner at Cityhouse NYC

-Two Novelty (1.5 litres) Bottles of Wine.

In the past six years, these scholarships have amounted to over $8,000. Eight deserving graduates have gone on to succeed in various fields of study. Funds have also been donated to the Ramapo Football Team and East Ramapo Wrestling Team in Babak’s memory.

East Ramapo School District’s graduation rates have increased two percent since 2009. Please help us support student athletes in Babak’s name. Scholarship recipients are dedicated to not only athletic excellence but also academic success.



Ramapo Gryphons News - Babak Najafi Flag Football Game

The annual football game at Ramapo High School to honor former football and wrestling captain Babak Najafi is scheduled for this Saturday, June 4. Najafi, you may remember, graduated in 2005 and went to Syracuse University, but, just four months into his freshman year, he died of a heart attack.

The event will include two flag football games, followed by a championship between the winners. Alumni, students, community members, and/or anyone else interested are invited to attend. It will begin at noon and run until 4 p.m.

Varsity Insider - Annual Football Game

The annual football game at Ramapo High School to honor former football and wrestling captain Babak Najafi is scheduled for this Saturday, June 4. Najafi, you may remember, graduated in 2005 and went to Syracuse University, but, just four months into his freshman year, he died of a heart attack.

It turned out Najafi suffered from a genetic heart disease that went unnoticed because he was young and lived an active lifestyle. Every year, family and friends try to raise awareness about heart disease and honor Najafi’s memory with the event and by awarding Ramapo seniors with scholarships in Najafi’s name.

Najafi’s girlfriend, Lauren Lopez, and classmate Aaron Goldstein organized the first game in July 2006. They’ve held five so far, awarded over $6,000 in scholarships and donated hundreds to both the wrestling and football programs. And this year they partnered with the American Heart Association for the event, but they hope to spark increased interest.

The event will include two flag football games, followed by a championship between the winners. Alumni, students, community members, and/or anyone else interested are invited to attend. It will begin at noon and run until 4 p.m.



The Journal News - Friends Remember Ramapo Football Player

Written by Jackie Saunders

Leaning against the fence surrounding Ramapo High School’s football field, Vahid Najafi shook his head in amazement.

On the field, flag football players wore T-shirts with his son’s number, 54, and the phrase “No Regrets.”

The players were Ramapo High School alumni and students practicing for a flag football game in memory of Babak Najafi, who died in his Syracuse University dorm room in December at age 18. He had arteriosclerosis, an uncommon heart disease for young males.

“The whole thing is very overwhelming,” said Vahid Najafi, blinking away tears. “I couldn’t ask for better support. Everyone still comes and visits us.”

Babak Najafi, known to friends as Bob, was a 2005 graduate of Ramapo High. Proceeds will fund the Babak Najafi Memorial Scholarship, which will be given to a student who exemplifies Najafi’s leadership skills and excels as an athlete. Organizers hope to make it an annual event.

After attending a memorial service for Najafi at Syracuse, Jose Lavarino and Aaron Goldstein knew they wanted to plan an event to honor their friend.

“Football is something he loved,” Goldstein, 18, said of Najafi, who played center. “We are here to have fun and get the family together to remember a great guy.”

The four flag football teams, dressed in white, gray, green and gold, played single-elimination games and one championship game.

Green bracelets and shirts with Najafi’s name and number were sold beside the bleachers, where spectators bought refreshments.

“Bob was always a person who loved to give back,” said Josh Louis, who played football with Najafi since seventh grade. “We will always be a team no matter how far apart we are.”

Najafi’s girlfriend of two years, Lauren Lopez, wore his No. 54 football jersey while she helped manage the event.

“It has been so rough,” Lopez said. “I was always known as ‘Bob’s girlfriend,’ but the whole football team has accepted me as their friend; they are acting the way Bob would have acted.”

Before the football games began, a moment of silence was held and several friends of Najafi read speeches and poems in his memory.

“Bob was honest, energetic and he changed me for the better,” Lopez said in her speech. “He made me feel alive.”

Football coach Bari Vitolo remembered how Najafi impressed him as a sophomore when the junior varsity scrimmaged the varsity.

“Bob is the measure of a man,” Vitolo said. “He loved Ramapo football and he wanted to be a Gryphon forever.”