Lavin, St. John's Show Charitable Heart

Reporter Mike Sullivan was provided a press release from St. John's University on a special event held recently, a chance for head coach Steve Lavin and the Red Storm to show charity does begin at home ...

St. John's head men's basketball coach Steve Lavin and BTIG Brokerage Co-Founder Steven Starker presented a $20,000 gift to the St. John's Bread and Life Soup Kitchen in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. Lavin and his wife, actress Mary Jarou, pledged an additional $25,000 over the next five years that will benefit the soup kitchen, which serves thousands daily in the same neighborhood where St. John's University was originally founded in 1870.

"What's clear is the collaborative spirit of so many, working to champion a great cause here at St. John's Bread and Life," said Lavin, who joined Jarou, Starker, Bread and Life Executive Director Anthony Butler, St. John's Director of Athletics Chris Monasch, and Brooklyn-born Red Storm senior forward Rob Thomas at the gift presentation.

"One of the many aspects that attracted Mary and I to St. John's is the commitment to the University's mission of service, and the curriculum really being taught on the front lines to our students in terms of serving others."

Lavin joined sports and screen stars in teaming up with BTIG during its eighth "Commissions for Charity" Trading Day on Thursday, May 6, at BTIG's midtown offices. BTIG, an institutional broker dealer specializing in trading and related brokerage services, donated trading commission profits earned that day to children's charities. On May 6, 200 million shares were traded and BTIG contributed more than $4 million to some 130 charities.

On Tuesday, St. John's Bread and Life received $10,000 from BTIG, and a matching donation from St. John's new head men's basketball coach and his wife. In addition, Lavin and Jarou are pledging to contribute $5,000 to Bread and Life each year during Lavin's tenure at St. John's. In summary, the Lavins made a $35,000 commitment to Bread and Life on Tuesday, covering Coach Lavin's first six seasons with the Red Storm.

"On behalf of BTIG, we would like to thank Coach Lavin, and we look forward to partnering with him and St. John's Bread and Life in the future," said Starker. "Our Commissions for Charity Day increases in popularity each year with more celebrities in attendance and more of our clients significantly increasing their trading volumes to support our chosen charities. We look forward to exciting things in the future."

The Red Storm men's basketball team has been serving meals to thousands at St. John's Bread and Life for 13-straight seasons around the Thanksgiving holiday. This year a Christmastime visit is planned, as the team will be traveling for the 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout from Nov. 22-27.

"St. John's Bread and Life relies on the support of St. John's University," said Butler. "This is another example of how St. John's takes that Vincentian spirit – that spirit of giving, that spirit of enabling people to take care of their own lives – and manifests it in the real world."

*BTIG LLC is a premier institutional brokerage and fund services company. Founded in 2002, BTIG, including through its affiliates, employs more than 375 professionals. BTIG serves customers from all over the world and offers services from seven divisions: Equity Trading, Fixed Income, Convertible Securities, Prime Brokerage, Outsource Trading, Direct Market Access, Capital Markets, Equity Research and Corporate Access. BTIG has domestic offices in New York, San Francisco, Dallas, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Greenwich, Red Bank, Aspen and Orinda. The firm also has affiliates in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Sydney.

*About St. John's Bread and Life

St. John's Bread and Life has been serving the New York City community since 1982. The facility serves 1,800 meals daily, and its Sponsor a Family program at Christmastime will provide food, clothing and toys to more than 2,000 families and approximately 9,000 individuals. For more information or to make a contribution, please visit

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