The O'Hara Foundation was created as a means of memorializing Jack and Janet O'Hara, and their daughter, Caitlin. The Irvington residents were tragically killed in the explosion of TWA 800 on July 17, 1996. Their twin boys, Matthew and Brian, now 26 years of age, survive them.
The main fundraiser is the annual O'Hara Invitational Youth Basketball Tournament. The tournament is a continuing effort on the part of Irvington residents, businesses and government administrators to honor their spirit. It has also proven to be an outstanding showcase for some of the area’s talented youngsters. “The O’Hara” has gained a reputation in the tri-state youth basketball community for exciting basketball action, excellent officiating and a fun well-organized event.
All profits from the tournament are processed through the O’Hara Foundation. The purpose of the foundation, a not-for-profit charity, is to help deserving individuals and organizations through the contribution of financial gifts. This is done in the gracious spirit that Janet, Jack and Caitlin always exhibited. Three categories have been established to receive funds: education, youth activities and community-related programs. Thanks to the incredible success of the tournament, the foundation has been able to assist many deserving organizations. Since 1996, over $400,000 has been donated to worthy causes. The O’Hara family is proud to have their name associated with such a wonderful event.
Here are just a few of the recipients of funds:
- Little League Baseball to send youngsters from the Harlem Little League to summer baseball camp in Pennsylvania
- Rockland County Little League Challenger program for children with physical disabilities
- C.J. Foundation for SIDS
- Abbott House (a boarding school in Irvington for disadvantaged youngsters) for summer basketball scholarships
- Families of TWA Flight 800 Association
- The Tomorrow's Children's Fund
- The Community Hospital at Dobbs Ferry for a modernization project Irvington Recreation
- The Freedom Scholarship Fund
- Miracle Kids of Westchester Medical Center
- Rivertowns Art Council
- Boomer Esiason Foundation
- Greenburgh Nature Center
- Irvington Public Library
- And many more worthy causes.
The O'Hara Tournament has garnered substantial attention in the media, both locally and nationally. "NBA Inside Stuff" produced two major features; WNBC-TV broadcast live reports from the tournament during "Today in New York" for three years, WABC-TV covered the story on Eyewitness News, and WFAN Radio ran PSAs. "The O'Hara" has been featured in USA Today, the New York Post, The Daily News, and the New York Times, as well as many local and regional newspapers. In addition, we have had numerous celebrity visitors; Super Bowl Champion coach Dick Vermeil, NBC’s Jimmy Roberts, ABC's Melissa Stark, ESPN's Stuart Scott, Jason Jackson and Fran Fraschilla, NFL greats Frank Gifford and Boomer Esiason. During the 2001 event, WFAN personalities and NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson played a charity basketball game against Police and Fire Heroes, which raised over $60,000 for children who lost a parent on 9/11.
THE O'HARA FOUNDATION
P.O. BOX 39
IRVINGTON, NY 10533