(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) —
Comcast-Spectacor Chairman Ed Snider will be among this year's recipients of the highly coveted and distinguished Ellis Island Medals of Honor presented by The National Ethnic Coalition of Organizations (NECO). The presentation of the medal highlights the gala reception and patriotic pageantry on Ellis Island on May 14, which will conclude with a spectacular fireworks display in New York harbor.
Snider, the son of a Russian immigrant, is known as much for his entrepreneurial success as for his unselfish and giving nature and acts of philanthropy, which include his involvement with a number of community and charitable organizations. He joins more than 1,000 American citizens, including George H.W. Bush, Ronald Reagan, Muhammad Ali, Rosa Parks, Elie Wiesel, Frank Sinatra, and others, who have received Ellis Island Medals of Honor.
Snider is chairman of Comcast-Spectacor, the Philadelphia-based company that owns and operates the Philadelphia 76ers of the National Basketball Association, the Philadelphia Flyers of the National Hockey League, the Philadelphia Phantoms of the American Hockey League, the arenas in which these teams play, three minor league baseball affiliates of the Baltimore Orioles and Flyers Skate Zone, a series of community ice skating and hockey rinks throughout the Greater Philadelphia Region. Additionally, his company operates Global Spectrum, the public assembly management field, Ovations Food Services, a food and beverage concessionaire and caterer, and New Era Tickets, a full-service ticketing company.
Joining Snider in the 2005 class of Ellis Island Medal of Honor recipients are actor, director and producer Penny Marshall; Seeds of Peace President Aaron David Miller; U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao; NASA Scientist Dr. Firouz Michael Naderi; football legend, business leader and broadcaster Nick Buoniconti; and American Red Cross Chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter.
The Ellis Island Medals of Honor are presented to Americans of diverse origins for their outstanding contributions to their own ethnic groups and to American society. Honorees typically include U.S. Presidents, Nobel Prize winners, leaders of industry, and gifted artists, performers, and athletes. Each receives a specially crafted Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Snider first emerged as a leader in Philadelphia's sports business in l966 when he founded the Flyers. He was the driving force behind the building of the Spectrum and assumed control of the arena in l971. In 1974, Snider created Spectacor as a management company to oversee the Flyers and the Spectrum. Over the next 20 years, Spectacor grew to be a national force in sports and entertainment. Under Snider's guidance, Spectacor started or acquired nearly a dozen businesses. Many of these enterprises were sold at a time when each was the industry leader in its field.
Snider is a member of the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame, the Flyers Hall of Fame, the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame and the Philadelphia Jewish Hall of Fame. He is a recipient of the Lester Patrick Award for outstanding service to hockey in the United States. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner