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Athletes for Hope Announces $1 Million Pledge from the Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation

The $1 million pledge will establish a fund to carry Athletes for Hope’s mission forward in honor of Ivan Blumberg as he steps down as CEO

BETHESDA, MD ­– Athletes for Hope (AFH) announced today that after 15 years of serving as Chief Executive Officer, Ivan Blumberg will be stepping down and transitioning into an advisory role at the end of 2021. To honor his legacy and all he has done for AFH, the Gordon and Llura Gund Foundation has established the Ivan Blumberg Legacy Fund with a generous gift of $1 million. The fund will be used to seed-fund new – or enhance existing ways – to move AFH’s mission forward, with a particular focus on underserved communities.

“This commitment comes with my great hope for continued success for AFH, my admiration and respect for Ivan, and my warm wishes to the entire AFH team,” said Gordon Gund, Trustee of the Foundation and AFH Director Emeritus. “I would hope that others who also want to recognize all that Ivan has done for AFH and anyone who wishes to help uplift AFH’s mission will want to add their support to this fund as well.”

“Leading AFH has been the honor of my professional career and I feel as though I gave AFH a fraction of what it has given me in return,” said Ivan Blumberg. “While I humbly thank Gordon for honoring my time at AFH, this gift is truly a testament to the staff, Board, longtime partners and the athletes who are making the world a better place every single day.”

Founded by Muhammad Ali, Mia Hamm, Andre Agassi, Warrick Dunn, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Alonzo Mourning and 6 other elite athletes in 2007, AFH has reshaped the sports philanthropy industry with Ivan at the helm. Aided by AFH’s Causeway Program, a workshop series that Ivan helped pioneer, the organization positions athletes to help support the causes they care about. Current programming focuses on underserved youth physical activity and leadership, hospital visits, athlete mental health and a variety of advocacy opportunities.

“To put it simply, without Ivan Blumberg, there never would have been an Athletes for Hope,” said Mark Levinstein, AFH Board Chair. “With his drive and passion to help and inspire others, Ivan has positioned the organization for tremendous success in the future.”

Prior to AFH, Ivan represented athletes for the majority of his career including clients such as Arthur Ashe and Andre Agassi. He is a 1980 graduate of Hobart College and a 1983 graduate of Washington University School of Law. Outside of AFH, Ivan is involved in a variety of charitable organizations in the Washington, D.C.-area.

AFH looks forward to announcing new leadership positions in the beginning of 2022. In the meantime, those who wish to contribute to the Ivan Blumberg Legacy Fund can do so at


About Athletes for Hope

Athletes for Hope is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that aims to educate, encourage, and assist athletes in their efforts to engage with community and charitable causes, to increase public awareness of and support for those efforts, and to inspire others to do the same. Through this mission and the vision of its Founding Athletes, Athletes for Hope empowers collegiate, professional, Olympic and Paralympic athletes to channel their energy for a common goal: to make a difference in the world.