Hornets Still Playing Big Part in New Orleans’ Rebuilding

The Sports Network’s NBA Editor John McMullen wrote a feature story under the header, “Paul, Hornets Help New Orleans Rebuild.”

NORD

In the piece, the New Orleans Hornets kind of take a back seat to the New Orleans Recreation Department (NORD), where the needs are. McMullen noted that NORD “is working to restore the city’s communities by rebuilding facilities that house the athletic and recreational, as well as educational and cultural programs, which shut down following Katrina.”

According to NORD, “city operated playgrounds, stadiums, basketball courts, swimming pools and multi-purpose centers suffered an estimated $60 million in damages from the storm.” [Read more…]

Sixers’ Dalembert Picks Up Community Assist Award; Foye’s Return to Philly Doubles as Fundraiser

This week’s lead is the news that Philadelphia 76ers C Samuel Dalembert is the recipient of the NBA Community Assist Award for February. Then after the jump, Villanova’s newspaper gives some pub to alum Randy Foye, Pistons Care to the tune of about a half million, and more.

NBA Cares

Samuel Dalemert:The Sixers’ Samuel Dalembert was honored with the February Community Assist Award following his $150,000 pledge of support to UNICEF to assist impoverished communities throughout his native country of Haiti over the next three years. In 2007, Dalembert returned to Haiti with UNICEF and witnessed first-hand the country’s current need of basic resources. During his visit, Dalembert spent time at UNICEF-supported schools and hospitals and was moved by the organization’s work to bring hope and assistance to millions of Haitian families and children. Dalembert has since made it his mission to support UNICEF with the help of his foundation, the Samuel Dalembert Foundation. [Read more…]

Pirates Announce Fields for Kids Program to Construct and Renovate Area Ballfields

Pittsburgh Pirates Fields for Kids Program

MLB.com’s Jennifer Langosch wrote the Pittsburgh Pirates announced the “Fields for Kids” program for the Pittsburgh community at PirateFest on Saturday.

Pirates Owner Bob Nutting said that “this new grant program, which will provide matching grants from $1,000 to $5,000 for improvements, construction and renovations for baseball and softball fields in the region.”

Nutting: “I really believe that with the difficult economic times that we are headed into, it’s even more important for Pirates Charities to reach out into the community. It’s a program designed for the youth of the area to get out and play baseball in a safe, wholesome environment.”

Langosch also noted that Pirates Charities “has initially committed $100,000 to the program, which includes $25,000” from Pirates Catcher Ryan Doumit.

Doumit: “I just remember how much time I spent on a baseball field when I was that age, and the facilities that I had and the advantages that I had. Now I’m fortunate enough to be put in a position where I can give back to the community and give these kids some of the same advantages that I had. I’ve driven around and kind of seen some of these sandlots, and it doesn’t look like it is top-of-the-line-type stuff,” he continued. “I want these fields to be enjoyable and something that these kids can be proud of” (Jennifer Langosch, MLB.com, 1/24). Read the entire article from MLB.com

Photo credit: Pittsburgh Pirates

NBA Cares: Nuggets Host Clinic for Special Olympians; Mavericks Salute Military

Denver Nuggets

The Denver Nuggets hosted its Sixth Annual Denver Nuggets Basketball Clinic for Special Olympics Colorado at the Pepsi Center this week. In all, 125 Special Olympians participated in this year’s program.

Special Olympics Colorado VP of Programs Chaka Sutton said, “This basketball clinic just gets better each year. The winter sports season is almost over and our athletes will be playing basketball next; so this is a good way for everyone to get ready for our basketball season.”

Nuggets F Chris Anderson: “”It was great out here today. Not only do the kids get to come out and have a little fun, but we do too. Special Olympics is a great organization and being involved in a program like this is awesome” (Jordan Edwards, Denver Nuggets).

Dallas Mavericks: The Dallas Mavericks hosted the 5th Annual Seats for Soldiers last month at American Airlines Center for a game against the Oklahoma City Thunder. For this event, front row season ticket holders give up their seats to military personnel that have either been wounded in combat or have recently returned home from a year of active duty overseas.

Mavs Salute Soldiers (2:04)

Over 150 soldiers from Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio attended and were treated to a private flight on American Airlines’ Flagship Freedom, the yellow-ribbon 757 that was unveiled on Veterans’ Day in support of all who serve.

In addition to the courtside seats, the Mavs donated 100 lower-level tickets to soldiers from Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City (Dallas Mavericks).

Video added to YouTube: December 16, 2008

Bruins’ Solid Performance on the Ice Helps This Year’s Charity Carnival Event

Boston Bruins Wives’ Charity Carnival (1:29)

NECN’s Stephen Iandoli reported from the 19th annual Boston Bruins Wives’ Charity Carnival this afternoon. The event benefits the Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center. Bruins players signed autographs, took pictures for and played video games with fans. Iandoli: “And with the Bruins playing much better than in years past, the wives hope this year’s event is more profitable” (NECN, 1/4).

Franchise Tag: Orlando Magic Players Visit Disney Children’s Hospital Patients

Orlando Magic

Orlando Magic players Dwight Howard, J.J. Redick and Keith Bogans recently visited Disney’s Children’s Hospital at Florida Hospital to spend some holiday time with children currently in the hospital.

ESPN.com’s John Denton covered the day under the header, “Howard Trades Smiles With Young Patient.”

Howard: “I’m a doctor and they all call me Dr. Giggles. My job was to make sure all the kids ended up with smiles on their faces before I left. I actually got my Ph.D. in being a comedian and making people laugh. That’s my second job and I enjoy it.”

Denton noted that Redick “was particularly mindful of what the families were going through during their hospital stays. Redick’s younger brother, David, needed surgery last winter to remove a noncancerous tumor on his spine. Redick talked with many parents about the struggles their families were going through.”

Redick said, “You have kids who are put in these very unfortunate situations and their attitudes are great, their outlook and spirit for life are inspirational. When I go to these events I like trying to get a feel for how the families are doing. I tell them I know it’s no fun being in the hospital, but thanks for fighting.”

Bogans, on meeting the kids: “Seeing their smiles when you give them gifts and take time for them, their reactions mean everything to me. Those kids, what they are going through, puts everything in perspective. Basketball really doesn’t mean much compared to what they are going through. But basketball actually means a lot to those kids when you talk to them” (John Denton, ESPN.com, 12/14). Read the entire article from ESPN.com

Celtics: The Boston Celtics recently hosted a holiday party for children from the Boston Medical Center. Young patients were treated to face painting, sing-a-longs and story telling, while players hosted games and signed autographs (Boston Celtics).

Timberwolves: Minnesota Timberwolves players hosted kids at Build-A-Bear for a Reading Timeout. Players read with the children and then helped to make their own bear. Each child made another bear for the Timberwolves Toys for Tots donation (Minnesota Timberwolves).

Giving Thanks: Several Pro Teams Busy in Community this Thanksgiving

Kansas City Chiefs

With the NFL, NBA and NHL in full swing, several pro teams hit the pause button to give back this Thanksgiving. Progress Avenue presents a round-up of what went on this holiday:

Anaheim Ducks: The Anaheim Ducks partnered with local nonprofit, We Give Thanks Inc. and La Casa Garcia restaurant to host its annual complimentary We Give Thanks Thanksgiving dinner for local residents that might go without. Over the course of the day, more than 12,000 local residents enjoy a meal of traditional Thanksgiving fixings (Anaheim Ducks).

Arizona Cardinals: The Arizona Cardinals took part in their annual “Help Feed The Hungry” Thanksgiving holiday dinner at Phoenix Rescue Mission on November 18 (Arizona Cardinals).

Baltimore Ravens: The Baltimore Ravens and the Lady Ravens Association celebrated Thanksgiving with our variety of activities in the Baltimore community. In all, 15 players participated (Baltimore Ravens).

Buffalo Bills: The Buffalo Bills served up a Thanksgiving dinner at the Northwest Buffalo Community Center on Tuesday night. Over 200 children and their families attended the 9th annual event (Buffalo Bills).

Carolina Panthers: The Carolina Panthers served 200 steak dinners to homeless men at the Uptown Shelter in Charlotte on Tuesday afternoon (Carolina Panthers).

Chicago Bulls: Chicago Bulls players Luol Deng, Tyrus Thomas and Aaron Gray shared Thanksgiving dinner with 843 visitors at a homeless shelter in Chicago earlier this month (Chicago Bulls).

Cincinnati Bengals: The Cincinnati Bengals held their annual canned food drive prior to the Philadelphia Eagles game on November 16. Fans donated 7,630 pounds of non-perishable and canned goods. In addition, Bengals fans gave $8,020 in cash donations to help feed the hungry in our community (Cincinnati Bengals).

Cleveland Cavaliers: The Cleveland Cavaliers, along with Feed the Children, provided 400 Cleveland children and families in need with boxes of food and personal care items on November 14 (Cleveland Cavaliers).

Dallas Cowboys: Dallas Cowboys made a visit to The Salvation Army homeless shelter on Tuesday and served an early Thanksgiving dinner. The players and some of their wives and coaches’ wives passed out dinners to some 200 less fortunate people (Dallas Cowboys).

Dallas Mavericks: The Dallas Mavericks hosted the 12th annual Turkey Dunk Thanksgiving Party on Monday. The event featured a basketball clinic, question-answer session with all Mavs players and coaches, and a four-course meal (Dallas Mavericks).

Detroit Lions: Detroit Lions S Dwight Smith, a Detroit native, distributed turkeys, stuffing, gravy, dinner rolls, bacon, hot dogs, and Pepsi and Faygo products at Savon Foods Supermarket on November 25 (Detroit Lions).

Golden State Warriors: The Golden State Warriors hosted their eighth Annual Holiday Meal Serving in Oakland on November 19. Warriors players, staff members and the Warrior Girls were on hand to distribute pre-packaged meals that included all the fixings for a complete Thanksgiving feast to 300 families from various Bay Area shelters and nonprofit organizations (Golden State Warriors).

Houston Texans: The Lady Texans teamed with HEB to help raise money to feed families for the Thanksgiving holiday. The group presented a check for $5,697.00 after their first-ever Lady Texans Turkey Drive. The funds helped feed more than 350 Houston families that otherwise would not have had a meal this holiday season (Houston Texans).

Jacksonville Jaguars: This year’s Operation Blessing, the Jacksonville Jaguars’ annual food distribution program held the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, assisted more than 3,000 Eastside families who are in need during this holiday season (Jacksonville Jaguars).

Kansas City Chiefs: The Kansas City Chiefs continued their long-standing Thanksgiving outreach this time of year through eight seperate hunger-relief initiatives. One effort included Chiefs players and wives hosting the annual pot luck dinner for 60 families at the Ronald McDonald House (Kansas City Chiefs).

Los Angeles Clippers: Los Angeles Clippers G Baron Davis and the Rising Stars of America Foundation donated Thanksgiving Dinner to 75 families on Sunday, November 23 (Los Angeles Clippers).

Miami Dolphins: The Miami Dolphins contributed monetary donations to purchase more than 1,370 Thanksgiving meals to feed more than 14,000 underprivileged people in South Florida (Miami Dolphins).

Minnesota Vikings: Minnesota Vikings G Steve Hutchinson and his wife, Landyn, hosted an early Thanksgiving meal for young patients and their families last Tuesday at the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital, Fairview. It’s the third such dinner the Hutchinsons have hosted (Minnesota Vikings).

New Jersey Nets: The New Jersy Nets served meals to more than 100 people in need at Montclair Citadel Salvation Army on November 17. The Nets also distributed food packages and frozen turkeys (John Shabe, Newark Star-Ledger, 11/18).

New Orleans Hornets: New Orleans Hornets G Chris Paul and his older brother C.J. teamed up with Rouses Supermarkets to donate $50 gift cards to a total of 100 local families that can be used to purchase Thanksgiving meals. The Pauls came up with the idea to donate gift cards to 50 families, which was matched by Rouses (New Orleans Hornets).

New Orleans Saints: New Orleans Saints RB Deuce McAllister and the Saintsations shared Thanksgiving by giving away complete turkey dinners to 100 families in the New Orleans area on Tuesday. McAllister and the Saintsations greeted 100 pre-selected families from four area non-profit organizations (New Orleans Saints).

New York Jets: The New York Jets Women’s Organization visited The Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown, NJ, to donate and serve food as well as decorate the hall for the Thanksgiving season. The soup kitchen normally serves from 80 to 180 guests daily (New York Jets).

Oklahoma City Thunder: As part of the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Holiday Assist Program, the team recently handed out Thanksgiving dinners to families. The program will reach thousands of Oklahoman children and families (Oklahoma Thunder).

Phoenix Coyotes: The Phoenix Coyoted participated in the Big Guy Turkey Drive at the Salvation Army headquarters in Phoenix on Thursday. The effort provided Thanksgiving dinners to people throughout the Valley (Phoenix Coyotes).

Pittsburgh Steelers: Pittsburgh Steelers WR Hines Ward teamed with the Salvation Army and opened up his South Side 86 restaurant to families from the Homeless Family Crisis Center and Homewood Brushton area that otherwise would have had meager meals this Thanksgiving (Pittsburgh Steelers).

Sacramento Kings: Sacramento Kings players Francisco Garcia and Bobby Brown visited kids at WIND Youth Services and served a full Thanksgiving meal on November 15 (Sacramento Kings).

San Francisco 49ers: The San Francisco 49ers in partnership with CityTeam Ministries, served Thanksgiving dinner for over 2,000 low-income citizens in San Jose on Tuesday. The players and volunteers worked in the distribution center and food kitchen to serve meals and hand out holiday food boxes and turkeys to the families who were looking for assistance (San Francisco 49ers).

San Jose Sharks: The San Jose Sharks joined with the Jr. Sharks to host the 2nd Annual Frozen Turkey Drive in conjunction with Second Harvest Food Bank. Since July of this year, Second Harvest Food Bank has experienced a 55% increase in food requests (San Jose Sharks).

Seattle Seahawks: Seattle Seahawks WR Nate Burleson hosted dozens of Seattle-area children from the Rotary Boys & Girls Club for his first annual Thanksgiving dinner. Burleson was joined by some of his Seahawks teammates (Seattle Seahawks).

St. Louis Rams: For the 14th year, the St. Louis Rams on Tuesday passed out turkeys at three different locations to help feed over 1,600 families in the St. Louis community (St. Louis Rams).

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers hosted its second-annual “Turkey Time with the O-Line” event last Tuesday, and about 600 families who filed through the parking lot of the Bucs’ training facility in their cars to receive a Thanksgiving meal (Tampa Bay Buccaneers).

Washington Redskins: The Washington Redskins hosted its sixth annual “Harvest Feast” on Tuesday at FedExField, distributing Thanksgiving food baskets that included a whole turkey to Prince George’s County resident in need (Washington Redskins).

Washington Wizards: The Washington Wizards held their 10th annual Turkey Drive at Heaven’s Grocery Store in Northeast Washington, DC on November 20. Wives of the Washington Wizards gave out 400 turkeys and bags of food to help feed those in need this Thanksgiving (Washington Wizards).

The majority of this information was gathered from team Web sites. Please visit the Resources section for links to each team’s community relations program.

Photo credit: Kansas City Chiefs

MLB.com’s “Baseball’s Giving Spirit” Series Shares the Heart of Major League Teams

Baseball

MLB.com ran its annual “Baseball’s Giving Spirit” series, which profiles each team and their respective community efforts.

In a lead-off piece, MLB.com’s Mark Newman wrote under the header, “Baseball offers plenty to be thankful for.” Newman includes the tireless work of personnel at the club levels to help local causes and give their time, sometimes mandated by the organization and often quietly and without request (Mark Newman, MLB.com, 11/26).

Atlanta Braves: Braves Teach Baseball, More to Kids; Club’s Charity Youth League Brings Game to Inner-City Children (Mark Bowman, MLB.com, 11/26).

Arizona Diamondbacks: D-backs Lend Hand With Ticket Program; Unique Giveaway Just One Way Team Supports Community (Steve Gilbert, MLB.com, 11/26).

Baltimore Orioles: Orioles’ Reach Extends Far in Baltimore; Club Shows Commitment With Fundraising, Youth Programs (Spencer Fordin, MLB.com, 11/26).

Boston Red Sox: Red Sox Building Legacy of Giving Back; From Boston to Japan, Club Deeply Involved in Community (Ian Browne, MLB.com, 11/26).

Chicago Cubs: Cubs Spread Goodwill With Good Deeds; Throughout Year, Club Makes Presence Felt in Community (Carrie Muskat, MLB.com, 11/26).

Cincinnati Reds: Reds Give Back Through Youth Baseball; Community Fund Supported 284 Teams, Renovated Fields in ’08 (Mark Sheldon, MLB.com, 11/26).

Cleveland Indians: Tribe’s Efforts Benefiting Community; Team’s Charitable Organization Raising Millions for Cleveland Area (Andrew Gribble, MLB.com, 11/26).

Colorado Rockies: On-Field Success Helped Rockies Give; World Series Appearance Boosted 2008 Charitable Efforts (Thomas Harding, MLB.com, 11/26).

Detroit Tigers: Tigers Have Detroit on Their Minds; Tough Times Have Team Even More Focused on Giving Back (Jason Beck, MLB.com, 11/26).

Florida Marlins: Marlins Celebrate Holidays With Charity; Club Involved in Several Events to Benefit South Florida Community (Joe Frisaro, MLB.com, 11/26).

Houston Astros: Community Service a Priority for Astros; Team Participated in Nearly 40 Different Activities in 2008 (Alyson Footer, MLB.com, 11/26).

Kansas City Royals: Bucks Giving Back to KC Community; Royals Catcher Raising Funds, Awareness for Prenatal Care (Dick Kaegel, MLB.com, 11/26).

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: Angels Bring Winning Ways to Children; Los Angeles’ Charitable Efforts Spread Good Cheer Among Youths (Rhett Bollinger, MLB.com, 11/26).

Los Angeles Dodgers: Dreamfields Highlight Season of Giving; Fields Are Just Part of Dodgers Dream Foundation Program (Rhett Bollinger, MLB.com, 11/26).

Milwaukee Brewers: Brewers Lend a Hand in Tough Times; More Than 17,000 Items Donated to Assorted Charities (Adam McCalvy, MLB.com, 11/26).

New York Mets: Amazin’s Use Popularity to Give Back; TeamMets Encourages Fans to be Charitable as Club Sets Strong Example (Anthony DiComo, MLB.com, 11/26).

New York Yankees: Yankees Spreading Bronx Cheer; Borough Benefits From Club’s Extensive Involvement (Bryan Hoch, MLB.com, 11/26).

Oakland Athletics: Athletics Continue to Make an Impact; Club’s Ongoing Outreach Touches Bay Area and Beyond (Mychael Urban, MLB.com, 11/26).

Philadelphia Phillies: Phanatic to Take on New Coat for Charity; Phils Organization Hosting Painting Event in Latest Benevolent Venture (Ken Mandel, MLB.com, 11/26).

Pittsburgh Pirates: Bucs’ Season of Giving Never Ends; Pirates Charities to Distribute Over $400,000 to Local Programs (Jenifer Langosch, MLB.com, 11/26).

San Diego Padres: Young, Gonzalez Lead Padres’ Charge; CY All-Stars Stands Among Many Friars Outreach Programs (Corey Brock, MLB.com, 11/26).

San Francisco Giants: Giants Impact Community in Big Ways; Mays, Lincecum Among Team’s Prominent Figures to Give Back (Chris Haft, MLB.com, 11/26).

Seattle Mariners: Everyone Wins With Mariners Care; Non-Profit Organization Raises More Than $1 Million for Ninth Straight Year (Jim Street, MLB.com, 11/26).

St. Louis Cardinals: Cardinals Care Focuses on Helping Kids; Programs Provide Opportunities for Thousands of Area Children (Matthew Leach, MLB.com, 11/26).

Tampa Bay Rays: Rays Enjoy Helping Community; Players Renovate Fields, Support Local Youth Organizations (Bill Chastain, MLB.com, 11/26).

Texas Rangers: Young’s Honor Embodies Texas’ Spirit; Miller Award Recognizes Just Small Part of Rangers’ Charitable Efforts (T.R. Sullivan, MLB.com, 11/26).

Toronto Blue Jays: Jays Care About the Community; Toronto Area Benefits From Countless Club Initiatives (Jordan Bastian, MLB.com, 11/26).

Washington Nationals: Hanrahan at Forefront of Giving Attitude; Right-Hander One of Many Nationals Aiding Local Community (Bill Ladson, MLB.com, 11/26).

View the entire “Baseball’s Giving Spirit” series

Franchise Tag: Cardinals, Texans Helping Out During Thanksgiving Season

Arizona Cardinals

In Phoenix, Darren Urban notes that Arizona Cardinals players were at the Phoenix Rescue Mission yesterday to take part in the team’s annual “Help Feed The Hungry” Thanksgiving holiday dinner.

Cardinals QB Kurt Warner: “Some guys haven’t been here before, and this has become an annual thing for us, we know the people down here, so we just wanted to get as many people in as possible and bless them on this evening.” Warner added, “Sometimes you are amazed because you know the difficult situations these people are in, yet they have followed us, telling us how good we are doing or they would love to see us beat this team or that team” (Darren Urban, AZCardinals.com, 11/19). Read the entire article from the Arizona Cardinals

Houston Texans: In Houston, Nick Scurfield writes that the Houston Texans “showed their gratitude to the local community by donating 750 Thanksgiving meals to families in need.” During the team’s “Giving Thanks With Andre, DeMeco & Dunta” event, Texans playes Andre Johnson, DeMeco Ryans and Dunta Robinson “packaged and distributed turkeys along with soft drinks, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, cranberry sauce, rolls and brownies.”

Ryans: “We can definitely relate to this. [As kids], we were in families that didn’t have much. But when people came around to help, we were appreciative of the help we got from other people. It just shows how people working together can do a lot of things and can help each other” (Nick Scurfield, HoustonTexans.com, 11/19). Read the entire article from the Houston Texans

Photo credit: Arizona Cardinals

Franchise Tag: BC Lions Setting the Standard for CFL Teams in the Community

BC Lions

In Vancouver, Greg Douglas noted that at a national sports conference in Toronto on Tuesday, CFL VP George Chayka “spoke about the value of networking within the local community” and league Commissioner Mark Cohon acknowledged that “no team in the league does it better than” the BC Lions (Greg Douglas, Vancouver Sun, 11/15).

Read the entire article from the Vancouver Sun

Franchise Tag: The BC Lions have several community programs:

  • Lions in the House: This program engages youth and encourages positive skill development to benefit students and their schools. Players visited schools for interactive assemblies with physical activity and motivational speeches on fitness and nutrition, bullying, continuing education, and maintaining a positive attitude. This year, the team visited 20 secondary schools schools speaking to over 10,000 students in grades 8-12. In 2008, the team started a Jr. Lions in the House program that focuses on the topics of nutrition, physical fitness, and developing a positive attitude and is geared towards students in grades 4-7. In 2008, the team visited 32 elementary schools speaking to over 6,400 students as part of this new initiative.
  • Read, Write and Roar: The program began in 2002 in partnership with Literacy BC, the Vancouver Public Library, the Vancouver School Board and participating elementary schools. The program has grown over the years and now reaches 15 school districts and over 25,000 elementary school students, stressing the importance of literacy through a fun and captivating journal.
  • Every Yard Counts: In partnership with the BC Children’s Hospital for this program provides an opportunity for children to attend a BC Lions home game. Not only do the children get to experience the excitement and emotion of a CFL game, they also have the opportunity to meet some of the players.
  • Courage for Kids Program: In an effort with United Way of the Lower Mainland, over 6,000 children had the opportunity to attend a BC Lions home game this season.

In addition to community programs, the BC Lions are also involved in other community-based programs, such as Grassroots Football and Lions Share (BC Lions).

Franchise Tag: Suns, Spurs, Hornets and Jazz Keeping Busy Off the Court as Season Opens

Phoenix Suns

The Phoenix Suns and Fulton Homes are bringing back the “Fulton Homes Proud to Own the Three-Point Zone” program a fourth year. During games broadcast on Fox Sports Arizona, Fulton Homes will donate $150 to Suns Charities for each three-point basket made. Last year, the Suns earned $37,950 for charity by ringing up 253 three-pointers.

Contributions from previous programs have gone to support such charities as United Cerebral Palsy and the Central Arizona Mountain Rescue Association (Phoenix Suns).

Spurs: The San Antonio Spurs Foundation hosted the second annual Hope & Possibility 5K Run/Walk on October 25. The Hope & Possibility 5K was first brought to San Antonio by Spurs Basketball President & Head Coach Gregg Popovich after he saw the Hope & Possibility 5K in New York and recognized the importance of having a similar event for all levels and ages in San Antonio.

The Hope & Possibility 5K is an event in response to Trisha Meili’s story. Meili revealed her story of survival and recovery in her 2003 best-selling memoir I AM THE CENTRAL PARK JOGGER: A Story of Hope and Possibility. Meili was attacked in Central Park in 1989, and was not expected to survive. In 2003, the Achilles Track Club produced its first Hope & Possibility race in Central Park to honor Meili and her story. In 2007, the Spurs Foundation teamed up with the national Achilles chapter to host the inaugural Hope & Possibility run/walk in the Alamo City (San Antonio Spurs).

Hornets: Hornets.com’s Jim Eichenhofer reported that the New Orleans Hornets dedicated two more Hoops for Homes in October.

Hornets Owner George Shinn: “We are committed to New Orleans and love this city. We believe that when you can lift up others, you lift up yourself” (Hornets.com, 10/29).

Jazz: The Utah Jazz and its radio affiliate, KFAN-AM, collected approximately 3,300 pounds of food for the Utah Food Bank last month at Karl Malone Toyota in Draper, Utah. For each bag of non-perishable food fans donated, they received one complimentary Jazz ticket for the October 23rd game versus the Portland Trailblazers. Nearly 1,000 tickets were distributed. Each fan had an opportunity to donate up to six bags of food and receive six Jazz game tickets.

Jazz President Randy Rigby said, ““We are very pleased with the success of today’s event. Fans were extremely supportive of the food drive and we are grateful for the opportunity to help put food on the table for those in need” (Utah Jazz).

Photo credit: Phoenix Suns

Washington Wizards Launch Community Initiatives Program Called Wizards Care

Wizards Care

The Washington Wizards have launched “Wizards Care,” an all-encompassing program that will serve as the focal point for all of the organization’s community initiatives moving forward.

Wizards Care will reach out through programs such as:

  • Gilbert Scores For Schools (in which Gilbert Arenas will raise money for area schools by donating $150 for each point he scores)
  • Abe’s Table (which reaches out to over 200 D.C.-area senior citizens each holiday season)
  • Butler’s Bike Brigade (through which Caron Butler has given away over 1,200 bicycles to underserved children)
  • Read to Achieve and Everybody Wins (two programs that promote a love for learning and reading)
  • Reach One, Teach One (a series of charities focusing on the education and empowerment of children)
  • Sister To Sister (a program to prevent heart disease founded by Irene Pollin that provides free cardiac screenings to women while promoting education and awareness)

In addition, the team will hold the first-ever Wizards Care Telethon and their annual Ballers Bowl event in March (Washington Wizards).