News Bytes: Catching Up On the Week’s Stories

The 24 Hours of Booty tops this week’s news bytes. The official 24 hour cycling event of the Lance Armstrong Foundation is getting some help from NASCAR driver and avid cyclist Bobby Labonte. After the jump, we’ve got bytes on LeBron James, Brandon Webb, Diego and others.

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24 Hours of Booty: 24 Hours of Booty, which runs the Official 24-Hour Cycling Event of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and the only 24-hour road cycling charity event in the country, has partnered with NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte’s Breaking Limits marketing agency to help acquire new corporate partnerships. Labonte: “I’m an avid cyclist, and a supporter of the Lance Armstrong Foundation and LIVESTRONG campaign, so the 24 Hours of Booty rides truly align with what I believe in and support” (24 Hours of Booty).

Take the jump to read more of this week’s bytes. [Read more…]

Quick Hits: Jimmie Johnson Stops By Habitat Homes in California; Red Sox Hit the Links

Jimmie Johnson Foundation

This weekend’s NASCAR stop at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif., gives three-time defending Sprint Cup champ Jimmie Johnson the chance to return his roots.

The San Diego Union-Tribune’s Bill Center wrote that “as usual, Johnson is visiting the site of the four Habitat for Humanity homes his foundation is building near downtown El Cajon” (Bill Center, San Diego Union-Tribune, 2/19).

Red Sox: What’s a trip Florida without a little bit of golf? The Boston Red Sox are taking a break from spring training today to participate in the 16th annual Red Sox Hit the Links Tournament to support the Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida.

Red Sox manager Terry Francona: “It’s for a good cause. We’re raising a lot of money for charity and it’s something we do with a smile” (Joe McDonald, Providence Journal, 2/20).

Quick Hits: Nicklaus Still Drawing Crowds; Wild, Predators Community News; Grant Writing Tips

Nicklaus: “Nicklaus Can Still Draw A Crowd.” Under that header, the AP’s Tim Reynolds continued that “hundreds of people showed up earlier this week for an event benefiting” the Delray Dunes-Bethedsa Hospital in South Florida (AP).

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Wild: The Minnesota Wild has partnered with Cub Foods for the “Minnesota Wild Food Dash” this Friday in an event benefiting the Second Harvest Heartland Food Bank (Minnesota Wild).

Predators: The Nashville Predators have teamed up with Papa Johns to host an online fundraiser today to benefit the Nashville Predators Foundation. The pizza maker is offering a special online-only Predators deal at PapaJohns.com. Papa Johns is making a donation to the Predators Foundation for every online deal ordered (Nashville Predators).

BTF: Rutgers University Associate Vice President for Major Gifts Sue Davis shares grant writing tips with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund (Baseball Tomorrow Fund).

Quick Hits: Plane Crash Puts Sabres Win in Perspective; Gwynn’s Fishing Event a Success

Sabres: After the Buffalo Sabres won Friday night, the Buffalo News’ Bucky Gleason wrote, “Sorry, but there’s nothing stronger, nothing profound, that was worth sharing about Game 56 of the regular season when stacked up against the plane crash from the previous evening” (Buffalo News).

Darrell Gwynn and Ryan Newman

Hot Rods & Reels: The Darrell Gwynn Foundation hosted its annual Hot Rods & Reels charity fishing tournament on Friday at Daytona International Speedway. The annual event raised more than $100,000 for the organization, which funds paralysis research, spinal cord injury education and awareness, and customized wheelchairs for children and young adults. Participants included Ryan Newman, Carl Edwards Tony Stewart, Martin Truex, Ryan Newman, Darrell Waltrip and Ken Schrader (Darrell Gwynn Foundation).

Green Flag: Grand-Am 24 Hours of Daytona winner David Donohue participated in a fundraiser yesterday at New Jersey Motorsports Park to benefit the park’s Green Flag Committee’s “Contribution Day” for local youth organizations (Millville Daily Journal).

Cycling: Pro cyclist Rachel Mercer will be riding in The HOSPI Charity Bike Ride on March 15. Mercer: “I could not pass up the opportunity to support the kids at Wellington Children’s Hospital and ride this exciting route through my home town’s suburbs” (Voxy).

Photo credit: Darrell Gwynn Foundation

Quick Hits: A-Rod Gets Name on Miami Ballpark; Shannon Miller Hosting Kids Marathon

A-Rod: After a $3.9 million gift for stadium renovations by New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez, the University of Miami last night formally renamed its ballpark “Alex Rodriguez Park at Mark Light Field” in A-Rod’s honor. Rodriguez was on hand for the event, and, yes, he addressed the week’s news of his past steroid use (ESPN.com).

Sportsmanship: The Age puts it best: “Sportsmanship is often just an extension of the best of humanity, and the world knows it when it sees it” (The Age).

Kids Marathon: The Shannon Miller Foundation is hosting its first Shannon Miller Kids Marathon, a 12 week program to help get youth involved with physical fitness and making healthy lifestyle choices, is slated for this spring. The organization, founded by Olympic Gold Medal-winning gymnast Shannon Miller, is dedicated to fighting childhood obesity.

Cycling: For the Kona 24 Hours in Arizona, which starts today, Tucson cyclist Damion Alexander spent the past three weeks securing more than $25,000 in pledges destined for charities, making him by far the most prolific charity fundraiser in the event’s history (Tucson Citizen).

The Elk Grove Youth Sports Foundation, a new Calif.-based charity group that seeks to provide access to youth sports for economically underprivileged children, is holding their kickoff party on Tuesday.

Quick Hits: Gatorade, David Beckham, the Champions Tour and Jimmie Johnson Make News

Gatorade: In an effort to move consumers to its www.missionG.com Web site, NBA-sponsor Gatorade is donate $1 to an NBA charity (up to $25,000) for every person that visit the site during this NBA weekend (Gatorade).

Charity of the Year: The Champions Tour has selected Community Grief Support Service, of Homewood, Ala., as its 2008 Charity of the Year. The group will receive $30,000 from the Tour (Champions Tour).

Becks: Soccer’s David Beckham has donated the shirt which he wore for his record-tying 108th England cap to charity. The shirt will now be auctioned on behalf of The Bobby Moore Fund (BBC).

Jimmie Johnson: NASCAR’s Jimmie Johnson and recording artist Nick Lachey raised about $200,000 for charity during their second annual Super Skins Celebrity Golf Classic held Super Bowl weekend. The beneficiaries are the Jimmie Johnson Foundation and the Nick Lachey Foundation, as well as the March Of Dimes, the Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs of America and the Muscular Dystrophy Association (Scene Daily).

Quick Hits: Articles of Interest From the Day

Pittsburgh Steelers WR Santonio Holmes, the Super Bowl XLIII MVP, is auctioning the gloves he wore during the game to the Sickle Cell Disease Association. Holmes’s 6-year-old son has the blood disease.

The second annual Shocks and Saves charity hockey game, benefiting the Michigan CardioVascular Institute Foundation and former Detroit Red Wings’ Jiri Fischer’s Healthy Hope Foundation, is slated for March 28.

On February 20, a Florida Panthers Foundation fundraiser will feature players, coaches and broadcasters serving as dealers for the Florida Panthers Ice & Dice Casino Night. Proceeds will benefit Joe DiMaggio Children’s Hospital.

Professional poker player Jennifer Harman will host a Charity Poker Tournament and Vendor Faire benefiting the National Kidney Foundation on March 11. The tournament is open to the public.

Quick Hits: Articles of Interest From the Day

NASCAR legends Darrell Waltrip, Harry Gant, David Pearson, Junior Johnson and other champion drivers will take part in the first Saturday Night Special charity race at Bristol Motor Speedway on March 21.

The eighth annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational raised over $150,00 for several worthy causes including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the James Jordan Foundation and the Butch Kerzner Summit Foundation.

The Oakland Athletics and Milwaukee Brewers will be playing in the 12th Annual ABC Charity Classic on February 25 in Phoenix. The event raises money for Kool Kids, a Phoenix program that provides kids free swimming at select city pools. Last year’s event paid for more than 145,000 pool visits.

David Beckham has accepted a £100,000 donation from Rangers Football Club on behalf of UNICEF.