Athletes Using T-Shirts to Help Raise Money for Their Communities

Luke Walton Celebritee

The AP reported that 23 athletes “have joined with San Diego-based MyCelebritees to help raise money for charity.” Each of the athletes “has chosen a favorite word, which is printed on a T-shirt and sold at”

Los Angeles Lakers F Luke Walton, who chose the word “Family,” said of the effort, “It’s a way of connecting with the fans and raising money for the communities that everybody’s involved in. You pick the word that means the most to you, what got you here. People buy the shirts; fans, friends, and money goes to not only the charity they work with but the charities we are involved with. When they come at you and approach you with that, it’s hard to say no. It sounds like a win-win for everybody.”

The AP added that MyCelebritees “hopes to donate $2 million to charities during the next two years” (AP, 1/16). Read the entire article from the AP is donating 50% of all proceeds to charity (

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Coach’s Corner: Minneapolis Paper Covers PCA’s Annual Sports Lists

Positive Coaching Alliance

Each week, Progress Avenue lists articles of interest about youth sports. This week’s lead features an article on Positive Coaching Alliance. In Minneapolis, Rachel Blount takes a look at Positive Coaching Alliance’s lists of the top 10 and bottom 10 moments in sports:

Lists Offer Lessons in Life That Sports Can Teach So Well (Rachel Blount, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 1/6).

“I think there’s a growing awareness of the importance of honoring the game. There’s something going on in sports beyond the immediate competition, the idea of who wins and who loses. Sports have the ability to inspire us, to elevate us, to enhance our appreciation of life. That’s why we created this movement, to make sports the ennobling experience it should be.” -Positive Coaching Alliance Executive Director Jim Thompson.

Positive Coaching Alliance’s Bottom 10 Moments and Top 10 Moments in Sports, 2008

More articles of interest:

Games Are for the Kids (Steve Delaney, Burlington Hawk Eye, 1/10).

She’s a Goalie: Three Girls Make Their Mark in PIHL and They Would Prefer To Be Treated Like Any Other Hockey Players (Colin Dunlap, Pittsburgh Posts-Gazette, 1/9).

Where Enforcers Come From (Robert MacLeod, Toronto Globe & Mail, 1/9).

Zebras Earn Their Stripes (Brian Swane, Edmonton Sun, 1/8).

Caution: Collegs Put Pressure on Kids (Mason Linker, Winston-Salem Journal, 1/9).

Thanks to Doug Abrams for the articles. Abrams is a PCA Champion for Positive Coaching Alliance.

Shaquille O’Neal Featured in New PSA for Childhelp USA

Shaq Films PSA for Childhelp USA (1:52)

In Phoenix, Christina Boomer reported that Phoenix Suns C Shaquille O’Neal filmed a new PSA for Childhelp USA this week. The organization, which is “dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect,” believes kids “look up to [O’Neal] as a role model so they hope when he tells them to stay away from meth, or donate to Child Help to stop child abuse they will.”

Childhelp USA co-Founder Sara O’Meara said, “Everyone said you just have to have Shaq. And so we said we’ll get him. These economic times are so bad and people who made pledges in the past and honored them are no longer able to honor them, so when people step up to the plate, like Shaq, it makes a great detail of different to a charity” (Christina Boomer, KNXV-ABC , 1/8). Read the entire article at

President Bush Adds Athletes to the Presidential Council for Physical Fitness

President Bush on Tuesday named the following to the Presidential Council for Physical Fitness, among others: New York Mets GM Omar Minaya, New York Giants QB Eli Manning, NASCAR driver Bobby Labonte, U.S. Track athlete Allyson Felix, WNBA San Antonio Silver Stars C Ruth Riley, LSU football coach Les Miles, figure skate Michelle Kwan, former NFLer Jason Sehorn and ESPN College Basketball Analyst Digger Phelps (White House).

Barrett-Jackson Auctioning Petty Superbird to Support Darrell Gwynn Foundation

Darrell Gwynn, Richard Petty, Kevin King with the Superbird

The Darrell Gwynn Foundation will have a place at the 2009 Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Event in Scottsdale, Ariz. on January 17. A one-of-a-kind, NASCAR “Superbird” restoration car signed by Richard Petty will be auctioned off to raise money for the Darrell Gwynn Foundation, which advocates for people with spinal cord injuries.

Gwynn, who was paralyzed in a 1990 NHRA crash, has devoted his life to raising money for paralysis causes. In recent years, his group paid for long-term healthcare services of new spinal cord injury patients at a Denver hospital and decorated the walls of two Florida pediatric hospital units with race cars, checked flags and other racing themes. The Foundation spearheaded the annual Florida Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Week during which quadriplegics, media celebrities, and others speak to high school students and the general public about ways to prevent spinal cord injuries. His group has donated more than 60 power wheelchairs totaling more than $300,000 (Darrell Gwynn Foundation).

Photo credit: Darrell Gwynn Foundation

Thanks for Reading in 2008; Progress Avenue Looks Forward to the New Year

Thanks so much for trekking with Progress Avenue in 2008. When I first started this site on August 12, 2007, I simply kept an open mind to its possibilities and potential. One of my goals was for this site to inspire its readers to embrace their own ways to serve their communities. I never imagined just how that inspiration would affect me personally.

With the support of advisors, I’m excited about what lies ahead in the next year. We will be in a transition in January as we prepare a new look to the site and a clearer vision and strategy for the future of our program. So please bear with us.

Be Perfect: We’re all about to the page to 2009. As we reflect on the past and grasp every bit of encouragement we can for the future, Progress Avenue offers up inspiration from a popular sports movie. Here is the halftime speech from “Friday Night Lights”:

Friday Night Lights (3:19)

Paraplegic Ricky James Proves He Can Still Ride in New Life Rolls On PSA

Life Rolls On PSA (0:30)

Life Rolls On Foundation’s second PSA, which debuted December 12, 2008 during NBC Sports’ coverage of the 2008 Ford Ironman World Championship. Paraplegic and Life Rolls On Ambassador Ricky James James is featured attempting a stunt that is a first-ever for a paraplegic on a motocross bike. Life Rolls On improves the lives of young people affected by spinal cord injury (SCI) through quality of life programs, SCI awareness campaigns and funding research that seeks a cure (Life Rolls On).

Video added to YouTube: December 16

“Sports Making a Difference” a Big Theme of Inaugural U.S. Sports Film Festival

U.S.Sports Film Festival Highlights (9:59)

The inaugural U.S. Sports Film Festival was held in Philadelphia October 23-26 to honor the best new sports film and video productions. Among the festival’s themes was “Sports Making a Difference” to recognize sports as an extraordinary vehicle for individual empowerment and social change.

The festival provided interactive panels and forums where experts and festival attendees discussed and debated how sports and sports media impact society. The festival also introduced opportunities for attendees to explore ways to make a personal contribution of their talents, skills and resources through their passion for sports (U.S. Sports Film Festival).

Video added to YouTube: November 1, 2008

Giving Back Fund’s 30 Most Generous Celebrities List Featured in Parade

The Giving Back Fund’s list of the 30 Most Generous Celebrities (based on public records of donations made in 2007) is featured in Parade’s “Intelligence Report.” The list includes 13 individuals from the sports industry.

  • Paul Newman
  • Lance Armstrong
  • Michael Jordan
  • Eric Lindros
  • Richard Jefferson
  • Tiger Woods
  • Andre Agassi
  • Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
  • Tracy McGrady
  • Mike Miller
  • Jerry West
  • David Robinson
  • Richard Seymour

Click Here for the complete list, including ranking and the main recipient of each individuals largesse (Parade, 9/14 issue).

OpenEducation Site Takes a Hard Look at Maine’s Sports Done Right Report

As you may have already noticed at the bottom of this Web site, the designer of the “Progress Avenue” theme, Chris Pearson, requests mention of, a site dedicated to tracking the changes occurring in education today.

One of the site’s most popular posts is entitled, “Athletics Do Offer Lessons that are Missing from the Classroom.”

The editor, Thomas Hanson, tackled a 2007 report called Sports Done Right. The report, which seeks to “refocus the athletic experience on its initial intent,” was done by a select panel of school leaders and student-athletes, working in conjunction with the University of Maine.

Sports Done Right “identifies seven basic core principles that form the basis for a sound amateur sports program. Though the focus is clearly on the middle and high school sports experience, the vast majority of the material could translate to the collegiate level as well” (, 2007).

Click Here to order a copy of the full report.

Cause Marketing Becoming Part of Business Model

More than seventy people participated in Sports Philanthropy Project’s May 28th symposium on sports philanthropy academics and research, which was held in collaboration with the North American Society for Sport Management (NASSM) during their 2008 national conference in Toronto.

The event touched on topics such as business model best practices, sponsorship development, and fundraising.

Sports Philanthropy Project Senior Program Director & Counsel Van Le: “What we are seeing from the field is that corporate philanthropy and cause marketing have become part of the business model. Just as they’ve grown in complexity, so too has scrutiny from corporate sponsors, the media and fans –raising expectations that any efforts related to corporate social responsibility (CSR) be of high quality.”

Downloads: Click Here to view various session presentations (Sports Philanthropy Project).

Charity Wines Receiving Media Attention

Charity Wines Atlanta Launch Party (5:36)

Comcast recently covered the Charity Wines launch party at Turner Field in Atlanta with Atlanta Braves 3B Chipper Jones and C Brian McCann. Braves P Tom Glavine also has a signature wine.

Charity Wines New York Launch Party (2:50)

MSG recently covered the Charity Wines launch party at Mickey Mantle’s Restaurant in New York. New York Yankees C Jorge Posada and RF Bobby Abreu, as well as New York Mets C Brian Schneider were on hand to introduce their signature wines.

All proceeds from the wine sales go to a charity designated by each athlete. Participating athletes – past and present- and their charities currently include:

For more information, please visit Charity Wines.