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Archive for the ‘Celebrity Giving’ Category

Check out the link below to read the Miami Herald article about Tim Hardaway helping out in the Miami community during swimming safety lessons for blind and visually impaired students!


Photo taken by Marsha Halper (Miami Herald Staff)


After the final round of the British Open, golfer PHIL MICKELSON flew to Newark for the start of this week’s Mickelson ExxonMobil Teachers Academy, which is “sort of a summer camp for science teachers, where third, fourth and fifth grade teachers come to learn how to improve their teaching of math and science,” according to William McGurn of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Mickelson: “I’ve always used math and science in my career. It helps me know what I need to focus on.” Mickelson’s hope is that by “helping teachers, the academy will help America’s kids experience similar aha! moments of their own as they realize the applicability of math and science to their daily lives.” ExxonMobil “worries that American kids don’t get enough math or science compared to their peers in countries such as China and India,” and Mickelson “shares that concern.” He said, “I used to think that companies went overseas for cheap labor. That may be part of it. But I’ve learned that the larger issue is to attract people who have the engineering and other skills they need.” After this week’s program has concluded, “some 2,600 teachers will have gone through the academy since its founding in 2005” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 7/20). Mickelson appeared on NBC’s “Today” yesterday (shown above) to promote the Mickelson ExxonMobil Teaching Academy (“Today,” NBC, 7/19).


Credo: Chris Draft

By: Leah Fabel
Examiner Staff Writer
July 18, 2010

Chris Draft (Andrew Harnik/Examiner)


Chris Draft, 34, is every bit a football player — from his emphasis on physical fitness to his ease in recalling the win-loss record of any given team, any given year. But by all accounts he’s one of the sport’s outstanding men, too. The recently signed Washington Redskins linebacker brings with him to D.C. the work of his Chris Draft Family Foundation, partnering with nonprofits and schools to promote education and self-discipline. He spoke with The Washington Examiner about what inspires his work, and what it takes to achieve. 

Do you consider yourself to be of a specific faith?  

I am a Christian — a Baptist Christian. The faith, for me, is about a constant striving not for a perfection of material wealth, but for a perfection of manhood. It’s a lifelong journey of self-assessment, and self-improvement. 

Did anyone or any event especially influence your faith, or your path in life?  

My battle with asthma has helped. It’s made it so that every day matters, every day counts a little more. There are always positives and negatives — I have to make sure I’m taking my meds, and that I avoid triggers like smokers and allergens. But the positive is that it really does make me wake up in the morning and take a deep breath and be thankful, and be intentional about what I’ll accomplish that day. 

I would credit my parents, too, and how they really challenged my brother and me not just to play sports on our own terms, but to be a teammate that people could count on. And from the beginning, from the time I was four years old, they made it very clear that if I was going to play any sport, it didn’t matter how good or bad I was, but that I was going to give it my best. That would be their question: “Did you give it your best?” 

We hear all the time that it takes hard work to achieve our dreams, whatever they are. What has that actually meant for you, day to day?  

I can tell you it’s a great feeling when you really know that you’ve spent all of your energy on one thing, and have focused completely on your goal. But I would say, too, that you need people pushing you. One of the most important things is to be coachable, and then challenging that coach to push you a little more. And you have to be smart about it — just working hard is not always the best answer. You have to be smart in the way that you do the work, and you need someone around to ask questions to — someone to ask, “How can I do this better?” 

What responsibility, if any, do teams have to ensure players are good role models?  

Everyone is a role model. And I think it’s kind of disappointing that all of a sudden, when a person becomes an NFL player, that’s when we expect a role model — instead of expecting it of everyone. It’s a function of two things: First, whether your influence is positive or negative, and second, how big is your sphere of influence. As a third grader, you’re a role model to the kids sitting around you. As a high school student, as a college student, you’re a role model. When you get to the pros, the only difference is the size of your sphere of influence. 

We’ve got a lot of young guys in the NFL still trying to find their way. People tell them, “you’re a role model,” and yeah, they’re role models, but they’re no different than anyone else. It’s a lot of weight to carry. It’s up to us, but it’s up to the community, too. Hopefully, we can provide backup to what the community values, but it takes the whole community. 

At your core, what is one of your defining beliefs?  

Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve — that’s a quote I try to live by. And it’s about making a choice, committing to that choice, and then being excited about it. Don’t be on the fence. There’ll be hard times, there’ll be ups and downs, but take the journey and enjoy it. Then, take a hard look at yourself, and ask, “How can I do a little better next time?” 


 – Leah Fabel 



July 7, 2010 — Washington, DC — Washington Redskins player, Chris Draft, Founder of Project Blind Side, and the Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) will host a screening of Oscar, NAACP Image Award and ESPY-nominated film THE BLIND SIDE on Thursday, July 15 at 4:30 pm at THEARC Theater located at 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE.

A panel discussion will immediately follow the screening.  Panelists will include Washington Redskins’ Linebacker Chris Draft, Joe Briggs of the NFLPA and Chevonne Mansfield, Assistant Director of Sports Information at Howard University.  Panelists will discuss the prominent theme of literacy in the film and the importance of reading.

Research taken from the Department of Education shows “… that academic achievement stalls and, for far too many disadvantaged children, actually worsens if they are not engaged in educational activities during the summer.  In fact, most low-income children can lose more than two months of progress in reading achievement during the summer break.”

This community screening is part of the “A Book in Every Kid’s Hands” initiative.  Youth who attend the screening will be given a copy of “The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game” thanks to a donation by publishing house W.W. Norton along with an additional book donation by Direct Brands.  They will be asked to finish the book and write an essay on what they learned by Sunday, August 15.  Ten essays will be selected as finalists and one lucky winner will win a day with Chris Draft along with great prizes.

Draft is working to tie Project Blind Side into the Department of Education’s broader “Let’s Read, Let’s Move” initiative.

“I am excited to partner with Secretary Duncan as we work together to make literacy and education a priority in every home across this nation,” said Draft, who founded The Chris Draft Family Foundation in 2006 and is the author ofDo You Want To Play Catch”. “We know firsthand the difference reading and access to educational materials can have in a child’s life. We are proud to put a book in every kid’s hands to encourage literacy and learning 365 days a year.” – Chris Draft

Project Blind Side will be powered by Legacy Connect’s online fundraising website http://www.legacyconnect.com/, which will raise dollars and awareness virally for the program to ensure the project is successful in getting  “A Book in Every Kid’s Hands” starting in the Washington, DC area.  Based on a person-to-person fundraising model, supporters can watch inspiring videos about the program, make a donation, and invite friends to join the movement.

About Chris Draft

2010 marks the beginning of Chris Draft’s 13th year in the National Football League.  A linebacker, currently with the Washington Redskins, his career in the NFL also includes time on the rosters of the Chicago Bears, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, St. Louis Rams and Buffalo Bills.

During 2006, Stanford University graduate Christopher Michael Draft established the Chris Draft Family Foundation with the mission of empowering families to live healthy lifestyles.

A proven leader both on and off the field, Draft’s philanthropic endeavors keep him busy throughout the year as he and his Foundation are actively involved in various community projects across the country.  The Foundation seeks to make a lasting, positive impact on children, families, and communities.  Using the inspiration and lessons learned while working with youth and families throughout his college and professional career, Chris Draft and the Chris Draft Family Foundation engage in community projects that support youth, families, schools, civic groups and health awareness organizations.

The Chris Draft Family Foundation has taken its literacy campaign nationwide through the Literacy Leadersä initiative and Draft’s first published book “So You Want To Play Catch?”

About Project Blind Side

Project Blind Side is a partnership between Alcon Entertainment (producers of THE BLIND SIDE), The Chris Draft Family Foundation and Legacy Connect aimed at promoting the development of positive character traits as pillars that build positive and productive men and women through the 2009 blockbuster movie, THE BLIND SIDE.


Officially opened in October 2005, The Town Hall Education Arts Recreation Campus (THEARC) is a $27 million, 110,000 square-foot world-class education arts & recreation campus located east of the Anacostia River in Washington, DC’s Ward 8.  THEARC is a home away from home for the many underserved children and adults of East of the River, enabling them to participate in dance classes, music instruction, fine arts, academics, continuing education, mentoring, tutoring, recreation, and medical and dental care and other services at substantially reduced cost or no cost at all.

“We are pleased that Chris Draft is working with THEARC as he brings his commitment to working with families to the greater Washington community,” said Edmund Fleet, Executive Director of The Town Hall Education Arts & Recreation Campus in Washington, DC. “The mission of the Chris Draft Family Foundation to engage in community projects that support youth, families, schools, civic groups and health awareness organizations is a perfect fit for the mission of THEARC. We look forward to hosting the screening of THE BLIND SIDE and the related programming that is focused on developing positive character traits as pillars that build positive and productive men and women.”

About Legacy Connect

Legacy Connect is a media and technology company that builds communities and online donations for causes. Legacy has developed a turnkey marketing and technology platform that is the first to integrate the 5Cs (celebrity, corporations, content, causes and consumers) to generate traffic and drive revenue for non-profits.  Legacy is a trusted online destination for people to connect with the causes they care most about allowing those individuals to take action that make a difference in this world in a way that is fun, inspiring, and deeply fulfilling.

Legacy’s mission is about connecting communities to create change. All Legacy campaign activities including donations will be contained on the Legacy Connect Platform, http://www.legacyconnect.com/.

Additional information about donating to Project Blind Side can be found at: http://legacyconnect.com

Additional information about THEARC can be found at: www.thearcdc.org


For further information, please contact Monica Palenzuela Costa at 202-464-8507 or at monica@thaweb.com.

The Baltimore Orioles, through their OriolesREACH initiative, are teaming with the Baltimore City Public Schools to support education initiatives for the city’s youth. The partnership, in its second year, includes ticket donations and pregame recognition at Camden Yards for outstanding students and teachers. The effort is sponsored by T. Rowe Price.

From SportsBusinessJournal.com’s “Coast to Coast” section (http://sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/66230) 7/12/10

A new partnership between the Philadelphia Union and the American Red Cross is designed to raise awareness of the importance of donating blood. The MLS club is hosting a blood drive at its PPL Park home on July 24.  The Red Cross was the title sponsor of the Union’s match scheduled for this past Saturday against San Jose.

From SportsBusinessJournal.com’s “Coast to Coast” section (http://sportsbusinessjournal.com/article/66230) 7/12/10

Washington Redskins Lorenzo Alexander and teammate Kedric Golston are spearheading the Ride to Provide, a family-oriented charity bike ride down the W&OD Railroad Regional Park Trail in Northern Virginia. 

Check out the full article on CSNWashington.com at: http://www.csnwashington.com/07/06/10/The-Redskins-Lorenzo-Alexander-Is-Giving/landing_v3.html?blockID=266789&feedID=6355

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