Monthly Archives: July 2011

David Beckham Visits Children’s Hospital

David Beckham Visits Children’s Hospital

Original Athlebrity, David Beckham is in NY to participate in the 2011 AT&T MLS All-Star Game….and yesterday, Sir Beckham took his golden-everything to a New York City Children’s Hospital and gently placed his hand on that little boys head…

david_beckham-childrens-hospital

Organized by the Hope & Heroes Children’s Cancer Fund, Beckham’s visit with the kids was on behalf of the MLS community outreach initiative (M.S. Works) and afterward, the Hope & Heroes Children’s Fund received a $25K donation from MLS Works.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Make Your Mark on the World Event

Make Your Mark on the World Event

Recently I interviewed ‘90210’ actor Manish Dayal for Look to the Stars about his involvement with charity…the young actor, who also appeared alongside Vincent ‘Pooh-Bear’ D’Onofrio on the series finale of Law & Order Criminal Intent, turned me onto an incredible organization he is involved with called Nanubhai. (Read the interview here).

And now, like a dream come true, Nanubhai is set to benefit from the ‘Make Your Mark On the World’ event. Details: Griffin Lounge in NYC this Friday July 29 at 7pm (VIP hour) or 8pm (Free entry).

photooftheweek-india-children

Without a single Athlebrity involved, I choose to blog about this event because it’s the perfect combination of all my ‘loves’ in the world: charity, India, giving back, Nanubhai, a Lost Boy (Valentino Achak Deng), and (gulp) M. Night Shyamalan.

From the good peeps at Nanubhai:  ‘Givology’s goal is to raise $20,000 on Friday night to be donated to various organizations that they partner with, including Nanubhai. The event will be attended by a number of Nanubhai volunteers including our Executive Direct…and the auction portion of the evening will consist of photographs of Nanubhai students, along with photographs and artwork from a number of other attending organizations.’

Makes my heart sing: Co-founded by M. Night Shyamalan and his wife, Dr. Bhavna Shyamalan, the M. Night Shyamalan Foundation is dedicated to increasing the opportunities of the disadvantaged in the pursuit of empowerment and social justice. Since its creation in 2001, the Foundation has contributed almost $1.7 million to projects in support of education, sustainable agriculture, water projects, health, poverty alleviation, hunger relief, and other fields.

About the Keynote Speaker, Valentino Achak Deng
Valentino Achak Deng’s life has been described by The New York Times as a testament “to human resilience over tragedy and disaster.” Born in the village of Marial Bai, in Southern Sudan, he was forced to flee in the 1980s, at the age of seven, when civil war erupted. As one of the so-called Lost Boys, he trekked hundreds of miles, pursued by animals and government militias, and lived for years in refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. He eventually resettled in America, to a new set of challenges. Deng’s life is the basis of Dave Eggers’ epic book What Is the What, which Francine Prose calls “an extraordinary work of witness, and of art.” In 2009, as part of his Valentino Achak Deng Foundation, he opened the Marial Bai Secondary School, the region’s first proper high school.

The Event: VIP entry is $75, but Look To the Stars readers can receive a special discount of $10 off VIP entry when they use the discount code GivVIPt. To inquire about an invitation, contact Julia Gooding at julia.gooding@givology.org. For more information, click here. Griffin is located in New York City’s meatpacking district at 50 Gansevoort Street.

The Nanubhai Education Foundation, founded in 2004, is dedicated to providing equal access to India’s rapidly growing economic opportunities to the students of India’s rural public high schools through education. We work to inspire the students of our partner schools, especially women, to achieve excellence, enroll in higher education and participate in India’s new economy.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

NBA’s Serge Ibaka and UNICEF Team Up and Do “Whatever it Takes” for the Children of the Congo

NBA’s Serge Ibaka and UNICEF Team Up and Do “Whatever it Takes” for the Children of the Congo

Brazzavile, Republic of Congo
July 22-24 – 2011

Oklahoma Thunder, power forward and Congolese born, Serge Ibaka, will be paying a visit to the Republic of Congo this weekend to train with the national team and mark his first time working with UNICEF-Brazzavile. Doing “whatever it takes”, to save a child. Ibaka and UNICEF will team up to emphasize staying in school, hard work, hygiene, and the protection of vulnerable children and minorities in Brazzavile. The Republic of Congo is one of Sub-Sahara Africa’s main oil producers with 70% of its population living in poverty. It’s pragmatic president Denis Sassou Nguesoo, is one of Africa’s longest serving leaders with three decades of rule.

serge-ibaka

Ibaka, also know as Air Congo by his teammates, will highlight the daily challenges children of the Congo face by visiting school’s and centers for street children. Ibaka will be hosting the first ever two-day table tennis tournament for street children.The Minister for Sports, Jacques Yvon Ndolou and other dignitaries are expected to attend the award-giving ceremonies for the children.

Ibaka is the first player from the Republic of Congo to be selected in a NBA draft. His pure raw talent is no surprise, considering both his parents were basketball players for the Republic of Congo. When Ibaka arrived in Oklahoma City he spoke no English and did whatever it took to overcome the unfortunate death of his mother and the imprisonment of his father during the Second Congo War. Ibaka is currently a starter for the OKC Thunder and speaks four languages: Lingala (native language), French, Spanish and English. He played a supporting role during the Thunder’s 2009-10 “Turnaround Season” and in the 2010 NBA playoffs Ibaka lead the Thunder to their first home court play-off victory over the defending-champion Los Angeles Lakers.

“The value of a man resides in what he gives and not what he is capable of receiving” -Einstein
As always, thanks for reading,
-Jessica Hernandez jessicah@athlebrities.com

Waterman’s Weekend Environmental Fundraiser

Waterman’s Weekend Environmental Fundraiser

***Event Alert***

The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) will honor big wave surfing champion Greg Long as Waterman of the Year, former Malibu mayor and environmental stalwart Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner as Environmentalist of the Year, and Hawaiian big wave pioneer and legendary shaper George Downing with the 2011 Lifetime Achievement Award, as part of the association’s annual Waterman’s Weekend environmental fundraiser.

surfsup

The 2011 Waterman’s Weekend will be held August 11-12th and will raise funds for 20 ocean conservation organizations. The weekend begins Thursday, August 11, with the Waterman’s Classic Golf Tournament at the Monarch Beach Golf Links, and culminates on Friday, August 12, with the 22nd annual Waterman’s Ball and auction to be held at The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel, Calif.

“The SIMA Board of Directors and Environmental Fund are proud to honor Greg, Jay and George at the 22nd annual Waterman’s Ball,” said Paul Naude, Chairman of the Waterman’s Weekend Event Committee and President of the SIMA Environmental Fund Board of Directors. “All of the honorees have undoubtedly earned our respect and appreciation for their accomplishments in and out of the water, and for the influence they have had on the sport and culture of surfing.”

Waterman of the Year, Greg Long, is often referred to as “the best young big wave surfer on the planet.” He’s won the 2003 Red Bull Big Wave Africa; 2008 Mavericks Surf Contest; 2009 winner Quiksilver Eddie Aikau…has become one of only two surfers in the world to be invited to all three major big wave paddle events…and when he’s not tackling the world’s biggest waves, Long gives back to the community by giving motivational presentations to schools and community groups, as well as through his involvement in environmental organizations including Surfrider, Save the Waves, Wildcoast and The San Onofre Foundation.

Environmentalist of the Year, Jefferson “Zuma Jay” Wagner, is a longtime advocate and protector of one of surfing’s sacred spots – Malibu. In addition to owning a surf shop and formerly serving as the city’s mayor, Zuma Jay is dedicated to the fight to preserve Malibu’s beaches and keep its waters clean…he is currently promoting the restoration of Malibu lagoon, and worked with the California Coastal Commission and the Los Angeles County Beaches and Harbors to establish Malibu as the 1st World Surfing Reserve.

For decades this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, George Downing, has been a leader in the surf industry and community…he’s a major stud in the surf industry, with a resume that includes constructing what is known as the first board for truly big surf… he serves as the president of the Surfing Education Association which is dedicated to the preservation of our oceans, coral reefs, waves and beaches…and has just secured himself a spot in the Surfers Hall of Fame.

The two-day fundraising event benefits the SIMA Environmental Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation that awards grants to various environmental groups based on their dedication to preserving and protecting the world’s oceans, beaches and waves. Last year’s event attracted more than 700 people and raised more than $400,000 for 19 ocean conservation groups.

MORE: SIMA.COM

I hope to see you all there~

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Yao Ming Retires With Promise of Continuing Charity Work

Yao Ming Retires With Promise of Continuing Charity Work

“I am ending my athletic career and am retiring from basketball,” Yao said through an interpreter at a plush Pudong hotel on Wednesday. “Basketball has given me so much. It has led me to a bigger and brighter stage to showcase my abilities…with a well-functioned Yao Foundation, I’ll try to promote charity work not only in my circle of friends but also for the whole society, to help more people. I’m very thankful for what life has taught me…To live a better life is the best way to say thanks, I think.”

yao_ming

On August 2, 2008, I wrote about an interview ESPN did with Yao and Dikembe, in part I quoted Yao about his inspiration:
“ What inspires me are the stories that have come out. There is a picture on a website of a teacher who, when the earthquake was happening, put four kids under a table and put his body on top of the table. When the school wall came down, the teacher died but the kids were saved. You can’t stay away when you hear stories like that. When my foundation raises the money to rebuild those schools, we’re going to name the schools after those teachers.”

Here’s another favorite about how the NBA cut Yao’s Foundation out of the charity loop in 2009, with Yao’s response being: “I know, it’s all about 2010, they (NBA) have rules. All we want to do is help people who were hurt by the earthquake in the Sichuan Province.”

yao_ming_retires

No doubt, Yao Ming will have plenty of time to use ‘the bigger stage’ to continue his humanitarian work. Unencumbered by the long-arm of the NBA law, Yao can only flourish in his efforts. There will never be another player who so effectively bridged the hoops gap between China and the US. Even his fans have started a ‘movement’ to convince the Huston Rockets to build a bronze statute of Yao.

    Inspired by monument of retired NBA star Hakeem Olajuwon in front of the main entrance to the Toyota Center, home arena of the Rockets, Yao’s fans have suggested the Rockets give the same treatment to the Chinese player. “We will collect signatures among Chinese fans and write a petition letter to the Rockets,” Huang said. “Probably we will do fundraising events for a Yao statue.”’(China Daily)

And of course, the best part of Yao’s retirement is his promise to continue his charity work:

“I will keep devoting myself to social charity work…the Yao Foundation, launched three years ago, is a project named after me. I promise here that it will keep going on,” said Yao. The Yao Foundation has built 16 basketball courts and has donated millions of dollars to build schools around China. “With a well-functioned Yao Foundation, I’ll try to promote charity work not only in my circle of friends but also for the whole society, to help more people. I’m very thankful for what life has taught me…To live a better life is the best way to say thanks, I think.”

Yao has donated earthquake victims…is a Goodwill Ambassador of the international wildlife conservation organization “WildAid”…represents China’s AIDS Prevention Campaign and the NBA’s “Basketball Without Borders” and “Read to Achieve” programs and promotes bone marrow donation. (Yao Ming Foundation)

I really don’t know what to say aside from thank you Yao Ming….thank you for being an exceptional role model, a wicked baller when you played, and a cultural icon whose legacy will inspire for generations.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

A World Record Charity Goal by Soccer for Relief

A World Record Charity Goal by Soccer for Relief

“Football is the global game and it seemed a good idea to get so many people involved in something that so many feel passionately about. It was the first thing that I thought of.” –Imran Khan

Right now a group of guys are playing soccer in an attempt to break the world record for the longest soccer game played, aiming for 72 hours of continuous play…proceeds to be donated to the British Red Cross. The organization is called Football Relief, the event was organized by Imran Kahn.

    This is not the first time though that the group of friends from Blackburn have exerted themselves for charity; last season they walked 37 miles from their hometown in England in time for Blackburn Rovers’ Premier League match in Blackpool, raising almost $10,000…After starting on Saturday, the two teams, named Mankind United and Heilen World XI, are set to break the record at midnight on Monday (GMT). One of the four referees, who have been alternating in shifts of four hours, will blow for full time around midday on Tuesday. (NY Times blog)

Updates on the game available on the Football Relief Twitter feed or Facebook.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

David Beckham Requests Our Help

David Beckham Requests Our Help

At Sir Beckham’s Request:

    “Hi guys, you may have read or seen the crisis in East Africa, the drought is the worst in 50 years and millions of children are at risk of starvation and disease. As an Ambassador for UNICEF and the father of four children, I’m asking for your help, anything you can give will help bring aid, thank you… David Beckham”

Over 12 million fans on Facebook…plenty of baby photos of adorable Harper-Seven and the flawless Victoria (obviously NOT the one posted below).

Beckham_Unicef

And for those in LA griping about ‘carmegeddon’, check yourselves, put it in perspective…children are dying because they don’t have water and you’re worried about traffic? Pa-leeze. Take the ten bucks you’re not spending on gas this weekend and donate it to save a life. Literally. Seriously.

DO IT.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Matt Bonner Spreads ‘Spurs Culture’ on the East Coast

Matt Bonner Spreads ‘Spurs Culture’ on the East Coast

Concord, New Hampshire, native and current vice president of the NBA Players Union, Matt Bonner, took a break from CBA talks today, to make an appearance at the Canterbury Woods Country Club, for the One For the Kids Golf Tournament, put on by the New Hampshire Chapter of Speedway Childrens Charities.

matt-bonner

The Speedway Childrens Charities is dedicated to giving children the same opportunities no matter what they are facing. The SCC aligns itself with people, and organizations based on the local needs of every chapter through caring for children in educational, financial, social and medical needs. Bruton Smith, founder of SCC and Chairman of Speedway Motor Sports and Sonic Automotive started SCC in memory of his son Bruton Camerson Smith, who regrettably passed at a young age.

It’s so refreshing see larger organizations like the SCC using local talent to address local issues.

~Jessica Hernandez*

*Note: This report was filed by my new intern, Jessica Hernandez, who is awesome in so many way. Give her some love…after all, she did counter my ‘Does the NBA Really Care’ with a great example of NBA peeps spreading love during the lockout.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Does the NBA Really Care?

Does the NBA Really Care?

NBA legend and all around good guy, Brian Grant, is feeling the sting of the NBA’s long-arm of the law…Grant, who is on the Portland Blazer’s payroll as an ambassador, cannot have current NBA players participate in his upcoming golf event for Parkinson’s disease due to the NBA lock-out.

Sheedy and Grant
Sheedy and Grant

Ridiculous….under ‘NBA’ laws, current, former, or dudes who just look like they should be in the NBA are forbidden to even look at each other during the lock-out. Nice. Haven’t we been selling NBA Cares through the years? Banning balers from celebrity charity events is appalling is my book…the NBA should be applauding ‘its’ players for taking part in charity fundraising rather than jumping ship and going overseas….again, I am all for a new league as proposed by Michael Tillery.

Until then, let’s shake the NBA corporate monkey off the players’ backs and let them help others-and not the NBA-during the lock-out.

    Proceeds from Shake It Till We Make It will benefit the education and outreach programs of The Brian Grant Foundation-(but not if any NBA players are seen looking at each other).  Such programs include a website dedicated to supporting a newly diagnosed Parkinson’s patient. It will serve as the first place you can go for answers on living with PD until there is a cure.  Additionally, the site will provide help to patients’ family members and caregivers, as this debilitating disease affects millions of people.  The Foundation will also continue to support other organizations in the Parkinson’s arena that are focused on patient care and ultimately finding a cure.

More details HERE.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Michael Irvin on Cover of OUT Magazine

Michael Irvin on Cover of OUT Magazine

Granted, I’ve never been a huge fan of NFL athlebrity, Michael Irving, but when a straight, professional athlete with three Superbowl rings poses on the cover of OUT Magazine to openly support ‘gay issues’, then he’s all right by me…

2sportsmichaelirvin2

Excerpt:

    Today, Irvin is a widely respected football commentator with weekly appearances on the NFL Network. He hosts The Michael Irvin Show on Miami’s WQAM with former World Football League player Kevin Kiley. For two years, the pair has delved into gay issues; in recent months, they have turned their attention to the subject of athletes, coaches, and team executives coming out of the closet. Now, Irvin is waiting for the day when America has its first openly gay active athlete in one of the top four professional sports leagues.

    ”If anyone comes out in those top four major sports, I will absolutely support him,” says Irvin. “That’s why I do my radio show every day. When these issues come out, I want to have a voice to speak about them. I think growth comes when we share. Until we do that, we’re going to be stuck in the Dark Ages about a lot of things. When a guy steps up and says, this is who I am, I guarantee you Ill give him 100% support.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Hoop Hopefuls Come to San Diego

Hoop Hopefuls Come to San Diego

On August 6 and 7 at San Diego State University, En Fuego Hoops will be hosting yet another ‘Proof of Game’ exposure showcase. And what perfect timing it is…with the NBA at a standstill and its Athlebrity players eyeing overseas contracts, it’s about time for all the leagues to eye some of the fresh, young, hungry talented players looking to secure pro-contracts.

En Fuego Hoops already has a proven success record at securing contracts for its players, so it is no surprise that it attracts international scouts, agents, managers and team owners. And this year the showcase is bigger…NBA affiliate team Bakersfield Jam and San Diego’s own San Diego Surf will hoop it up against En Fuego All Stars, who, if you haven’t heard, play like it’s their last day on earth.

En Fuego Hoops

So why am I telling you about a basketball showcase event with no apparent charity tie-in? Because within the next few months, Athlebrities and En Fuego Hoops will merge in efforts to build basketball courts for kids in needy neighborhoods. (First one is earmarked for Jamaica in late 2012).

Again, with the NBA AWOL this season, it appears new doors are opening all the time. It’s been proposed that NBA athlebrities form their own league-which I back 100% simply because it would give lesser-known ballers with skill an easier time getting their foot in the door.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Luol Deng Celebrates with South Sudanese Children

Luol Deng Celebrates with South Sudanese Children

Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng made a lot of kids ‘jubilant’ in Juba, South Sudan’s capital as the worlds newest nation celebrated independence from the North….Deng hosted a hoops clinic for local youth, taught them some skills and gave them encouragement….love, love and love. Check out the video for all the details or visit Ball Don’t Lie. Thanks to Robert Padavick of the Enough Project to End Genocide for supplying this video to Yahoo! Sports.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

Justin Timberlake’s ESPY Homework?

Justin Timberlake: I Love Sports: College

As we all know, sweet, sexy, borderline Athlebrity, Justin Timberlake, loves his sports-and is ready to hit the stage to present the inaugural Capital One Cup at the 2011 ESPY Awards on Wednesday, July 13th.

Taking this award presentation very seriously, Timberlake wanted to do his homework and try his hand at several collegiate sports. The results? JT plays hoops, field hockey, track, volleyball, diving, soccer, lacrosse and tops it off in a tuxedo. Hot.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

South Sudan Uses Hoops for Hope

South Sudan Uses Hoops for Hope

We hope to use sport as a means to end conflict,” said sports minister Makuac Teny. “It can help to get the young people to compete in matches instead of fighting, and so to neutralise enmity between tribes.”

south_sudanese_player

As the NBA continues its lockout, I can’t help but laugh at the athletes and teams as they squabble over millions of dollars while the young men in Sudan are salivating at the thought of playing hoops. On July 9, 2011, South Sudan will officially become independent (from the North), leading to the creation of a host national sports team. Check it HERE. This amazing article-which all NBA athlebrities should read-is, at its root, a beautiful story about how sports CAN effectively change the World for the better rather than tarnish it based on money.

Take a minute, put it in perspective and just play the game selflessly.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com

SIMA’s Liquid Nation Ball 8

SIMA’s Liquid Nation Ball 8

It’s that time of year for the annual Surf Industry Manufacturers Association’s (SIMA) Liquid Nation Ball, the official fundraiser for the SIMA Humanitarian Fund, which will take place on Saturday, September 17, 2011, in La Jolla, Calif.

And this year, SIMA is honoring Shaney jo Darden, Co-Founder & CEO of ‘The Keep A Breast Foundation’ as the 2011 Humanitarian of the Year. (If you’re an avid reader, you already know I never miss this event-which has previously honored Jason Mraz and Flea.)

keep-a-breast-0226

“The SIMA Humanitarian Fund is honored to recognize Shaney jo as the 2011 SIMA Humanitarian of the Year,” said Fernando Aguerre, SIMA Humanitarian Fund President and Liquid Nation Ball Chairman and Co-Founder. “As a woman that has had such a positive impact on the health and awareness of hundreds of thousands in the action sports industry, her work and passion is inspiring. We look forward to honoring her as the fourth-ever SIMA Humanitarian of the Year at this year’s Liquid Nation Ball.”

Mixing her passion for the action sports industry, fashion design, fine art, and philanthropy, Shaney jo co-found The Keep A Breast Foundation (KAB), a non-profit charity organization that raises funds and support for breast cancer awareness. Taking plaster molds of women’s (and men’s) torsos, these casts are a trademark of the organization and are given to fine artists to paint, are shown in art exhibitions and then auctioned off with all proceeds going to KAB and other breast cancer awareness organizations. KAB is a unique foundation. With programs such as a Traveling Educational Booth hitting the road an average of 250 days a year to display at events such as The Roxy Jam, The Vans Warped Tour, and South by Southwest, Shaney jo can educate people face-to-face about breast cancer awareness.

Liquid Nation Ball 8 will be held on September 17, 2011, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at the oceanfront home of Fernando Aguerre in La Jolla, where one of the best private surfboard collections in the world is on display. The event includes dancing, live music, great food, open bar, and a short live auction of unique, one-of-a-kind items to benefit 13 surf-related humanitarian organizations. The SIMA Humanitarian Fund Board of Directors aims to continue the record fundraising legacy of the event and raise a net amount of $200,000 at Liquid Nation Ball 8.

As always, thanks for reading~
delinda@athlebrities.com