Monthly Archives: September 2011

Darfur United Soccer Team: A Refugee Soccer Team’s Journey: On and Off the Field

Darfur United Soccer Team: A Refugee Soccer Team’s Journey: On and Off the Field

WHO? Darfur United.
WHAT? Build a Darfur soccer team of the best players from the twelve refugee camps in eastern Chad to participate in an international tournament.
WHY? Share the story of building the team to raise awareness and educate people about the situation in Darfur and the refugee experience. Facilitate ongoing support for education, sports, nutrition, and other services through relationships between refugees and global citizens.

In Darfur, Soccer is THE Game from iActivism on Vimeo.

Darfur United – This project will be a “living documentary,” as we share every step of the journey. The story will be told, day to day, through the Darfur United website, Facebook, Twitter, and on Indiegogo. We will then produce a documentary film of the entire journey.

Darfur United – a soccer team composed of the best players from the Darfuri refugee camps in eastern Chad – will give Darfuris an opportunity they have never had: a chance to cheer for their own. Check it all out at i-ACT: A global team dedicated to putting a face on the numbers of dead, dying, and displaced while creating mutually enriching relationships between those in danger and those willing and able to act, fostering a new culture of participation…the i-ACT Team has been traveling to the Darfuri refugee camps in Eastern Chad since 2005.

Please check em out if you love soccer, kids, hope and inspiration…for a small donation you can help build the real “dream team.”

As always, thanks for reading~

Celebrities Play Xbox Live for Charity

Celebrities Play Xbox Live for Charity

Celebrities are coming out in huge numbers to support ‘The Gaming and Giving for Good (G3) Xbox LIVE Charity Event’ to benefit Extra Life, a Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals fundraiser.

Beginning yesterday, celebrities began stopping by the ‘G3 Miracle Lounge’ in West Hollywood to show their support for G3 by playing Xbox LIVE.


Celebrities committed to the G3 charity event include: Eva Longoria, Manish Dayal (90210), Olympian Carol Rodriguez, Rob Dyrdek, Ryan Phillippe, Anthony Anderson, Vanessa Simmons, Stephen Bishop, Chad George (pictured above), and Ephraim Salaam among others.

Granted, I am totally out of the “gaming” loop, but from what I understand, you can sign up to play Xbox live against celebrities while raising money and awareness for the Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Check it HERE.

As always, thanks for reading~

Is Jamie Gold Misunderstood?


I feel I’m doing as much as I can possibly do to try to make the world a better place.” `Jamie Gold

Some of you may recognize the name, Jamie Gold, as the 2006 World Series of Poker Champion. His first place prize of $12M was the largest in the history of the ‘sport’ and didn’t come without controversy.  Controversy that led this curious writer to follow the career of the ‘Poker Philanthropist’, on and off the felt, for the last few years.

Is Jamie Gold misunderstood? Greatly so. Many have been asking where the poker champ has been for the last few years, and from my perspective, he’s been lying low on the pro-poker circuit for a very good reason. Humanity.

Gold was kind enough to allow me to pick his brain about philanthropy, poker, stereotypes, humanity, the misconception surrounding the gambling industry and his love for helping others. (The full interview will be posted on Look to the Stars later this week and linked up HERE.)

Gold recently attended the ‘Get Lucky for Lupus’ celebrity Poker event in Los Angeles where he admittedly was a bit star-struck when meeting rocker Slash.

“I’ve always wanted to meet him and I couldn’t believe he said he was a fan of mine,” Gold told me, “I don’t think about myself other than how I am, so I don’t see myself in that way (as a celebrity). When you respect and admire someone so much and they’re interested in meeting you, it’s incredible.”

The incredible thing is, while most poker players don’t see themselves as celebrities, most celebrities are the ones star-stuck when meeting pro-poker players. As they should, Gold has co-hosted, emceed or played in over 100 celebrity charity poker events which have raised over $170M.

And he’s just getting started. In addition to his non-stop support towards making this world a better place, he has just launched his own free legal on-line poker site-(FreeGoldPoker) with a twist. Using a platform created by Zen Entertainment,  donations are garnered through profits.

“What we are in the process of doing now with my free poker site, we are pledging ten-percent of all of our profits to charity. This new aspect of site allows us to be more productive for the causes that need my help the most and those that are more personal to me.”

One personal pet project Gold had been heavily involved with is the Global Creative Forum, an involvement that aims to help effect positive change in the world.

“We can all raise as much money as possible but to effect real change, I think its important to do what we’re doing,” he said about the Global Creative Forum, “Which is taking this large number of superstars, people who can really get something done when there’s a problem in the world and then bring together some of the smartest people, the best scientists, and put them together with the wealthiest people we know and really try to create and effect change in the world.”

In fact, Gold was the first to successfully host a fundraiser for the Global Creative Forum- the Global Creative Forum Fundraiser for United Nations-which marked the first time ever that the UN Nations has allowed a poker event to be associated with the organization.

“What I find beautiful and wonderful about the poker community, that doesn’t exist in all communities-it would be great if it did but it doesn’t-you can be the wealthiest person in the world, a homeless person, any race or religion and you can all be equals and sit down at a poker table together. There is no where else where you could have that kind of group working together like that.”

A partial list of what Gold has been up to for the last few years (as emcee, host or participant): Big Slick Charity Tournament; Dallas Superbowl Charity Event for Troops; The Global Creative Forum Fundraiser for United Nations; 4th Annual Monte Carlo Night; Foundation Charity Event at Poker in the Park; Sunflower Children Charity Poker Night at Cannes Film Festival; Children Uniting Nations: Oscars After-Party; Ante Up For Africa; Michael J. Fox Foundation Celebrity Poker Tournament; Montel Williams MS Foundation Pro-Celebrity Poker Challenge; Operation: All-In, Randy Couture Charity Poker Tournament; and many others.

Gold spoke at length about his professional poker career, when and if he will return to the tour, what inspires him and what was important about the 2006 WSOP win, all to be posted in my interview on Look to the Stars.

Cue music: Jamie Gold’s perceived theme song when asked, and of course my chosen theme song for him.

As always, thanks for reading~

Jamie Foxx and Friends Raise $500k for Charity

Jamie Foxx and Friends Raise $500k for Charity

Jamie Foxx held his ‘3 on 3’ Celebrity Basketball event over the weekend at his private residence in Los Angeles to benefit the Jamie Foxx Foundation and the Pacific Lodge Youth Services.

The NBA’s Shawn Marion aka the Matrix tweeted post-event: “All I gotta say is everybody from Denzel W, to Mario Van P, and Tyrese and the list goes on, was at the charity event, J.Foxx raise 500k.”

Now, I can not confirm how much money was raised during Fox’ event, but I do know that the 3 on 3 Charity Hoops Tournament is not something I plan on missing next year.

Jamie Foxx's house pre-party

What I can confirm about the invite-only event is that Jamie Foxx brought together a long list of his celebrity and NBA friends to participate in two 3 on 3 basketball tournaments, one featuring celebrities vs. celebrities and one featuring NBA players vs NBA players with each NBA team also having a celebrity coach.

Cannot confirm but do know that Jordin Sparks was invited to sing the National Anthem. Other celebrities and athletes who were invited include: Will Smith, Snoop Dogg, Penny Marshall, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Cruise, Matt Barnes, Jalen Rose, Rasual Butler, Lamar Odom, Derrick Rose, Kevin Hart, Blake Griffin, Kevin Durant, Cuttino Mobley and many others.

All proceeds benefited the Jamie Foxx Foundation whose purpose is to facilitate literacy and adoption programs as well as exposure to music, comedy, and the arts for children of all ages and the Pacific Lodge Youth Services which creates a supportive and therapeutic residential environment for adolescent boys (ages 13-18) in the juvenile justice system who are experiencing psychological, emotional and behavioral problems.

As always, thanks for reading~

Celebrities and Athletes Support ‘Football for Good’

Celebrities and Athletes Support ‘Football for Good’

Football season is here and with it comes a great ménage a trios: Adrian Peterson, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher.

The triage of do-gooders have partnered up via their foundations to raise awareness and bring an end to child sex trafficking.

NFL stud Adrian Peterson and his ‘All Day Foundation’ along with Demi and Ashton’s DNA Foundation, have officially kicked off their ‘Football for Give’ initiative on Crowdrise, with a ‘goal to make each touchdown count for more than just points.’

From the site:

    Through Football for Good, players and fans are coming together to raise funds and awareness to bring an end to child sex trafficking and support programs that enrich the lives of children around the country. It is estimated that more than 2 million children are victims of sex trafficking around the world. What many people don’t know is that this doesn’t just happen overseas, it happens here at home as well. More than 200,000 American children are at risk of being trafficked. Football for Good works to raise awareness about this issue and gather support for programs that address the needs of some of our country’s most vulnerable youth.

Football for Good: Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) will donate $5,000 per touchdown, Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore will match his contribution…Victor Ortiz will donate $2500 per Peterson touchdown…other NFL athletes involved with Football for Good include Michael Huff (Oakland Raiders); Roy Williams (Chicago Bears); Jermaine Gresham (Cincinnati Bengals); Dallas Clark (Indianapolis Colts); DeSean Jackson (Philadelphia Eagles)

Join the cause and donate to make a difference in the lives of children…and win great prizes along the way including a trip to a Vikings game, and a meet & greet with Adrian…join the team and raise more than $1000 before Nov. 1 and you’ll be entered to win a three-night stay at W residences in Miami. And, everyone on your team who contributes $20 or more will have a chance to win the trip to a Vikings game, VIP tickets and a meet & greet with Adrian.

Video below: Actors Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher participate in the launch the UN Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons at UN Headquarters in New York November 2010.

As always, thanks for reading~

Stop Quoting The FAKE Bill Walton

Stop Quoting The FAKE Bill Walton

At last weekends Liquid Nation Ball, I once again had the pleasure of meeting one of the most frequently quoted men in NBA history, Lakers great Bill Walton.

But what’s been eating me up is the fact that people are quoting the wrong Bill Walton. And by people I mean ‘main-stream’ media. Writers or journalists who are earning a hefty paycheck for covering things like who Sarah Palin may have gotten nasty with in the NBA and what people are saying about it.

To wit, this snippet from the NY Daily News:

    NBA Hall-of-Famer Bill Walton took a shot at the notoriously offense-minded Rice. “Sarah Palin had an intimate relationship with Glen Rice in the 80s,” he tweeted. “Rice tried to resist but he was never one to stop anyone from scoring.”

Soon after the real-fake Walton quote appeared in the NY Daily News, Bills wife Lori tweeted: ‘Does Larry McShane, New York Daily News not know or not care that he quoted the fake Bill Walton in is article about Sarah Palin?’

A FAKE Walton Tweet

I asked the lovely Mrs. Walton about the real-fake Bill Walton quotes which are rampant on the Internet thanks to the fake Walton on Twitter. “He’s actually funnier than Bill, “she laughed. (The real-fake Bill has 49,000 followers, while the REAL Walton has about 5,000).

For what’s it worth, I asked the real Bill Walton about current players, the state of the league and where he sees the NBA in five years:

“Players today are better than ever, they’re bigger, they’re stronger, they’re faster-everything about it is better and we are looking forward to the resumption of the NBA,” said the real Bill Walton.

On expanding the NBA’s Global reach? “Players will be better, coaches will be better. With people like David Stern and Phil Jackson and Kobe Bryant and Lebron James and Dirk Nowitzki taking the game to its highest level.”

Even IF the fake-Bill is funnier than the real-Bill, I find it crazy that paid-writers are NOT checking their sources while bloggers like myself bend over backwards to ensure what is printed is real…and for no pay. You’ve all heard the phrase lately ‘Apes Will Rise’?, well get ready people, because with rouge-writers continually not covering their bases I assure you, Bloggers Will Rise.

Many thanks to the real Bill Walton and Lori…who are never short of awesome.

As of this morning, the real Bill has been asked by Jamie Foxx to participate in his ‘3 on 3 Charity Basketball Tournament’ on Sat Sept 24 in LA. (Look for post-event details next week) Best to the real Bill, who-although recovering from back surgery-still seems to always make time to give back.

As always, thanks for reading~

Magic Johnson is Hiring

Magic Johnson is Hiring

Lakers legend Earvin “Magic” Johnson played 13-years in the NBA, won five national championships with the Los Angeles Lakers, 3 MVP awards, appeared in 12 NBA All-Star games, took home a gold medal at the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona, has been induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame, and is currently Vice President and part owner of the Los Angeles Lakers.

And he’s also helping people find jobs.  That’s right, Magic is also Chief Executive Officer of Magic Workforce Solutions, a first-rate staffing services company committed to building a diverse workforce.

Admittedly, I was thrown off at first…Magic Johnson advertising available jobs? But after much thought, it makes sense. As part of Magic Johnson Enterprises, Magic Workforce Solutions supports the umbrella organizations commitment to providing products and services that particularly focus on ethnically diverse urban communities…the long-arm of his business portfolio includes (among others): Urban Coffee Opportunities (making MJE the only joint venture partner of Starbucks); Canyon-Johnson Urban Fund; over 30 Burger King restaurants; a dozen 24 Hour Fitness Magic Sport centers; a T.G.I. Fridays restaurant; a long-standing partnership with AMC Magic Johnson Theatres; partnerships with Aetna and Best Buy and has entered into a multi-year relationship with retail giant Best Buy to enhance urban retail growth strategies and implement diversity outreach with multicultural consumers.

So, for those looking for a job or companies looking for good people, check out Magic Johnson’s staffing service. NBA players need not apply.

As always, thanks for reading~

Founded in 1991, the Magic Johnson Foundation (MJF) has become one of the most recognizable charitable organizations around the world, awarding more than $1.1 million to community based organizations that focus on HIV/AIDS education and prevention.

50 Cent to Feed the World

50 Cent to Feed the World

 Rapper 50 Cent has been busy promoting his new Street King energy shot…which I overlooked for a minute until I realized he’s not just doing it to make money, he’s doing it to feed the world.

Via a collaboration with the United Nations World Food Program, 50 aims to provide 1 billion meals over the next five years. With every shot purchased, a meal is provided for a child in need. He even took his activism to the United Nations this week and met-up with Deepak Chopra where the two solidified efforts to change the world.



Granted, when I think of ‘feed the world’ I visualize a motley crew of 80’s favorites who attempted the same fete…sad to think we are still trying to feed the world but uplifting to know humanity still cares…perhaps 50Cent will remake the hit for Christmas this year?

From the STREET KING WEBSITE: As both a massively successful artist and a survivor of a harsh childhood, 50 Cent found himself compelled to use his success to help others in need. A trip to the World Cup in Africa opened his eyes to rampant poverty and hunger across the continent. Back home, 50 and his trusted manager Chris Lighty began brainstorming ways he could help kids born with the odds stacked against them. They immediately thought of Chris Clarke, the entrepreneur behind Pure Growth Partners. PGP’s revolutionary mission is to find and create sustainable brands using a “one for one” give-back component to donate directly to the world’s most effective charities. Together, they conceived a product that perfectly fit 50′s driven persona and their mutual desire to make a difference: the Street King energy shot. Street King provides focus and energy, two qualities 50 credits with being crucial to his success. And every single bottle of Street King purchased will furnish a meal for an impoverished child.

*UPDATE:  San Diego Charger Shaun Phillips looks like he’s on-board to support 50′s quest to feed the world.  Phillips tweeted to 50′s management:  “@50cent let me know how I can help with feeding the kids I’m looking for some new charity work.”

The response from @DebbyCoda: “@ShaunPhillips95 its moving quick, the UN are fully behind it and he’s already fed 2.5M kids before the launch. 100% legit. He feels that if he does this other big companies will follow and do the same with their brands. If your interested in being involved holla.”

As always, thanks for reading~

Surfers for Cetaceans: ‘Minds in The Water’

Surfers for Cetaceans: ‘Minds in The Water’

If ocean minded people are to pass on a sustainable culture then they must become responsible stewards of their coastal environment
~ Dave Rastovich

    Cetaceans: Any of various aquatic, chiefly marine mammals of the order Cetacea, including whales, dolphins, and porpoises, characterized by a nearly hairless body, anterior limbs modified into broad flippers, vestigial posterior limbs, a flat notched tail and an IQ higher than most Mensa members.

An amazing organization called ‘Surfers for Cetaceans’ has been making waves towards saving our sea-life and will be in the house for a kick-off screening of their documentary ‘Minds in The Water’ on Sept 29in Santa Barbara. (More dates here)

The documentary follows super-hot professional Free Surfer Dave ‘Rasta’ Rastovich and friends, including Hollywood’s Isabel Lucas and Hayden Panettiere, as they embark on an international mission to save dolphins, whales and the oceans we all share. Through a five-year adventure – from Australia to the Galapagos, Chile, California, Alaska and Japan – we see one surfer’s transformation from observer to activist in his desire to defend the seas and its inhabitants. (Note, if the above trailer didn’t tug at your heartstrings and inspire you in some way, then you are on the wrong blog.)

The film, which was critically received at its original North American premire in August, was backed by the Humane Society of the United States as the Festival’s Official Opening Night NGO Partner.

“The surfing community has such deep roots in Southern California,” said the films director Justin Krumb, “and so many people here care about the issues the oceans face, that we feel it’s an amazing opportunity to showcase what a few motivated people can accomplish with passionate determination.”

Rastovich hopes the film will inspire surfers around the world to take a deeper look at how they can do their part “to resolve human-created problems that exist in our most cherished aspect of life, namely the ocean.”

Considered me moved Rasta Dave.

As always, thanks for reading~

Surfers for Cetaceans (S4C) is committed to activating ocean-minded people everywhere to support the conservation and protection of whales, dolphins and their habitat. It’s through compassion, awareness, education, media and dedicated interventions that we operate. We seek to be a human voice for and defender of cetaceans worldwide. Co-founded in 2004 by Australian surfers/activists Dave Rastovich and Howie Cooke, S4C has grown worldwide, with offices in California and a grass roots following in Europe and South America.

Surfers, Celebrities and Liquid Nation Ball 8

Surfers, Celebrities and Liquid Nation Ball 8

SIMA’s 8th Annual Liquid Nation Ball went down last night in La Jolla where hundreds of surf industry peeps gathered to honor ‘Keep a Breast’ co-founder and CEO Shaney jo Darden as the 2011 SIMA Humanitarian of the Year.

The event, held at the ocean front home of Fernando Aguerre, is the official fundraiser for the SIMA Humanitarian Fund which benefits 13-surf related humanitarian organizations.

Aguerre,  one of the most colorful, passionate and dedicated humanitarians I know, graciously hosts the yearly event at his home which raises hundreds of thousands of dollars for SIMA beneficiaries including  ‘Keep a Breast’, ‘Surfer’s Healing’, ‘Life Rolls On’, the ‘Jimmy Miller Foundation’, and a new Athlebrity favorite ‘AccesSurf.’

For those out of the ‘Keep a Breast’ loop, Shaney jo is a powerhouse, coining the phrase ‘I Love Boobies’ while making serious strides towards raising awareness among the next generation about breast cancer and putting ‘faces’ to the cause via their ‘Image If’ there were no cancer campaign.

“The thing I love most about it is we do it all over the world,” Darden told me during the event. “You see this cross-section of people, mostly young people, all nationalities, all different social, economical backgrounds, and you really see their face and their one little sentence of how they’ve been impacted, it’s so powerful.”

Indeed. TV host Sal Masekela, who is a staple among the surf ‘tribe’ described his good friend Shaney as an angel. And I could see why…she was dismayed that people were there to recognize her. “It’s not just about me, that what’s weird. I’m getting this award but it’s a collective thing with thousands of people who’ve been supporting my dream and vision. My team and brands work so hard, it’s definitely a collective thing.”

This was my third year attending LNB, and I must say, it was the first time I’ve seen an award recipient approach each person in attendance to say hello and thank them. Shaney jo is, simply put, a unique and beneficial addition to the world.

As mentioned, AccesSurf was in the house. Based in Oahu and backed by such celebrities as Jimmy Buffet, the organization assists people with disabilities explore their own level of performance in the ocean environment.  CEO Mark Marble, along with co-founder Richard Julian and an AccesSurf athlete, spoke to me about the program and its upcoming goals, “We are actually training athletes now to go into competition and hope to start entering mainstream able-bodied competitions so our challenged athletes can compete in their own heats against their own level of ‘ability’, not disability, and they can showcase what they’re doing.”

I daresay those who partake in AccesSurf’s adaptive surf programs could most likely out-surf most of their competitors-able bodied or not. Mad props to this amazing organization for giving back to the people of Oahu and enriching lives in ways you can’t even imagine.  Check em HERE and look for much more about them in future posts.

Many thanks to everyone at SIMA, Fernando Aguerre, Sal Masekela, Bill and Lori Walton and Shaney jo Daren for an inspirational and amazing gathering of the tribe.

Also thanks to Michael Realpeople for his wicked photog skills and Miss Match clothing in San Diego for proving my wardrobe.

As always, thanks for reading~

SIMA: Established in 2006, the SIMA Humanitarian Fund was created to serve as the humanitarian arm of the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association by raising money from the public through fundraisers and solicitations. The SIMA Humanitarian Fund uses these funds to promote and support surf or boardsport related social and humanitarian non-profit organizations whose efforts are focused on improving the quality of life, health, and/or welfare of people.

AccesSurf empowers people with disabilities by providing adaptive surfing instruction and therapeutic educational programs on water recreation and enriches lives by assisting families to access the beach and ocean in a barrier free environment.

The Keep A Breast Foundation™ is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization. Our mission is to help eradicate breast cancer by exposing young people to methods of prevention, early detection and support. Through art events, educational programs and fundraising efforts, we seek to increase breast cancer awareness among young people so they are better equipped to make choices and develop habits that will benefit their long-term health and well-being.

Athletes Go To Washington to Protect Our Winters

Athletes Go To Washington to Protect Our Winters

The issue? Climate Change.
The target? The United State Senate, United States House of Representatives
The players? Gretchen Bleiler, Jeremy Jones, Chris Davenport, Auden Schendler and more than 500 others.

Great activism coming from the ’$66 billion snow-sports’ industry this week, namely the pro-athletes listed above-Gretchen Bleiler, Jeremy Jones, Chris Davenport, Auden Schendler-who participated in a press-conference on Capital Hill in efforts to Protect Our Winters.

    Protect Our Winters is the environmental center point of the winter sports community, united towards a common goal of reducing climate change’s effects on our sport and local mountain communities. We believe that to really effect things, consumer behavior needs to change and that the power of an actively participating and united community can have a direct influence on climate change, now and for generations behind us.

From the Protect Our Winters website:

    Amid efforts in Congress to block the Environmental Protection Agency from reducing carbon dioxide pollution, members of Protect Our Winters, an environmental advocacy group from the winter sports community, warned that climate change would significantly reduce business for hotels, resorts, shops and thousands of other small businesses from Maine to California.
    “Winter, as we know it, is on borrowed time,” said more than 500 winter sport athletes, advocates and businesses in a letter sent to the House and Senate today.  “In our work, we’ve witnessed first-hand climate impacts on our mountains, from reduced snowpack and melting glaciers to dying alpine forests and shorter winter seasons. There is no debate. Climate change is already happening and we’re seeing it every day.”
    Protect Our Winters Founder Jeremy Jones, an eight-time Big Mountain Snowboarder of the Year; Gretchen Bleiler, 2006 Olympic silver medalist in snowboarding and four-time X Games gold medalist;  Chris Davenport, World Champion Freeskier; Auden Schendler, vice president, sustainability, Aspen Skiing Company; and Antonia Herzog, assistant director, Natural Resources Defense Council Climate and Clean Air Program, delivered the sign-on letter to lawmakers’ offices.
    “Republicans have wrongly labeled EPA safeguards as ‘job destroying’ when in fact making sure the agency has the power it needs to curtail carbon pollution can actually save jobs,”  Herzog said. “We know climate change is happening and Congress needs to remember that billions of dollars and more than 600,000 jobs depend on snow to be there every year.”
    Lawmakers who want to protect the country’s air and water, and care deeply about the snow sports industry, encouraged the winter athletes to continue making their voices heard.

To read the full article and a copy of the letter sent to lawmakers, please visit

As always, thanks for reading~

GQ Better Man Better World Search

GQ Better Man Better World Search

GQ is asking us to cast votes in the ‘Better Man, Better World’ search contest they have going on. They’ve nominated several mighty-mighty-fine men who ‘strive every day for the betterment of society through charitable work, volunteerism, and community involvement.’ And for me, it was a no-brainer who to vote for:

    Laren Poole, Co-Founder & Filmmaker, Invisible Children, San Diego, CA

Granted, I live in San Diego and tend to be biased, but Poole and his army of ‘Invisible Children’ have made startling progress towards-well-eradicating the use of African kids as LRA soldiers.

    Earlier this year, in 17 cities across the U.S.,  supporters of Invisible Children participated in 25 hours of silence to speak out without speaking against the 25 years of war in East Africa. The money raised by the participants of 25 is allowing Invisible Children to begin building the region’s first rehabilitation center for child soldiers. It’s also creating radio towers that will help protect remote villages from LRA violence.

My apologies to the other GQ ‘Better Man’ contestants, admittedly, I did not read your profiles. No need. Poole’s movement started on a whim and gave voice to a generation of kids that will have a lasting impact on a global scale. Invisible Children has a long list of celebrity supporters, a plethora of initiatives to get youth involved and has literally changed the world.  INVISIBLE CHILDREN.

As always, thanks for reading~

Ian Somerhalder Looking for Teammates

Ian Somerhalder Looking for Teammates

While searching for a nice feel-good sports related story today, I came across some info on Paul Pierce fundraising via Crowdrise, but then soon found myself sidetracked by something better, Ian Somerhalder and his blue-eyes.

Best known for his role as Boone on ‘Lost’ and as Damon on The Vampire Diaries’ the actor apparently has a soft spot for sea turtles and the environment and has started his own movement on Crowdrise with the goal of raising funds to help develop youth based educational and support programs.

Additionally, on his Foundations website this week, Somerhalder issued a press release asking President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to deny the Keystone XL Pipeline Permit.

    The pipeline project, which would transport extremely toxic tar sands oil nearly 2,000 miles from Alberta, Canada through the middle of the U.S. heartland to the Texas Gulf coast for refining, has drawn criticism from environmental communities in both the US and Canada.
    “The proposed Keystone XL pipeline puts fish and wildlife at risk, threatens the health and livelihood of countless American farmers, and perpetuates the United States’ unhealthy dependence on oil,” says ISF founder Ian Somerhalder. “On behalf of myself, the IS Foundation, and the 22,000 people who have already signed our Stop the Tar Sands Oil Keystone XL Pipeline Petition, we strongly urge the Obama Administration to follow through on its promise to ‘end the age of oil in our time.’”

Granted, Somerhalder is not the only celebrity, athlete or activist to voice strong opposition to this ridiculous pipeline project but he got my attention after posting raw footage of NBA players scrambling during the lock-out

Without a doubt, one of the best celebrity foundation websites I’ve come across.

IS Foundation (ISF): Founded by actor and activist Ian Somerhalder, the IS Foundation aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures. ISF believes that the global problems and challenges we are facing are infinitely interconnected and co-dependent, therefore our solutions and actions must be enacted in an interconnected manner.

As always, thanks for reading~

WNBA Star Lisa Leslie Stands For Empowerment

WNBA Star Lisa Leslie Stands For Empowerment

In 2011, Lisa Leslie was voted by fans as one of the Top 15 players in WNBA history, and today, she is reaching out to her fan base via a series of videos that aim to help women empower themselves and reach their full potential.

Leslie is a three-time WNBA MVP; four-time Olympic gold medal winner; appeared in 7 WNBA All-Star games and 2 WNBA championships over the course of eleven seasons with the Los Angeles Sparks (she is now a co-owner) and was the first women to dunk in the WNBA. So I kinda think she might know what she’s talking about.

Check out Leslie’s site for a series of videos in which Leslie shares her ‘secrets’ to success and teaches you how to ‘define your edge.’ She’s even giving away WNBA Finals tickets via a contest where fans are asked to tell Leslie ‘What I Stand For.’

    You could win 4 tickets to a 2011 WNBA Finals game with Lisa Leslie just for posting your “What I Stand For” video following this outline. The Contest begins on September 14th, 2011 at 6:00:00 A.M. Pacific Time (PT). The Contest ends on September 30th, 2011 at 11:59:59 P.M. Pacific Time (PT).
    HOW TO ENTER: 1. Record a video of yourself sharing what you stand for following the outline taught by Lisa Leslie in her video on the Contest Website. Example: “Dear Lisa Leslie, My name is Jennifer. I’m 19 years old. The charity I support is____________ (insert your charity, service or cause). The reason I support this charity is because my family was homeless at one point growing up and not having a home was the worst experience of my life. I don’t want another kid to have to go through that. The action of service I’m committed to taking is to volunteer this year to help build one new home for a family. That’s what I stand for.”
    2. Post your video by clicking here and submitting your entry.
    3. Come back here and post the following words in the comments box below: “Lisa, I uploaded my “what I stand for” video.”

Props to Leslie for getting her fans involved with this creative initiative-we can’t wait to see the final videos.

As always, thanks for reading~

Nike MAG Shoe Benefits Michael J. Fox Foundation

Nike MAG Shoe Benefits Michael J. Fox Foundation

Cristiano Ronaldo is doing his part as a Nike-endorsed stud…the international soccer sensation asked his fans to “Check out this charity fundraiser presented by Nike,” so we did.

    On each of the next 10 days 150 pairs of Nike MAG shoes will be listed in the 24-hour eBay auctions. 100% of all sales proceeds go to benefit the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s research.

Famed Nike designer Tinker Hatfield and footwear innovator Tiffany Beers have returned to recreate the footwear legend. Based on an original movie prop used in Back to the Future Part II, the 2011 Nike MAG shoes have been rebuilt to the exact specifications of the originals. It features an electroluminescent outsole, space-age materials and a rechargeable internal battery good for 3,000 hours. And while they are not recommended for playing sports, these highly limited shoes will very likely command attention wherever they are worn…Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google, and his wife Anne Wojcicki, co-founder of personal genetics company 23andMe, are matching up to $50 million in funds raised by the Foundation between now and December 31, 2012. Net proceeds from the 2011 MAG auctions on eBay will be matched.

The 2011 Nike MAG: Back For The Future – Kevin Durant, Tinker Hatfield & Doc Brown Commercial can be viewed HERE.

More info: BACK 4 THE FUTURE OR The 2011 Nike MAG Back For The Future EBAY AUCTION HERE

As always, thanks for reading~

Bethany Hamilton & Friends Changing the World?

Bethany Hamilton & Friends Changing the World?

 ‘Life can be beautiful for each of us if we look for that beauty. Life is also different for each of us; and we need to realize that. I think that it’s important to find the beauty in yourself and the people around you, and to be thankful for what you do have!’ –Bethany Hamilton


Athlebrities has a new favorite athlete-activist…actually, she’s not new to us but after following her career for a while, we can’t help but think ‘Soul Surfer’ Bethany Hamilton and friends can really change the world.

Hamilton is a 21-year-old surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack eight years ago. Most people would have given up, but Bethany returned to professional surfing with her story documented in the movie ‘Soul Surfer.’  Bethany has been using her fame to help others through her ‘Friends of Bethany’ Foundation and was nominated for a Do Something Award earlier this year. (Great interview with her HERE)

And this morning, Hamilton, along with actress Anna-Sophia Robb, were in New York as part of the BGC 7th Annual Global Charity Day. Hamilton’s Foundation (FOBH) is one of the recipients this year event that sees BGC’s offices around the world help raise over $10 million for charity.

”My goal in life is to serve and please God and do well in what he has called me to do, which is surf for Him and share His love and hope every chance I get,” said Hamilton via her Facebook page, “Currently my focus is competing in the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Star series events. I travel the world surfing these events and try each year to qualify for the ASP Women’s World Tour!”

Bethany supports a number of non-profits, and we here at Athlebrities are so proud to add her to our growing list of young do-gooders who prefer to inspire and give-back rather than tweet about pop-gossip.

As always, thanks for reading~

Andy Roddick Gives Good Tweet

Andy Roddick Gives Good Tweet

While researching the 6th Annual Andy Roddick Foundation Charity Gala (September 21, 2011 to include cocktails, dinner, a live auction and an intimate performance by Sir Elton John) I was sucked into Roddicks Twitter Feed after I noticed him retweeting like it was his last day on earth. It started with one ‘update’ he sent to his 719,000+ fans around the world:

“We will never forget…… I am a proud American.”

And after that, Roddick literally retweeted hundreds and hundreds of some of the messages he received in response from fans around the world…and it made for a beautiful read.  Granted, many athletes were sharing 9/11 messages-but Andy seemed to be the only one retweeting and not watching football (thank gawd).

For those not sucked into the Twitter void yet, here’s a small sampling of the messages Roddick received and retweeted for all to read:

Your friends in Canada stand with you today to join in remembering heroes of 9/11 and thanking and blessing the USA.

 I’m from Brazil and I stand with you and your country. God bless the USA. We will never forget.

 Many in Honduras, as I have, either worked or studied in the US, we are all together with every American on this anniversary!

 Japan is with you Andy, we will never forget.

 Hi Andy. Its 11pm here in the Philippines but I’m still watching CNN to remember 9/11. Filipinos are with you.

 We here from Kuwait take the hats off to all Americans, what a great nation!

 Condolences from Pakistan for all the victims of the horrendous tragedy of 9/11.10 years down the line – we will never forget!

 Horrible tragedy will never be forgotten all over the world… I am Ukrainian. I don’t want this to happen again.

I am from Venezuela and together we stand I am proud to live in the United States We Remember.

 Hi Andy. I’m here at Saudi Arabia, watching Al Jazeera to commemorates 9/11 attack. What a great nation you have.

 Fuerza from Peru. What happened 10 years ago is difficult to forget. I’m sure all the world is with America today #9.11Tweet

 Thought are for 9.11 from South Africa

 From Chile our thoughts are for all the American people this 9/11

 Prayers from Scotland. The solidarity of your nation is so admirable on 9/11. Difficult times. Stay strong all x

The messages to Roddick keep coming from the Netherlands, Scotland, Columbia, Uruguay, Indonesia, Israel, Dubai, Ecuador, Czech Republic, Vietnam, India and Algeria…essentially giving me reason to believe that twitter really isn’t such a bad thing after all.

As always, thanks for reading~

In 2001 Andy began the Andy Roddick Foundation, a charity dedicated to “Serving Children Today for Tomorrow.” The goal of the Andy Roddick Foundation is to improve the quality of life and enhance educational and economic opportunities for all children based on the principles of respect for family, education and morality. To date the foundation has raised more than $10 million.

American Muslim Athletes Need Ambassador of Faith

American Muslim Athletes Need Ambassador of Faith

Here at Athlebrities, we love to share with our readers all the contributions athletes and sports bring to society. We understand and agree that the main purpose of today is to remember and pay tribute to the innocent victims in the towers, the flight crews and passengers on all four planes that day, the workers at the Pentagon, every single First Responder on scene and our Soldiers like Arizona’s Pat Tillman, who chose to do something after the fact. One thing that has changed post 9/11 that rarely gets addressed is how reluctant Muslim-American athletes are to act as the bridge between Muslims and non – Muslims.

American-Muslim athletes are more prevalent in U.S. sports than ever. Very few of them are willing to work as a mediator between the Muslim and non-Muslim world.  These athletes have the ability to reach and change people in a way that truly is an art. It’s a form of self- expression through competition and perseverance to do the best, and be the best, that can unite people from all cuts of the cloth.  When athletes break down these walls, it allows knowledge to reach a segment of people who for unknown reasons choose to be deeply alienated from mainstream politics. NFL’s Hamza Abdullah, a safety for the Cleveland Browns, says his teammates always ask him about being Muslim but no schools, churches, or other institutions have invited him to speak.

Muhammad Ali, Mike Tyson, Kareem Abdul- Jabbar and Hakeem Olajuwon  were ambassadors of the faith during their time. The next generation of ambassadors to call for a better understanding between the Islamic and Western World are rarely heard from. In the past, politics and athletes have never been a good mix. Athletes today, who try to bridge this gap, end up spending most of their time in interviews being persecuted or desperately back peddling to avoid being divisive.  In times of war, the government tends to grow in power and prestige as freedoms shrink.  The most endangered rights end up being those of ethnic and religious minorities who are targeted, not due to individual suspicion, but due to stereotypes.

Since not all Muslims are terrorist, Athlebrities wanted to highlight a few Muslim-American’s who also happen to be athletes. Hamza Abdul’s younger brother Husain Abdullah, plays safety on the Minnesota Viking’s, also where Ahmad Rashād played. Retired Rasheed Wallace, and Shaquile O’Neal were both part of the NBA legacy known as the Boston Celtics. Comedy Central and staying up late have been made better by Dave Chapelle.  Mos Def, Nas, Lupe Fiasco and Snoop Dogg, all of who played key roles in the rap and hip-hop industry. David Bowie’s stunning wife Iman, turned the modeling world upside down when she entered the scene in the 70’s.  CNN anchor, Fareed Zakaria, is also head of Newsweek International and a contributing writer for The Wall Street Journal, Time and the New York Times.  He was also named one of the 100 leading public intellectuals in the world by Foreign Policy and Prospect Magazines.

Without a doubt, this day is dedicated to every single person who lost their life on September 11, 2001 and to their families who have managed to live in this world and keep their faith.

“Faith is trust, confidence and reliance in what we have reason to believe is true” – J.P. Moreland

As always, thanks for reading~

Bravest v Finest Surf Challenge

Bravest v Finest Surf Challenge

The 2011 Quiksilver Pro New York Surf Competition just wrapped up with Owen Wright defeating Kelly Slater in the final heat. Wright robbed the ten-time World Champ of number 11 and took home the $300k purse in the first ever world championship surfing event in New York.

“Its been an amazing week…we almost didn’t have the contest last week and then it all came together, I’m stoked for Owen, congratulations, first win,” said Slater when accepting his $100k second place purse, “I think we might have a little surfing out here tomorrow with firefighters versus the policeman…my mom was a firefighter so I might be on their side.”

Huh? Who? What? Where? After a little research into Slater’s ‘charity-drop-mention’ I found some information regarding the ‘Bravest vs. Finest Surf Competition’ being held September 10 in NY.

Apparently, members of the NY Police department will battle against members of the NY Fire department to see who are the better surfers. Quiksilver has held a few events in New York in efforts to give back, for example on September 3, the Waterman Wall St. Challenge pitted Wall Street companies against each other to find the best surfers on Wall Street in an invite-only challenge…also, on September 11, there will be a Benefit Concert and a Memorial Paddle Out. More info is apparently available on the QuiksilverPro website, although I can NOT find enough info to satisfy my ‘need-to-know-everything-charity-related-about-surfers’ mind.

Maybe…just maybe…the event is part of the World Police and Fire Games?

    The New York City Police Department, The New York City Fire Department, The Port Authority Police Department, and the New York City Department of Corrections are inviting you to experience our City and participate in the most memorable World Police & Fire Games ever. Spread throughout the five Boroughs, the city that never sleeps will be the setting for the world’s largest multi-sport, Olympic style event. As many as 20,000 full time firefighters and law enforcement personnel from 70 different countries are expected to compete in 65 sports.

Great story here as well about firefighters and police surfing at 2011 World Police and Fire Games which wrapped up on September 5.

As always, thanks for reading~

NFL Players Help African Children Hear

NFL Players Help African Children Hear

In honor of football starting tonight, I thought I’d give love to some mighty-mighty fine NFL guys…In 2009, ‘Pros For Africa’ was co-founded by current and past NFL peeps Reggie Whitten, Bill Horn, Jay Mitchel, Jared Mitchel, Adrian Peterson, Tommie Harris, Roy Williams and Mark Clayton (among others) with a focus on providing the children of Africa with a “little Hope, Help and Love.’

And it looks like they’ve been walking-the-walk…back in March of this year, when the NFL was involved in a “labor dispute”, Pros for Africa and the Starkey Hearing Foundation teamed up to deliver more than 22,000 hearing aids to people in Africa during a month-long charity mission. (Awesome article HERE from

Arizona Cardinals stud, Larry Fitzgerald-who never takes a break from giving back-spoke about his fourth charity mission with the Starkey group: “The first time I helped someone to hear, I was so moved. I was emotional,” Fitzgerald said. “To see a child hear their mother’s voice for the first time and see their family’s reaction is one of the moments I will never forget. We all have basic needs, and hearing is one of those needs.”

And Titan Derrick Morgan also put it in perspective: “It’s a good experience to get away from all that and help people. They have real problems over here. We are arguing over billions of dollars, but they have real issues and real suffering here.” (Did ya here that NBA?)

WATCH Derrick Morgan, Gerald McCoy, Roy Williams, Tommie Harris, Vernon Davis, Vontae Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Bryant McKinnie and Adrian ‘Dimples’ Peterson on a mission to provide hearing aids and other assistance.

Or enjoy a Pros For Africa promo below.

PROS FOR AFRICA (“PFA“) is an international, non-profit relief organization headquartered in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Through invaluable partnerships with professional athletes, business professionals and other organizations, PFA provides food, water, clothing, medicine and other necessities to disadvantaged children of war, poverty and natural disaster.

As always, thanks for reading~