Tag Archives: fundraising

Ian Somerhalder Foundation Leads #FX Challenge on Crowdrise

Since it’s #givingtuesday we thought we point out a great initiative from Crowdrise and Mozilla Firefox.

Mozilla Firefox will donate $100k to the cause that raises the most funds…the grassroots fundraiser makes it easy to see what causes people are strongly supporting.


Leading the pack is actor/activist Ian Somerhalder and his Foundation:

    My birthday is on December 8th. I don’t need any presents. My only ask is that you please support our foundation so that we can reach our goal and win this challenge. This would be a huge leap for ISF.
    ISF supporters are a kick ass bunch of peeps. From young children to Grandparents, standing together, supporting each other with each generations’ strengths, collectively combining passions, skills and leadership into one massive population of change makers…The IS FOUNDATION aims to empower, educate and collaborate with people and projects to positively impact the planet and its creatures…Our ISF Groups span across all continents, creeds, languages and passions, forming an ever growing family of more than 200 groups world wide, all working as a united force to radically transform the world. Where people who love the planet and those who hold hands with paws come together to create a real future for all life on this miraculous planet we call Earth.

Hot on Somerhalder’s heels is Sophia Bush and her Pencils of Promise. Jonah Hill (FCancer), Seth Rogan (Hilarity for Charity) and Ed Norton (Maasai Wilderness) are also atop the leader board in terms of garnering donations. Not far behind is one of our favorites, Cancer for College led by Will Ferrell. Failing miserably (so far) Rob Machado, Adrian Grenier and Randy Foye. Continue reading

Charity Bets Gaining Popularity Ahead of Summer Olympics

Amazing idea from a group of Auburn University track and field alums who have figured out a legal way to bet on Olympic athletes, it’s called Charity Bets.

Here’s how it works: Select from a roster of Olympic hopefuls or friends who’ve agreed to have their performance be bet on and all money wagered will go to the charity of the athlete’s choice.

It’s a first of its kind concept that’s already generating a lot of attention as the London 2012 Summer Games draw closer. And yes, it’s gotten the ‘thumbs-up’ so-to-speak, from the United States Olympics Committee: “On the surface, it seems to be a site dedicated to helping charities raise money, which we would obviously have no problem with,” USOC spokesman Patrick Sandusky said. Continue reading

Will Ferrell Hosts 16th Annual Cancer for College Event

Will Ferrell Hosts 16th Annual Cancer for College Event

Cancer for College held its 16th annual fundraiser yesterday in Rancho Bernardo, and once again, funnyman Will Ferrell was the host. Ferrell’s support for the charity is rooted in a longtime friendship with double-amputee and cancer survivor Craig Pollard, founder of Cancer for College. “What Cancer for College does is provide college scholarships for cancer survivors and amputees,” explained Pollard, “Will’s been involved pretty much from the beginning.”

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Ferrell brought his humor to the event while explaining how he and Craig (far right) bonded in college: “Every Wednesday night we would spoon, on the roof of the fraternity house, on a big bearskin rug.” After a beat though, he got serious for a minute, “It is the only charity I’m this actively involved in and am happy to lend my name to,” explained Ferrell. “It’s one of the purest charities you’ll ever be around in terms of-all the money goes directly to the kids, immediately and no one is turned away.”

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Of course, discussions took place about the success of the infamous Will Ferrell sunscreen? “We sold 10,000 bottles in six weeks on the Internet,” said Pollard, “and we’ve just started presenting it to retail stores and internationally.” With this kind of public support, might we see more Will Ferrell Cancer for College products? “If it does kinda take hold it would fun to have it be almost like a Paul Newman type of thing,” said Ferrell, “Where all the proceeds would go to the charity…in fact, it’s a horrible sunscreen, it’s actually better on salad…it has almost a sage-parsley taste to it.”

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Ferrell was also quick to please inquiring minds about a possible ‘Anchorman’ sequel: “Yeah, we’re talking about it. We’re just trying to figure out when we can fit it in to the schedule” said Ferrell, “But I think after we finish this movie we might start working on a script.” Ferrell’s speaking of his latest movie ‘The Other Guys’ which starts filming next week.  It costars Samuel Jackson, the Rock and Mark Wahlberg…does this mean we might see Ferrell as a guest star on Wahlberg’s ‘Entourage’ one day? “They haven’t asked me,” said Ferrell, “But if they do- as long as they make the episode about the charity, I’m happy to do it.”

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Liquid Nation Ball 6: Flea Receives Humanitarian Award

Liquid Nation Ball 6: Flea Receives Humanitarian Award
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Anything that I have ever done, that is good, that is kind, that is helpful…it’s just what you are supposed to do. Nothing I have done is extraordinary or special, it’s just normal and it’s what all of us are supposed to do.” Flea upon receiving the SIMA Humanitarian of the Year Award.

Surfing industry legends and stars turned out in full force last night for the 6th Annual Liquid Nation Ball to honor Red Hot Chili Pepper Flea with the SIMA Humanitarian of the Year Award and raise money for 12 surf-related humanitarian organizations.

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The event was held at the ocean front home of Liquid Nation Ball chairman and co-founder, Fernando Aguerre, who should also receive an award for his incredible hospitality and generosity. “The excitement and caliber of this year’s Liquid Nation Ball has taken the fundraising to a whole new level,” Aguerre said prior to the event, “I firmly believe that Liquid Nation Ball 6 will be the best and most successful one yet.” Oh, and it was. From the costumed creature that greeted guests to the never ending crab cakes, empanada’s, skewed chicken and shrimp-(not to mention the numerous open bars and buffets)-it was easy to see why this event sells out every year.

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First of all, Aguerre’s home is breathtaking…like a museum. A surfer’s paradise of a museum…the walls are lined with rare, vintage and unique surfboards, as well as some amazing sports related memorabilia-including a Diego Maradona signed jersey and another one signed by the Argentinean soccer team…I was salivating.

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But the purpose of the night wasn’t to drool over memorabilia, hot surfers with Aussie accents or soak up the free booze, it was a gathering of like-minded people who have a passion for helping others. The Liquid Nation Ball was originally created by brothers Santiago and Fernando Aguerre to support the humanitarian efforts of SurfAid. In 2006, the brothers donated the Ball to the Surf Industry Manufacturers Association Humanitarian Fund and now, the Ball serves as the official fundraising event for SIMA’s Fund…ALL proceeds from the Ball this year benefit: Surfer’s Healing; Keep A Breast; Boarding for Breast Cancer; Jimmy Miller Foundation; AccesSurf Hawaii; Outdoor Outreach; Stoked Mentoring; Life Rolls On; Mauli Ola Foundation; Project Wipeout; SurfAid International and the Sumba Foundation.

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Frolicking around the party were numerous celebrity athletes, notably Tony Hawk and Rob Machado.  Machado is one of the world’s greatest surfers…and he is also one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I plopped myself next to him in a cabana, eager to ask about him about his charity work. “I do have my own foundation, “ he told me, “It’s the Rob Machado Foundation. I teamed up with the elementary schools in my neighborhood, and we do environmental education programs, anything from your basic recycling programs and organic farming-we have organic gardens all over the property- and we also sponsor ocean week, which is an entire week where all curriculum is geared around protecting the ocean.” And as any good ocean-loven writer would ask, I had to bring up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch: “I’d like to learn more about it, “ he said of the Texas sized wad of garbage floating in the Pacific, “I have a few friends that are working on projects, they’ve gone out to it and they are just blown away.”

I also had the privilege of speaking with Flea (of the Red Hot Chili Peppers) about his charity work, his Silverlake Conservatory and how it felt to receive the Humanitarian of the Year Award…instead of transcribing the interview, I’ve opted to simply post the video of his acceptance speech after Tony Hawk and Izzy Paskowitz presented him with the award…Flea is one of the most sincere and genuine people I’ve met, with a deep-found belief in giving back. Simply put, he rocks.

Flea pretty much sums it up there…and might I suggest that next year you buy your tickets to this event the minute they go on-sale. Each year its sells out quicker than the previous year…please visit SIMA for more information or any of the links provided in this post-all the organizations are doing incredible things for our kids and the environment. Special thanks to four-time world surfing champion Lisa Anderson for all her hard work, Mandy Johnson from SIMA, Tony Hawk for finally remembering me, Rob Machado for being a classy stud with great follow through skills, Flea for being who he is and Fernando Aguerre for inviting us all into his home for a great cause.

About SIMA: The Surf Industry Manufacturers Association (SIMA) is the trade association of competing surf industry product suppliers working together to magnify their power for the development of the surf industry by: Promoting awareness and participation in the sport of surfing, which will result in increased sales of members’ products; Endorsing industry trade shows to assist members in bringing their products to market; Providing programs, services and information that will assist members in improving their business operations; Supporting oceanic environmental efforts through the SIMA Environmental Fund to ensure future growth of the sport and understanding of environmental activism.

About The Rob Machado Foundation: (RMF) is a California based 501c(3) not-for-profit private foundation. Founded in 2005, RMF was created to support charities dedicated to environmental programs within Southern California. Our primary mission is to provide funding and initiate educational programs focused on helping children understand their contribution towards a healthy earth. Annually, in September, the foundation hosts the Rob Machado Golf Experience in Solana Beach, CA as a means to support our efforts.

About Silverlake Conservatory of Music: The mission of the Silverlake Conservatory of Music, a non-profit organization, is to facilitate basic music education. Our primary focus is on the youth of the community but all are welcome and encouraged to participate. The Conservatory offers private music lessons at a reasonable cost and grants scholarships to children in need, providing free lessons and instruments. The study of music enriches the life of the student as well as the community and society.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Muhammad Ali Honored In the UK

Muhammad Ali Honored In the UK

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The greatest boxer of all time is making the rounds in the UK to raise money for various charities including his Muhammad Ali Center in Kentucky. Accompanied by Greg Roberts, the head of his center, and his amazing wife Yolanda, Muhammad Ali stopped by a new gym owned by a group of amateur and professional boxers, including British boxer Ricky Hatton. “When they told me Ali wanted to come and visit the gym my jaw nearly hit the floor,” said Hatton. “He always did what he did for the people, and this fund-raising trip to the UK is no different. I’ve met the greatest sportsman of all time. It is a day all of us here in the gym, and in Hyde, will never forget.”

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Hatton presented Ali with a cake, in the shape of a glove, with a figurine of Ali on top, with the letters GOAT embossed on it…  “Greatest Of All Time,” said Hatton after Ali had left. “I have watched videos of The Greatest, and now The Greatest has come to my gym to visit us. It made me incredibly proud, and it brought a tear to my eye when he arrived. It was very emotional.” Emotional indeed. The ‘Greatest of All Time’ lives by six core values: Respect, Confidence, Conviction, Dedication, Giving and Spirituality…so its no surprise that the legend himself will appear at three dinners held in his honor at British sports stadiums during his visit to the UK.

Each year, here in the States, Ali is the guest of honor at Celebrity Fight Night…it’s recognized as one of the most elite charity events in this country…and after attending a few years ago, I can see why…the line-up of celebrity and athlete supporters that Ali attracts makes the Academy Awards look like a tea-party…throughout Celebrity Fight Night’s fourteen year history they’ve raised over $52 million for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center at Barrow Neurological Institute (among others). Takes a mighty-mighty-fine man to improve this world and I’d say Ali has contributed more than his share of Love to better the lives of others. Keep on going strong Champ~

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Ante Up For Africa and The Enough Project

Ante Up For Africa and The Enough Project

Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, Herschel Walker, Matt Damon, Ben Affleck, Sarah Silverman, Jason Alexander, Cedric the Entertainer, Brad Garret, Montel Williams and Nelly…this is just a partial list of celebrities and athletes who joined Ante Up For Africa tournament founders Don Cheadle, Annie Duke and Norman Epstein for their 2009 Ante Up For Africa poker tournament…(if you’re able to read this posting in time, ESPN will broadcast the entire tournament tonight)

Participant Sarah Silverman reminds us what its all about: “You learn about the holocaust in school and you’re like, well that can never happen today because we would never let that happen today,” she said from the red-carpet, “But it’s happening. There’s a genocide happening.”

From the ENOUGH PROJECT: The dire crisis in Darfur is entering its sixth year. The conflict has killed 400,000 people and forced more than 3 million Darfuris to flee their homes. The recent expulsion of key international humanitarian groups by the government of Sudan in response to the International Criminal Court’s issuance of an arrest warrant for President Omar al-Bashir has placed hundreds of thousands of the most needy at even greater risk and without access to medical care or reliable food supplies. President Bashir continues to utilize starvation as a weapon of war to silence his opponents and to distract the world from the key issues in Darfur. Now more than ever, there needs to be a dynamic international effort to move beyond simply treating the symptoms of Sudan’s crisis and focuses on ENDING it by forging a lasting and equitable peace for all of Sudan.

Ante Up For Africa has established itself as the premiere event to help end the crisis in Darfur, raising over $2 million since its inception in 2006 to help build a brighter future for the people of Sudan. “The greatest thing that you can do is educate the population about the problem,” said Annie Duke, “Because when some of those people who are then exposed to an issue that they might not have otherwise been exposed to find some passion in it, then they speak and our representatives listen and that’s really what creates the lasting change.”

Ante Up For Africa benefits two amazing organizations…‘The Enough Project’ and ‘Refugee International’s Sudan’ advocacy efforts…and they still need your help with another situation…our insatiable demand for electronics products such as cell phones and laptops is helping fuel a major conflict in Eastern Congo. This is the most dangerous place in the world to be a woman or girl, and the sexual violence there is often fueled by militias warring over conflict minerals, the ores that produce tin, tungsten, and tantalum—the 3 Ts— that end up being used in our electronic devices.

Check out the Enough Projects YouTube channel to view video posted by contestants who are raising awareness about the link between our cell phones and the violence in Congo. Oscar-nominated actor Ryan Gosling, actress Sonya Walger from ABC’s “Lost,” and Oscar-nominated director Wim Wenders selected the best three videos and are asking us to vote for winner. Voting ends September 8…so check it out soon.

The next Ante Up for Africa event will be October 29 at the San Manuel Casino. For more info, visit Ante Up for Africa.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Shaun Phillips and Charger Buddies Tee Off For Kids

Shaun Phillips and Charger Buddies Tee Off For Kids

Today, San Diego Charger Shaun Phillips was joined by his smoking hot teammates at the Maderas Golf Club in San Diego to host the inaugural Shaun Phillips Golf Tournament to benefit the San Diego After-School-All-Stars.

Phillips was recently named the spokesperson and sponsor of the event, and judging by the number of golfers and Chargers who showed up to lend their support, I’d say the San Diego After-School-All-Stars will make much more than a positive impact on the community.

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But making a positive impact on me, were the amazing volunteers and dedication of Phillips to make this event a success. As I walked in, I quickly spotted the unmistakable strut of the Chargers in attendance, but was quickly sidetracked by the free tequila shots being given out by Atel Communications. (You gotta love the sponsors!) From there, I perused the auction items and dreamed of bidding on and winning the ‘Dinner with Shaun Phillips’ package…

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The auction items were on display in preparation for the gala that night and without a doubt, and aside from dinner with Phillips and his abs, the best items up for auction were from artist Jorge Burtin. I recently wrote about Burtin and his ‘Pixaic’ mosaics in my ‘Art for Charity’ post (June 2). Burtin has been involved with a number of athletes and their charity work- specifically he donates 100% of the proceeds from the sale of his artwork to charity. His work and compassion for helping others is simply put, inspiring.

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Also inspiring…were the Chargers themselves. Shaun Phillips was all smiles-and dimples-as he chatted with participants, red-headed bloggers, volunteers, kids and fellow Chargers (L-David Binn and Phillips, R-Matt Wilhelm)…he greeted each of his teammates with hugs, grins and handshakes and was genuinely eager to be hosting an event that provides after-school-programs for kids. “I was lucky, “ he said in a recent interview, “I had somewhere to go after-school and the help I got changed my life. It gave me direction, kept me out of trouble and helped me find the courage to reach my goals.” No doubt, Shaun’s goal has helped many kids in San Diego stay out of trouble. His support for the program is touching and sincere and I couldn’t think of a better spokesperson for them.

Phillips’ dedication to the organization goes beyond just hosting events, hot-stuff has pledged to donate $1,000 to the After-School-All-Stars for each sack he records during the season, last year he kicked down $8,500…next up, Phillips will be hosting his first ever dodge-ball tournament in November to benefit the program-and I hope to see you all there.

A big “thank you” to Shaun Phillips and all the sexy San Diego Chargers who lent their time and swagger to this wonderful event. If only we had more mighty-mighty-fine men like you guys looking out for the kids, then this world would truly be a better place.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Will Ferrell Sunscreen for Charity

Will Ferrell Sunscreen for Charity

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The bottle says it all. I’ve always dreamed of owning a lotion company.” Will Ferrell

Athlebrities’ favorite actor-comedian-golfer-tennis-pro and all around good guy, Will Ferrell, has once again gone above and beyond to ensure the success of Cancer for College. The non-profit organization, which grants scholarships to cancer survivors and amputees, has just launched a new line of sunscreens featuring Ferrell with all proceeds benefiting Cancer for College.

The Sexy Hot Tan, Sunstroke and Forbidden Fruit sunscreens mark Ferrell’s first venture into fundraising products for the charity founded by his college pal, cancer survivor and double amputee Craig Pollard.

“Some people are charitable with their money. Some are charitable with their time,” said Craig Pollard. “Will Ferrell has been extremely generous with both…we have been so incredibly fortunate to have had Will Ferrell’s support through the years. Creating this line of sunscreen products allows us the ability to use Will’s image to promote the mission of our charity, raise some valuable funds to help send cancer survivors to college and increase cancer awareness.”

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“We are obviously appealing to sun worshippers, streakers, art lovers and the ever growing market of body-building golfers,” said Ferrell. “We hope that everyone will see the humor in this product and join us in support of a very worthy cause…I’m proud to be associated with such a great charity. I’ve watched Craig and Cancer for College help hundreds of cancer survivors realize their dream of a college education. The stories are so inspirational. I’m just happy to help any way I can,” said Ferrell.

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The humorous packaging of the must-have sunscreens were designed by BogeyPro founder Arik Norby, who was asked to create the artwork and catch-phrases by Pollard who’s a fan of Norby’s wicked sense of humor (as evidenced by the bottles) and involvement with Cancer for College.

So don’t get burned this summer-lather on the ONLY sunscreen that makes you laugh and helps send cancer survivors to college. And remember, this years Cancer for College Golf Classic (September 18, San Diego) hosted by Will Ferrell is selling out fast! Tickets available at the Cancer for College website. OR to to get your hands on Ferrell’s Forbidden Fruit click HERE.

Cancer for College was formed in 1993 by two-time cancer survivor and double amputee, Craig Pollard. Pollard was a fraternity brother of Will Ferrell at the University of Southern California. Since its inception, Ferrell has been a devoted supporter of the charity and has served as the celebrity host of Cancer for College fundraising events since 2002.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

San Diego Celebrity Classic

San Diego Celebrity Classic

If you’re a sports fan who needs help meeting your favorite sports star or celebrity…I’m about to hand you a front row ticket. No long lines, no waiting outside stadiums or hanging over the dugout, and very little money needed.

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The San Diego Celebrity Classic will be held April 23-26, 2009 at Morgan Run Resort and Club in Rancho Santa Fe (CA). The tournament features hotties and celebrities from the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB as well as Olympians and celebrities from television, music, and motion pictures.

What does this mean for you? It means that if you purchase a three-day general admission ticket for $10.00, you can mix and mingle with some amazing celebrities who are appearing at the event, which raises money for Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego.

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Dying to meet Drew Brees? He’s a confirmed guest. As is Ray Romano, Jerry Rice, Brett Saberhagen, Grant Fuhr, Nate Kaeding, Phil Nevin, Bret Boone and many others. Making me smile-is news that rebel-skier Bode Miller is also participating…and yes, I will be shadowing him the entire weekend.

I really, really wish I could stress how accessible athletes and celebrities make themselves during these events. At the last celebrity golf event I attended, guys like LaDainian Tomlinson and Charles Barkley stood around twiddling their thumbs because fans hadn’t figured out that for a few bucks this is where you have access to them! Celebrities are not just attending events to raise money for charity, but to meet the fans-to interact with the kids, sign autographs and take photos. So do yourself a favor, pack the kids, grab your friends and attend an event-I promise you wont be disappointed.

And just for the record, I am not affiliated with any sports marketing firm, nor do I not receive any compensation for publicizing events. (That’s what the donation button is for at the top of my page a-hem.) The fact is, I just love what I do. I would never suggest an event unless I’ve done all the legwork and feel certain that you’ll have an amazing experience if you attend.

Much more info at SD Celebrity Classic including the full list of confirmed celebrities. .

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As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

18th Annual Taste of NFL

18th Annual Taste of NFL

For those of you with an affinity for fine food and NFL players, this is your chance to sink your teeth into some mighty fine men while tackling hunger in America. The 18th Annual Taste of NFL is taking place on Saturday January 31 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg (FL). Here’s how it works, one celebrity chef and one current/alumni NFL beast from each city will pair up on the eve of SuperBowl…you get to sample specialty foods, meet the chefs, get autographs, and bid on some great silent auction items…

Any Top Chef fans out there? Take note, Tom Colicchio will be there with former Top Chef contestants…entertainment for the night will be Max Weinberg from Late Night with Conan. Partial list of NFL babes pairing up with a chef: Ben Patrick (AZ Cardinals); Derrick Martin (Baltimore Ravens); Richard Marshall (Carolina Panthers); Shaun Gayle (Chicago Bears); Jacoby Jones (Houston Texans); Kevin Houser (N.O. Saints). This is one of the most popular and worthwhile events happening during SuperBowl week and tickets usually sell out fast. Please visit www.Tasteofthenfl.com for more info and tickets.

As always, thanks for reading. Delinda@athlebrities.com

Million Dollar Hawk: Tony Hawk That is.

Million Dollar Hawk: Tony Hawk That is.
Tony Hawk 5th Annual

In 2002, Tony Hawk established the Tony Hawk Foundation to assist low-income communities create well-designed skateboard parks. Over the years, the Foundation has given away over a million dollars in grants and assistance…and last weekend, action-sports legends joined Hawk for the fifth annual Activision Presents ‘Stand Up For Skateparks.’ All in all, the event raised over $1M big ones for T-Hawks Foundation.

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The shindig went down at an exclusive estate in Beverly Hills, with attendees including Shaun White (L), Anthony Kiedis, David Spade, Perry Ferrell, Chris “BigBlack” Boykin, Kathy Ireland, Bam Margera, BMX legend Mat Hoffman, Jamie Lee Curtis (far right with Andy Macdonald) and Mia Hamm (C).

The one-day-action-sports carnival even included a special acoustic performance by Social Distortion, and a Vert Demo on Hawk’s personal ramp-where he was joined by White, Bucky Lasek, Andy Macdonald, Kevin Staab, and BMX riders John Parker and Dennis McCoy.

But Tony Hawk never seems to stop donating and building his empire at the same time. Bidding is open for Hawks Jeeps being auctioned off for his foundation…(photos by Jody Morris and Colin Vincent)…and just today it was announced that Hawk has teamed up with NBTY, a leading children’s vitamin supplier…the company has created the Tony Hawk HuckJam brand of vitamins. The chewy gummy vitamins are shaped like miniature skateboard decks, skateboard wheels and Tony’s signature hawk skull…aside from being fun to chew on, they are said to provide a good source of 11 vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin C and Vitamin B-12…

New events have been added on the celebrity athletes’ charity events calendar page including the Suns Celebrity Waiters event, and more importantly-Carmelo Anthony’s Thanksgiving event-which I’ll write about as soon as I’m done having a Sweet Melon heart-attack.

It never gets old…

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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo

Michael Phelps’ Final Lap for Charity, Right to Play at Olympics, And an Inspiring Baseball Book for Kids

TWENTY SECONDS

Yesterday, five members of Students for a Free Tibet lit up the skies near the National Stadium and spelled out ‘Free Tibet’ with blue LED lights in English and Mandarin. It took the police just 20-seconds to intervene…three other protestors were detained as they attempted to use lasers to spell out ‘Free Tibet’ on a Beijing landmark. Students for a Free Tibet Exec Dir Lhadon Tethong said “more actions were planned” in Beijing in the coming days…(NY Times).

PHELPS TAKES LAP FOR CHARITY

While protestors were busy raising awareness for Tibet, Michael Phelps enjoyed meeting some of our NBA’s hotties before taking his final lap-number 6,250- of the ‘Hilton Swim to Beijing Relay.’ The charitable event contributed $100,000 to the USA Swimming Foundation to fund swim education programs across the U.S. Hilton Hotels is one of Phelps’ sponsors, and in celebration of the Olympics, they partnered with the USA Swimming Foundation with each of the 6,250 laps symbolizing one of the miles between Los Angeles, the relay’s starting point, and Beijing.


“After representing my country and competing in the Olympics, Hilton gave me another great reason to get back in the pool,” said Phelps. “By being a part of this campaign I’m able to help support swim education programs across the nation and give young people the chance to experience the power of the sport. Swimming is much more than a fun activity and great form of exercise. It teaches self-discipline and dedication—two important qualities that one can draw on to succeed both in and out of the pool.”


More love came from the Olympians yesterday as more than a dozen current and former athletes hit up the corporate hospitality pavilion to support the Right to Play. The humanitarian organization landed heavily on the map after the 06 Turin Games when speed skater Joey Cheek donated his bonus money to them. This time, its different though- thanks to IOC sponsor Johnson & Johnson, donations are being made on behalf of the athletes. J&J is donating $20,000 per gold medal, $15,000 per silver and $10,000 per bronze won by those who have signed up to be Right to Play athlete ambassadors. “There has been a lot of criticism for having the Olympic games here,” said U.S. swimmer Natalie Coughlin, “but it has made a wider audience aware of issues that they otherwise might not have known about.” (Coughlin with her six medals won here, is responsible for $80,000 for the organization.) Any athlete can become an ambassador, yet only about 40 Olympians representing 13 countries and 25 sports have signed up, notably absent as an ambassador for Right to Play? Michael Phelps.


Coughlin said she spoke to Phelps about it last week in the Olympic Village, “He wants to do it,” Coughlin said. “He’s going to do it. I have mentioned to him that his eight gold medals would mean 52,000 children would be enrolled in the program and 1,600 coaches would be able to get involved.” If Phelps does indeed become an ambassador, it would bring a whopping $160,000 donation from J&J to Right to Play.

FOR THE KIDS

Ya’ all know I don’t cover many baseball related events, but there is a little book coming out that I gotta give props to. The book, ‘A Glove of Their Own’ has already got some endorsement love from several players: Craig Biggio, Sean Casey and Jack Hannahan have all stepped up to support the children’s book aimed at teaching kids the value of sharing what you have with those in need. Charity partners include Good Sports, Sports Gift, Pitch In For Baseball, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Cheerful Givers, and the Sunshine Foundation. From the back cover: “Few things in life are ever as good as the smell of your own glove, the crack of the wood. Or being with friends at that one special spot and sharing what you have… with those who have not.” The picture book personifies the “paying it forward” mentality via a group of underprivileged boys’ childhood experience, and how their love of the game is not defined by the equipment they don’t have but rather the passion and dreams that they do have. The book was inspired by a birthday party held for one of the writers’ kids- in place of gifts, guests were asked to donate baseball equipment for children who normally do without. A Glove of Their Own comes out in October, and those wishing to get their hands on a copy need to reserve now! Go to the website to reserve your copy.


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As always, thanks for reading.
Delinda Lombardo
delinda@athlebrities.com