Miami Marlins Rookie pitching sensation Jose Fernandez was awarded “Outstanding Rookie of the Year,” winning NL Players Choice Award. Celebrating recognition, he made a decision that would set off a series of events that could start saving lives of children with a rare cancer as soon as 18 months.
On Monday, Nov. 5th Jose Fernandez when given the choice of charity of whom to donate his $20K award to, he immediately answered, “Live Like Bella™.” “I want to help children with cancer. I have spoken to Bella’s parents and we are all very happy,” said Jose Fernandez, who has been an important part of the Miami Marlins involvement with Live Like Bella™ Foundation. Continue reading →
Ex-NY Met Jose Reyes has a new hair-cut, but if you were attached to his dreads, you can buy them on eBay.
The All-Star shortstop was forced to trim his dreadlocks after signing a new $106M contract with the Marlins…the nationally televised cut was performed by Jordan from Jordan’s Barber Shop in the Bronx during the broadcast of Friday’s game on the MLB network. Continue reading →
The Giving Back Fund (GBF), a nonprofit organization that provides philanthropic management and consulting to the sports and entertainment industries, released its fifth annual Giving Back 30, a list of the 30 celebrities who made the largest donations to charity in 2011 according to public records.
“Encouragement by example is the main reason we compile the Giving Back 30,” said Marc Pollick, President and Founder of The Giving Back Fund. “One cannot help but be influenced by the generosity of his or her peers.” Pollick continued, “We are also often asked by the media and the public about which celebrities actually give the largest donations to charitable causes so we decided it made sense to publish the research for all to see.” Continue reading →
Celebrity ‘Stars and Strikes’ Bowling Event to Benefit ACT
On Sunday, January 29, 2012, in Tustin California, ACT Today! (Autism Care and Treatment Today!) and The Eddie Guardado Foundation (EGF), will host a celebrity STARS & STRIKES bowling tournament to help provide resources and grants to children with autism whose families cannot afford the necessary care and treatment.
Expected to join the Two-time All Star “Everyday Eddie” will be:
Torii Hunter, LA Angels of Anaheim 4-Time All-Star Michael Young, Texas Rangers 6-Time All-Star Adrian Beltre, Texas Rangers 2-Time All-Star Derek Holland, Texas Rangers Rod Carew, Hall-of-Famer Garret Anderson, LA Angels of Anaheim 3-Time All-Star J.J.Putz, Arizona Diamondbacks All-Star Pitcher LaTroy Hawkins, Milwaukee Brewers Rex Hudler, Former MLB Player and Radio Personality Jamie Moyer, All-Star Pitcher Adam Melhuse, Former MLB Player Aaron Sele, 2-Time All-Star Pitcher Gary Pettis, Texas Ranger Coach and Former MLB Player Chad Cordero, All-Star Pitcher Brandon Kintzler, Milwaukee Brewers Carlos Fisher, Cincinnati Reds Brad Thompson, St. Louis Cardinals
L.A. Dodger Russell Martin Donates Big to the ‘One Drop Foundation’
It’s rare for me to have anything nice to say about anyone involved with MLB…but, once in a while, a player will step-up and remind me that hidden between the cracks of a tainted sport, there are a few athletes who are interested in bettering the world. And now, Los Angeles Dodger Russell Martin has landed on my radar after the two-time All-Star catcher announced he will be donating $600,000 to the One Drop Foundation.
Martin has been named spokesperson for One Drop, whose mission is to fight against poverty by providing access to water and raising awareness among individuals and communities about the need for mobilization to make safe water accessible to all.
“We take water for granted, but there are people around the world struggling to get it and that’s unacceptable to me,” said Martin. “You start making money and you can give it to wherever you want, but I wanted something close to my heart…I wanted to find something important to me. It doesn’t get more important than water, and when you think about it, some people don’t have it.”
Additionally, Martin has committed to hosting an off-season fundraiser for One Drop and is planning to make an international trip this winter on behalf of the organization that was started by Guy Laliberté, the founder of Cirque du Soleil.
According to One Drop, every eight seconds a child dies somewhere around the world from lack of drinking water and Martin has committed himself to making a difference. Current projects exist in Nicaragua and Honduras, while One Drop has also undertaken previous efforts in Africa.
For more info on Martin’s involvement, please visit his official website, Russell Martin 55.
Thanks to one of my readers, and a player, I found myself smiling about ‘baseball’ for the first time in years…Seattle Mariners’ Mike Sweeney has earned some serious mighty-mighty-good man love from me for organizing a baseball camp at Ontario High to raise funds for Michael Ortiz’s family.
According to an LA Times article, Sweeney has been dealing with health issues surrounding his own kids when he received a call from a student at Sweeney’s alma mater, Ontario High, asking if Sweeney would help organize a fundraiser for Michael Ortiz’s family- Michael was one of the school’s baseball players who had been among the nine killed in a Christmas Eve massacre in Covina.
“When I heard the story repeated to me; when they told me Michael valued himself as a student first and athlete second, like myself, and that he was a wonderful Catholic kid who lived his faith, it absolutely broke my heart,” Sweeney said. “When I held my 3-week-old baby in my hands all I could feel was his spine and ribs, he was shriveling away, below his birth weight of eight pounds. I didn’t really know what his disease was . . . I was a terrified father…I knew I was going through a crazy time, but someone had a heavier burden than me.”
Sweeny’s son Donovan had just undergone surgery for pyloric stenosis, a rare condition that stops food movement from the stomach to the small intestine…but Sweeney didn’t hesitate to organize a camp to benefit the Ortiz family. The camp was held yesterday, and so far more than $200,000 in donations have been secured. Additionally, an anonymous donor has declared he’ll double whatever the proceeds were for Saturday.
“The kind of person Mike Sweeney is, the way he conducts himself — that’s what’s made this possible,” said Ontario High Vice Principal Cary Wilborn, who said he has received checks from as far as Dubai. (LA TIMES)
And you can find our more info on Sweeney and his Foundation, the Mike and Shara Family Foundation HERE. According to their site, the foundation exists to bring youth into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ; to grow the ministry of Life Teen, an outreach to youth; to assist pro-life ministries, particularly crisis pregnancy centers; to bring unity between Catholics and Protestants; to host Christian baseball camps all across the country; to reach out to urban youth and urban missions; and to use music ministry to bring the Gospel to the lost.
I love a good Foundation, and while I may be one of the ‘Lost’, I still thank Mike Sweeney for giving me a little hope about the kind of men who still decorate the sport.
First and foremost, there are several “it goes without saying” celebrity athletes who, in my book, can do no wrong. Dikembe Mutombo walks on water, period. Dude can shake his finger at me and ask me to move to the Congo to clean-up bedpans at his hospital and I’d do it. He is a humanitarian first, an athlete second. Safe to say he reigns supreme in the Church of Athlebritology. Yeah, Melo’s permitted through the pearly gates but I’m gonna need a few hours with him in purgatory first just to make sure…Gilbert Arenas, Dwight Howard, Steve Nash, Amare Stoudemire, Chris Paul-all gain immediate entry…as do Grant Hill, Etan Thomas, Juwan Howard, and Tony Hawk. Quite a few won’t make it into Athlebritology heaven: Lebron James, Michael Vick, Kobe Bryant and Roger Clemens just to name a few.
Over time, it’s become increasingly easier to determine who’s really into helping others and who’s in it just for the PR (a-hem Lebron). As I add events to the calendar page, I’ll be sure to highlight the ones I personally recommend. You can take my advice or not…for example, if you live in So-Cal and have never attended the Cancer for College event with Will Ferrell then you must be insane. Ferrell lends his name, time and comedy to this incredibly necessary and sincere charity event. For a small price you help send a cancer patient to college, hang out with Frank the Tank, play golf, eat good food and make new friends…another event I wouldn’t miss is Celebrity Fight Night held in Arizona. It’ll cost ya a bit more to attend the premier fundraiser for the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, but you get one hell of a swag-bag and a truly priceless experience…
Granted, I can’t list ‘em all in one post…but I will keep you updated on what some of our mighty might fine men are doing…which all goes back to their foundations and how they are run. I want to help raise money and awareness for foundations with employees who care about their work. Don’t wait three days to call me back if I got a fat check for you-because to me this means you must not really need it or care as much as you’d like us to believe. Anyway…several cool new foundations and website have come to my attention in the last few weeks. One comes from hockey great Jeremy Roenick.
Roenick just launched his new site Roenicklife.com and he did it with style. No janky dead links or non-responsive PR folks…In part, he wrote: “I have spent the past twenty-one years sharing my passion and myself with the game of hockey. I have had the opportunity to touch the hearts of millions of fans and have been excited everyday to help create a smile on so many childrens faces…I need to be involved for myself…to keep touching the hearts of all the people that have supported me for half my life is a huge priority…I decided to take the website a step further, and incorporate my love of the game, my voice, and my passion to use the website as a place where constant communication between all supporters can be used to help benefit charity.”
Currently, Roenick’s got several charity related ‘raffles’ on his site. You can win Jeremy’s personal tickets to the Sharks/Dallas Stars Game, an autographed jersey, signed photos and other stuff…winners announced on February 14, so hurry up and enter, proceeds to benefit the Aubri Brown Club.
For those who find themselves at the SuperBowl this year, look for several worthy events…if I were a betting girl I’d say the place to be is the Par & Poker Celebrity Challenge for Charity. Hosted by Super Bowl Champion Seth Joyner, the January 29 event will feature a celebrity packed golf and poker experience and it’s FREE! Don’t believe me? Last year Celebrity Golf Magazine named it as one-of-the top Celebrity Golf Events. Aside from providing awareness about the Joyner-Walker Foundation, Par and Poker aims to raise awareness for its host city charities as well. The JWF, in my opinion- is one of the best out there for several reasons. One, they got a tight team running the show, and two, because they are one step ahead of the curve-or more specifically, the economy. The foundations flagship ‘financial literacy’ program schools kids on finances. Founders (NFL Veteran) Seth Joyner, (PGA Tour Pro) Adam Walker and Leonard Walker have made it their goal to become the nations leader in educating our youth on finances, investments and money management. Last year, the program enrolled 13 students at South Mountain Community High School. “Right now our short -term goal is to get into all ten community colleges here (Arizona),” Andy Walker said,” We want to be the financial literacy provider for all of them. Our long-term goal on a national level is to be the face of financial literacy for students and make it mandatory for them to have a certain number of hours to graduate.” For more info, please visit the Joyner-Walker Foundation and tell ‘em Delinda sent ya.
How about a big plate of Chris Paul for lunch? Seriously. You can now walk into any ‘Copelands’ restaurant and order a big ol’ plate of CP3 with extra sauce and a side o’ fries and not feel guilty about it because it’s for charity…On Saturday, the Hornets’ All-Star babe, hosted 240 boys and girls ages 7 to 16 at Lakefront Arena for his inaugural Chris Paul Basketball Camp, where he also announced a couple of new charitable initiatives-one of which is the signature Chris Paul dish with proceeds benefiting the Al Copeland Foundation and the Chris Paul Basketball Camp.
“I’m here for the kids, ” Paul said. “I love them, I love when they ask the craziest questions. They asked ‘Do you like basketball?’ You never know what you are going to hear when you are out there with the kids. That’s what it is all about. I think of myself as a big kid…I think of some of the opportunities they have to meet an NBA basketball player, and I just want to give them hope.”
More hope from the balling do-gooder comes with the announcement that he’s also teamed with country music star Garth Brooks and his ‘Teammates For Kids Foundation,’ a nonprofit charity that donates money to other charities based on the accomplishments of athletes. Teammates For Kids has donated more than $68 million in cash, gifts and scholarships through players and teams in the NFL, NHL and MLB…no surprise that Chris Paul was chosen as the foundation’s first NBA partner. Under the plan, Teammates For Kids will triple Paul’s contribution to his charity. “Chris is going to be like our arrangement with every other athlete — whatever he pledges . . . it’s our job as a foundation to triple that money, ” Brooks said. “We are very lucky to enter this sport, and we are very lucky to have had a great conversation with the players association and the league up in New York last week.”
GRANT HILL AND THE SUNS
Another one of our smoking hot ballers with a massive heart, Grant Hill (Phoenix Suns) hosted the Paint the Planet Orange kickoff event last week at Balsz Elementary School in Phoenix…Hill was joined by new Sun Matt Barnes and his sexy tattoos as they dropped in on kids during the weeklong campaign which included appearances at various charitable organizations…Also, on Friday, October 31, join the City of Phoenix Graffiti Busters Project (47th Avenue Food Store, beginning at 2 p.m. 4723 W Thomas Rd. Phoenix, AZ 85031) The Suns have teamed up with the City of Phoenix’s Graffiti Busters project to clean up the city as Suns stars Amare Stoudemire, Robin Lopez and Sean Singletary along with Mayor Phil Gordon and The Gorilla help paint the planet orange when they paint over destructive graffiti. The City of Phoenix’s Graffiti Busters program sends crews to remove graffiti reported through the hotline and also coordinates with other public and private agencies to remove graffiti. More info HERE.
SAN LONGORIA SPURS
Its been a long time since I’ve given any love to the Spurs…still wince when I do…but I must…mainly because NBA Hall of Famer, George “The Iceman” Gervin (far R), fired the starting gun for the 2nd annual Spurs Hope & Possibility 5k to benefit the Achilles San Antonio chapter at the Center for the Intrepid and the Spurs Foundation.
Spurring on participants were Ime Udoka, Jacque Vaughn and Tim Duncan (far right as well)…also at the event were Bruce Bowen, Roger Mason, Manu Ginobili and Tony Longoria-Parker.
And as much as I hate running, I suspect I would have clocked a sensational time had I known Kurt Thomas would be there to quench my thirst…
**Please visit Look to the Stars to read my interview with former talk show host Jenny Jones. She is improving this world one person at a time and hands down, ranks as one of my favorite celebrity philanthropists.
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Delinda Lombardo firstname.lastname@example.org