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In Miami, Michael Wallace noted Heat coach Erik Spoelstra and former NBAers Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway last weekend "led a contingent of 40 volunteers and relief workers who traveled to Haiti to deliver supplies" for earthquake relief efforts. The Heat "donated $25,000 to help" the Univ. of Miami's Project Medishare "fund the renovation and construction of an Intensive Care Unit at one of the only functioning hospitals currently operating in Haiti" (MIAMI HERALD, 6/7). Meanwhile, Dolphins Owner Stephen Ross donated $164,000 to help fund football field renovations at Miami Beach Senior High School. The field "was officially named Ross Field" (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 6/5).
Driver Has Become A Mainstay
In Green Bay Community
DRIVING FORCE: In Milwaukee, Lori Nickel wrote Packers WR Donald Driver is a "made man -- the most productive Packers receiver of the last decade." Gratitude is "what keeps pushing him to school classrooms, business luncheons and charity fund-raisers," and he "continues to make these community appearances -- more than 500 in all." Packers QB Aaron Rodgers said, "He knows the impact that he can make with the platform the NFL has given him" (MILWAUKEE JOURNAL SENTINEL, 6/5).
FOR A GOOD CAUSE: Yankees co-Chair & General Partner Hank Steinbrenner, 3B Alex Rodriguez and Ps A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia are "sponsoring a team of inner city kids from the New York area to play at the exclusive Baseball Heaven Summer league in Yaphank, Long Island." Yankees 2B Robinson Cano and LF Kevin Russo "got Spalding to supply batting-practice jerseys to give the kids a true feel for the big leagues" (N.Y. POST, 6/6).....Patriots QB Tom Brady last weekend chaired the Best Buddies Challenge, which "raised more than $4 million" and "had supporters biking from Boston to Hyannis Port." Patriots coach Bill Belichick, his girlfriend, Linda Holliday, and Food Network star Guy Fieri were also in attendance (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/7).
MAKING A DIFFERENCE: In Boston, Albert Breer wrote as the NFL has "waded through an image crisis with its players' off-field troubles," Raiders CB Nnamdi Asomugha "has embodied everything commissioner Roger Goodell wishes them to be." Perhaps the "most impactful thing he does is his annual Asomugha College Tour for Scholars, which takes disadvantaged but high-achieving high school students to tour campuses in a faraway city." He has taken "about 10 students on past tours, but this year's jaunt, held in Washington, had 16 students." Asomugha also has "built a relationship with Bill Clinton and helped" Clinton's efforts in education, becoming a speaker at the Clinton Global Initiative University the last two years. Asomugha this year received the Byron "Whizzer" White Award -- which is given for service to team, community and country -- from the NFLPA. He "will be given the Jefferson Award for Public Service" later this month in DC (BOSTON GLOBE, 6/6).
GULF COAST OFFENSE: The Saints are scheduled to travel to the "oil soaked coast of Louisiana" today and bring the Lombardi Trophy with them. Saints coach Sean Payton said, "I know the players -- all of us -- are looking forward to being down there and spending some time with those people that are going through so much" (New Orleans TIMES-PICAYUNE, 6/7).