SBD/October 19, 2012/People and Pop Culture

Charity Stripe: Sports Execs, Teams Get Into The Season Of Giving

Decker (l) and Brooks (r) have stayed in touch since meeting in April
Make-A-Wish America selected the Thunder as one of its Chris Greicius Celebrity Award recipients for being “generous supporters of Make-A-Wish Oklahoma,” according to John Rohde of the OKLAHOMAN. The Thunder recently “granted a wish” for 17-year-old LORELEI DECKER, during which she was “made honorary team captain and spent time with head coach SCOTT BROOKS and players.” Brooks “did not attend his team's Blue and White scrimmage on Thursday night at the SpiritBank Event Center in Tulsa,” as he instead “accompanied Decker and her parents to Phoenix, where their unique bond was recognized with a national award.” Decker through the Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Thunder “was allowed to call plays on the sidelines during OKC's home game against the Sacramento Kings, a 118-110 victory on April 24.” Brooks and Decker since that initial meeting “stayed in touch via phone calls and text messages throughout the summer and fall” (OKLAHOMAN, 10/19).

SCHOOL'S IN SESSION: In Ft. Lauderdale, Craig Davis noted all 53 Dolphins players and coach JOE PHILBIN on Tuesday “took part in a project at Barbara Hawkins Elementary School in Miami Gardens.” The Dolphins “put muscle and sweat behind their project, planting flowers, laying stones, mulch and painting in the school’s butterfly garden.” They also “decorated the teachers’ lounge in an effort to create an improved educational environment for the school.” Meanwhile, the Marlins’ Day of Service and Philanthropy was Thursday at Miami Edison Middle School, with the team’s office staff “teaming with SHARON ROBINSON, daughter of JACKIE ROBINSON, on a school makeover.” The team “donated $80,000 toward a total makeover of Miami Edison Middle” (SUN-SENTINEL.com, 10/18). In Miami, Kelly Saco notes Thursday for the Marlins was the “first of two yearly ‘total team’ events where the company shuts down all their offices for a day of service.” The team this year has “donated more than $1.2 million in philanthropy and more than 5,000 community service hours” (MIAMI HERALD, 10/19).

HELPING HAND: MLB will dedicate World Series Games 1-4 this season to highlighting the league’s charitable partners and signature programs. MLB will honor its partnership with Stand Up To Cancer during Game 1, Welcome Back Veterans during Game 2, Reviving Baseball in Inner Cities, Boys & Girls Clubs of America and Breaking Barriers in Game 3 and Habitat for Humanity in Game 4 (MLB)….Duke Univ. announced a $10M “gift for its athletic department -- the largest such donation in school history.” Dr. STEVEN SCOTT and his wife, REBECCA have “committed the money to support a new 35,000-square-foot building that will house ticket offices, a team store, staff offices and training and weight rooms for student-athletes in nonrevenue, Olympic sports” (Raleigh NEWS & OBSERVER, 10/19)….Former Sabres Owner TOM GOLISANO “made good on the first phase of a four-year commitment to donate a total of $12 million to expand Special Olympics’ health-related services to people with intellectual disabilities.” The donation is the “largest single gift Special Olympics has ever received from an individual” (ROCHESTER DEMOCRAT & CHRONICLE, 10/19).
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