2011 Sport For Social Change Awards
Score Big on National Stage
Embassy of France, Washington, D.C.--Contemplating the world of sports conjures images of elite athletes in cinema-graphic commercials, powerful owners uncorking champagne, and hoards of fans dressed in team colors inside enormous stadiums. The 2011 Sport For Social Changes Awards featured elite athletes, powerful sports team owners, and a dedicated audience, but also sharing the stage were an unassuming high school student whose playing days are over and a women transitioning out of homelessness.
"Sport can begin to solve some of our most pressing social issues. We created the Sport For Social Change Awards because we felt we understood the power of sports in society, and we wanted to look around and take the best examples of people using that power and hold them up so that everyone can see how brightly their light shines," said Sport For Social Change Awards founder, Lawrence Cann.
as well for the national initiatives he has led to teach financial literacy and education to and through athletes.
The Salamander Women's Impact award, presented by part owner of three professional sports franchises and international women's advocate, businesswomen, and philanthropist Sheila Johnson, was awarded to Lisa Wrightsman of Sacramento California. Lisa has not only overcome homelessness through sport, but is now coaching and transforming the lives of women who are in the position she once found herself. "As an athlete by nature, I used to want to exclude the weakest member of the group, but after going through what I went through and finding the support of my team, I wanted to share that gift with others," explained Wrightsman in an eloquent speech which brought the audience to their feet with applause.
In her introduction to the Sport for Social Change Award in Philanthropy, HELP USA Chairman Maria Cuomo Cole highlighted Mark Ein's overall contribution to the city of D.C. In particular, she pointed out his careful concern upon launching the World Team Tennis Franchise, the Washington Kastles, that bringing world class tennis to Washington, D.C. meant bringing it to each and every part of Washington, D.C. and so Mark has delivered the likes of Venus and Serena Williams into D.C. neighborhoods while contributing over 500,000 dollars worth of equipment and support to aimed at fitness and health goals among underserved youth. Additionally, he has turned over the keys to the stadium each year to the homeless for Street Soccer USA's national tournament and trial for the Homeless World Cup. In an entertaining, funny, and thoughtful speech, Mark recognized his staff and personal connection to people like Craig Holley whom he has seen overcome homelessness through sport. Mark's good spirit and innovative philanthropy builds true social capital and embodies the community spirit that would be admirable in any citizen.
The evening also featured a special award from Microsoft, which will be providing access to their ICT training platforms to help SSUSA participants become more competitive in the job market. Mario Rebello, Director of Corporate Citizenship at Microsoft, presented the first scholarship to Chris Lodgeson of New York, last year's achievement award winner.
Sport For Social Change Awardee in the category of youth service, Will Garofalo, described how his experience volunteering had changed his view and the views of his friends about social issues, especially homelessness and poverty. He echoed the humble sentiments of all honorees when he said, "it sounds cliche, I think, but really I have gotten more out of my community service from the people I tried to help than I ever could have given them."
For more info and details on the 2012 Awards, email email@example.com For more info and details on the 2012 Awards, email firstname.lastname@example.org