Harbor School Students Earn Second Consecutive Trip to Baltimore/Washington, D.C. for Winning Boston Celtics/Southwest Airlines ASSISTS Contest

Students' winning project chosen by a panel of judges representing local media and community leaders

Fifteen eighth grade students from the Harbor School in Dorchester, MA have earned a trip to Baltimore/Washington, D.C. with Southwest ASSISTS program spokesperson Boston Celtics guard Delonte West after winning the seventh annual ASSISTS community service contest. The Southwest ASSISTS program is a partnership among the Boston Celtics, Southwest Airlines and the Boston Public Middle Schools designed to encourage students to create and implement projects that meet community needs.

A celebrity judging panel consisting of several local media personalities, community leaders and staff from the Boston Celtics and Southwest Airlines selected the winning team from among nine entrants. Judging was based on the students' ability to (1) create an imaginative, unique project; (2) meet the deadline for submitting entries; (3) make a positive impact and meet a real community need; and (4) have fun by helping others.

A panel of local media judges submissions from nine schools.

For their winning project, Harbor School students took on both new and existing projects. The students continued with their annual coat drive, collecting jackets and other winter garments to benefit the St. Francis House during the months of January and February. In addition, the students created new projects including volunteering at the 20th annual Charles C. Yancey Book Fair, helping to collect and package books. In June the students will travel to New York City to collect additional books and help refurbish the library of their sister school, the Harbor School in Harlem, NY.

"We are elated to see all of the hard work these students are doing in their communities," said Rich Gotham, Celtics Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "It is an honor for the Celtics to continue to partner with Southwest Airlines and reward these children for their commitment to make a difference and give back to their neighborhoods."

The students from the Harbor School will travel to the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area courtesy of Southwest Airlines on June 20, accompanied by Boston Celtics guard and ASSISTS spokesperson Delonte West. While in the nation's capital, they will meet U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy, visit the National Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, and tour other historical sites.

"I congratulate the students from Harbor School. They made a remarkable impact on their neighborhood through their project," said Michele Miller, Southwest Airlines Marketing Manager. "I was impressed by the amount of dedication shown by all the students who participated in this year's Assists community service program."

The judging panel included Bob Halloran of WCVB-TV; Jeff Glor of WHDH-TV; David Wade and Bianca de la Garza of WFXT-TV; Phil Burton of CN8; Tom Crohan of Senator Kennedy's office; Harry Harding of City Councilor Sam Yoon's office; 'Coach' Willie Maye of Radio One Boston; and Celtics Director of Community Relations Leigh Trimmier.

The second-place team from Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing of Allston, MA will be rewarded with a pizza party hosted by West at their school. Each student on both of the third-place team from Dearborn Middle School in Roxbury, MA and Gavin Middle School in South Boston, MA will receive a Celtics basketball autographed by a member of the Boston Celtics and Celtics legend JoJo White.

The ASSISTS community service contest is open to all eighth-grade students in the Boston Public Middle Schools. Students are encouraged to create and implement a project that meets the needs of a local community and its members and makes a positive impact in the community.

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