Students from the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Earn 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

Southwest Assists

BOSTON (May 17, 2007) - Thirty-three students from the Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing in Allston earned a trip to Baltimore/Washington, D.C. with Boston Celtics players Delonte West and Tony Allen after winning the eighth annual Southwest ASSISTS community service contest. The Southwest ASSISTS program is a partnership between the Boston Celtics, Southwest Airlines and the Boston Public Middle Schools designed to encourage students to create and implement projects that fulfill 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 14 schools that participated. 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.

For their winning project, the students of Horace Mann School created a seven-tiered community service project based on improving deaf awareness and beautifying their school. Students polled their teachers for areas that needed improvement in the school. The students created projects consisting of in-classroom assistance for younger students, acting as role models for their peers, and cleaning of the school's play area.

"It is great seeing students across the city making a difference in their communities," Celtics President Rich Gotham said. "The ASSISTS program encourages students to develop fun community service projects that make a positive impact. The Celtics are proud to partner with Southwest Airlines and reward these children for giving back to their neighborhoods."

The students from the Horace Mann School will travel to the Baltimore/Washington, D.C. area courtesy of Southwest Airlines on June 21. 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 the Horace Mann School. They made a remarkable impact in their school through their project," Michele Miller said, 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, Phil Burton of CN8, Kelly Malone of Mix 98.5, Kevin Lemanowicz of Fox 25, Kathryn Tappen of NESN, Larry Ridley of WHDH-TV, Rich Levine of The Improper Bostonian and Keith Maley of Senator Kennedy's office.

The second place team from The Harbor School of Roxbury will be rewarded with a pizza party hosted by Delonte West at their school. Each student on the third place team from The Sarah Greenwood School of Dorchester 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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