Atlanta Hawks Community Affairs Initiatives
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Community Affairs Overview
The Hawks are a team with heart. Not only does it take heart to win on and off the court, it also takes hard work, commitment, teamwork and dedicated leaders. We have those necessary elements on our team, and through those elements, we want our neighboring communities to know that we appreciate their support, and will continue to do our part to keep our communities thriving.
The Atlanta Hawks Community Affairs Department is the pulse that keeps the heart of the Hawks beating. The department oversees the Atlanta Hawks Foundation and is proud to take the lead for the Hawks family in its philanthropic and community initiatives.
As one of the first professional sports teams to establish a foundation, the Atlanta Hawks are committed to providing programs and opportunities that help "even the score" for disadvantaged youth. The Foundation strives to develop programs that actively engage Atlanta's youth in basic skills development, cultural awareness, community service, and teamwork.
We are committed to Atlanta and take tremendous pride and pleasure in giving back to this great city. Through our constant dedication, it is our goal to continue showing our hearts to the Atlanta community and welcoming fans to our family.
Atlanta Hawks Read to Achieve
Read to Achieve is a program that was developed by the NBA and NBA Players Association to help young people develop a life-long love for reading. It is a year-round program that reaches millions of children through league-wide support from the entire NBA family. In addition to being supported by all 29 NBA teams, 16 WNBA teams, 8 National Basketball Development League (NBDL) teams, Read to Achieve is also supported by the NBA's Officials, Parents and Wives of Players Organizations, and the NBA Players Association and Retired Players Association.
Fast Break for Reading (FBFR)
In conjunction with the NBA and its national campaign to help young people develop a life-long love for reading, the Atlanta Hawks will again be offering the Fast Break for Reading Program to Greater-Atlanta area elementary schools. The objective of this program is to motivate elementary students to read. Through "Harry and SkyHawk's Three Point Play," the students are shown how reading allows them to "learn and explore", "achieve their dreams" and most of all, how reading can be "fun"! Sponsored by Philips Electronics, T-Mobile, and Sprite, the program uses the excitement of professional basketball and Hawks mascots Harry the Hawk and SkyHawk to encourage reading. Fast Break for Reading has four components - Coordinator's Orientation, the NBA All-Star Reading Challenge, School Assemblies, and Coordinator's Appreciation Night. If you would like more information on this program, please email Matt Schweers.
All-Star Teacher Award
The Atlanta Hawks and Bank of America have joined together to reward principals and/or teachers of all grade levels and subjects for enhancing the lives of students. There are many teachers that go beyond the day-to-day demands of their jobs to create an outstanding educational environment for children in their classrooms or schools. This award will help recognize and acknowledge those individuals.
Each month, throughout the 2002-03 Hawks season, the Atlanta Hawks will recognize an All-Star Teacher who exemplifies dedication and commitment to our youth.
Winners of the All-Star Teacher Award will be recognized during halftime of an Atlanta Hawks game. In addition, the honoree will receive a $500 prize with a matching gift of $500 donated to their school.
This award is open to principals and/or teachers of all grade levels and subjects. Nominations may be made by mailing or faxing this nomination form (Word Document). The essays should include why the principal or teacher is being recommended and how he/she is distinguished from other teachers. Entries will be judged on sincerity, content and the impact the educator has had on their students.
Selections will be made by a committee of representatives from the Hawks family and community leaders. Award recipients will be notified two weeks prior to the designated game.
If you would like more information on the program, please e-mail Matt Schweers.
Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA
Presented by Gatorade and Nike, the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program is a national support system that compliments recreational youth basketball leagues across the country. This program provides instructional support materials for players, parents, coaches and officials. The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA program materials are designated for kids age 5-14. To get involved in this program, simply use the league finder, locate Georgia and find a league in your city or town. If there is not a league near you, contact your local youth basketball administrator and encourage them to apply for a Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA league membership.
Another component that will now fall under the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA umbrella is our Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Biddy Ballers.
Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA Biddy Ballers
To encourage kids to participate in basketball at their youth organizations, the Hawks established Biddy Ball to give members of the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA a chance to play on an official NBA court. The Hawks will select local Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA leagues to come and challenge each other during halftime of a Hawks home game. Each participant receives a replica Hawks uniform to wear during the halftime game and later keep as a souvenir. For more information on this program, please email Andrea Carter.
Since 1995, the Atlanta Hawks have made basketball courts in Atlanta's underprivileged neighborhoods a priority through renovating projects. In memory of Hawks scout Gary Wortman who passed away from cancer in October, 2000 the Atlanta Hawks Court Renovating Program will renovate two courts in underprivileged neighborhoods throughout the Atlanta area each year. With the help of The Home Depot, the Hawks will re-pave courts, install new backboards, nets and fencing, and hold a ribbon cutting ceremony to introduce the newly renovated court. Following the ribbon cutting ceremony, a basketball clinic is held. Hawks coaches and players along with other front office personnel will conduct a clinic for the children that live in the renovated court community.
Home Team Hero Award
The Atlanta Hawks' commitment to bettering area communities is no secret. Now the organization will honor those who share that commitment with the Atlanta Hawks Home Team Hero Award presented by Amtrak.
This award will recognize individuals, who through their humanitarian spirit, have made exceptional and lasting contributions in their community. These individuals will exemplify leadership, dedication and a commitment to improving the communities in which they live and work.
In addition to being honored in an on-court ceremony at a Hawks game, each Home Team Hero will receive two round trip tickets on Amtrak to New Orleans, four tickets to a Hawks home game, a team jersey and more. The Hawks will make a ticket donation to the winner's charity of choice.
Print, fill out and fax the award nomination form (Word format) or call the Hawks Community Affairs Department at 404-827-3800 for more information.
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Subject to Official Rules. Program is open to all nominees who are legal residents of the state of Georgia and live within a seventy-five (75) mile radius of the Atlanta Hawks marketing territory, age 16 years or older. AMV$6,000. Limit one (1) entry per person. Game ends April 7, 2003. Void where prohibited.
Throughout each year the Lady Hawks, which consists of players and coaches wives, lead the way as an extension to the Atlanta Hawks Foundation. Since 1996, the Lady Hawks have held a wives luncheon to benefit the Project Prevent My House facility and have helped the Atlanta Hawks Foundation through additional efforts including the annual Festival of Trees exhibit in Atlanta.
One in six Georgia children, thousands of seniors and working poor suffer from hunger every month. Philips Electronics, the Atlanta Hawks Foundation and Shareef Abdur-Rahim's Future Foundation are once again teaming up to help combat such alarming statistics. For every rebound Shareef grabs during the 2003-2004 season, the three groups will donate $25 to the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Fans can also make a difference by downloading the Rebound Against Hunger pledge form (PDF Format) and returning with a donation. For contributing a minimum of $25 fans will receive autographed Reef items. Be sure to visit the website throughout the season to track Shareef's rebounds and see how much money is being raised in the fight against hunger.
The Atlanta Hawks have sponsored Shepherd's Center wheelchair basketball team since 1994. Presented by UPS, The Rolling Hawks consist of a culturally diverse group of men and women ranging from 19 to 42 years of age competing in division II and division III wheelchair basketball leagues.
Team Up for Tickets
Unable to attend a game? Would you like your tickets given to a local community organization? The Atlanta Hawks along with the Atlanta Thrashers, Atlanta Braves and Philips Arena have a program for season ticket holders to donate tickets that can not be used because of prior engagements. With your thoughtfulness, and the help of Big Brothers Big Sisters, children that are normally unable to attend games can come see the Hawks in action at Philips Arena. Your donation is tax deductible. Call 404-827-GIVE (4483) for more information.
Public Service Announcements (PSAs)
Being professional athletes, our players have the extraordinary opportunity to reach out to fans and make an impact on the community. Throughout the year, players and coaches help nonprofit organizations convey their messages and services through appearing in radio and television public service announcements.
Annually, the Hawks conduct a clinic for 100 athletes and 25 coaches of the Georgia Special Olympics basketball teams. Hawks players and coaches lead clinics, skill drills and participate in 5-on-5 games with Special Olympians.
During the season, select Hawks players each purchase 20 seats for every home game to donate to youth organizations in the Atlanta area. Organizations that benefit from Player's Corner tickets include Boys & Girls Club members, neighborhood athletic teams, school and church groups, YMCA members and many more.
As part of a series of events to honor Martin Luther King Jr., the Hawks host a day entitled "A Day in the Life of a Child." The Hawks invite Atlanta area mentoring groups to a special brunch and a Hawks game.
The Hawks have an extraordinary amount of talented individuals in the organization who are often called upon to make public appearances including our mascots, players and front office staff members. When schedules allow, we attend autograph sessions, charity events, speaking engagements and school assemblies. In addition to players, Harry the Hawk, SkyHawk and Hawks Dance Team members are often seen around town, entertaining fans and putting smiles on everyone's faces.
As the holidays approach, Hawks players, coaches and front office staff participate in a variety of activities throughout the Atlanta area. Annual events include a canned food drive, visits to soup kitchens and local children's hospitals and the Adopt-A-Family program.