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Kayla's Reading Garden
The Hawks and Thrashers helped bring some afternoon cheer to Stonewall Tell Elementary School, which was devastated by the loss of one of their own. Kayla Lemons was a smart and funny student at Stonewall Tell Elementary who lost her life in a horrific Easter car crash that also claimed three members of her family. Earlier this week Kayla was honored when students at the school teamed up with the community to develop a campus memorial to the third-grader. Named "Kayla's Reading Garden" because of Kayla's love of books, the area includes benches, flower beds, trees and a plaque about Kayla. After learning the school library was developing a special collection dedicated to Kayla, the Hawks and Thrashers donated books to start the collection, distributed Read to Achieve t-shirts, bookmarks, pencils and much more.





HORFORD NAMED COLLIER AWARD RECIPIENT
Prior to this evening's Atlanta Hawks vs. Orlando Magic game at Philips Arena, the Hawks' Al Horford was awarded the Jason Collier Memorial Trophy by the organization for his dedication to community service. The Collier Trophy, named after the late Hawks center who passed away October 15, 2005, is presented annually to the individual who best exemplifies the characteristics Collier displayed off the court as a community ambassador.


BID ON HAWKS-AUTOGRAPHED RECYCLED BASKETBALL
Hawks fans, the NBA is auctioning off team-autographed recycled basketballs as part of the NBA's Green Week initiative. The basketballs are currently live on the auction site and can be viewed at the following link. The auction ends on Thursday, April 16th at 4:00 PM EST




ZAZA PACHULIA VISTS WEBER SCHOOL
Responding to a request from a special fan, Zaza Pachulia visited students at Doris and Alex Weber Jewish Community High School on Thursday, March 26. The Hawks center spoke to over 200 kids about growing up in the Republic of Georgia, his travels abroad as a professional basketball player and answered questions for the students. Approximately 20 students at the school are members of the Zaza Pachulia Fan Club and it was fan club president, Jeremy Spielman, who led the charge to get his favorite player to the school. Zaza received a thunderous ovation as he entered the auditorium, complete with strobe lights, music and a video presentation. The afternoon was capped off when the students surprised Zaza with school supplies for him to send to the school he supports in his home country.




HAWKS PLANT TREES AT VINE CITY PARK
As part of Philips Arena's inaugural Green Week, the Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Thrashers and Philips Arena along with The Home Depot rolled up their sleeves and played in the dirt for a special tree planting project at Vine City Park, an area hard hit by the tornado of 2008. Showing their green thumbs for the afternoon were Hawks and Thrashers owner Rutherford Seydel, Hawks players and alumni, NHL alumni, Thrash, Harry the Hawk, A-Town Dancers, Blue Crew members, Atlanta Spirit employees and Home Depot associates. The group planted trees, built a community bulletin board and installed bollards to help keep the greenspace thriving for Vine City residents. (Photo credit: Jennifer Boxley)

Click here to watch video of the event!



ATLANTA HAWKS' AL HORFORD VISITS NORTHCUTT ELEMENTARY SCHOOL
Hawks center Al Horford made a special appearance at Northcutt Elementary School in College Park on March 18. The surprise visit is part of the prize pack fifth grade student Deantae Birdsong received as the winner of the "What Keeps You Moving" Essay Contest. The contest, part of the Read to Achieve program presented by Philips and Sprite, was open to all Georgia elementary school students kindergarten-through-fifth grades (photos by Jennifer Boxley).



Hawks Take Part In Team Reading Day

Atlanta Hawks players and coaches joined students at M. Agnes Jones Elementary School in Atlanta for a special Read to Achieve event (presented by Philips and Sprite) on March 10. The Hawks took part in a school assembly, and visited classrooms to read a variety of books and discuss the importance of literacy with the children. In addition, Reading Tree donated books to each child and presented the school's media center with 500 books. (photo by Jennifer Boxley)

Click here to see a video recap!


Hawks Celebrate Black History Month
As part of this year's celebration of Black History Month, the Atlanta Hawks are honoring prominent African-American leaders during home games in February for their civic contributions, accomplishments and leadership. Beginning with the Hawks - Clippers game on Saturday, February 7 (7 p.m. tipoff), the team will recognize individuals from the Atlanta area who have excelled in these areas during special in-game ceremonies.

The first honoree will be Dr. DuBois Bowman, from the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University. Dr. Bowman builds statistical models for brain imaging data to uncover how the brain functions and its precise role in mental health and other disorders. A graduate of Morehouse College, Dr. Bowman earned a Master's degree from the University of Michigan and a Ph.D. in Biostatistics from the University of North Carolina. He is now an Associate Professor of Biostatistics at Emory University and the Director of the Center for Biomedical Imaging Statistics, the only one of its kind in the world.

On February 10 vs. the Washington Wizards (7 p.m. tipoff), the Hawks will recognize Lucy Hall-Gainer, Founder/CEO of Mary Hall Freedom House (MHFH). Named in memory of her late mother, MHFH's mission is to improve the quality of life of women and women with children by empowering them to break the cycle of addiction, poverty and homelessness. A non-profit supportive housing facility, MHFH offers a number of services, including residential, intensive outpatient and day treatments, as well as mental health services. Since 1996 Mary Hall Freedom House has served over 3,500 women and women with children.

The February 27 Hawks vs. Heat game (7:30 p.m. tipoff) will see the organization honor Calvin "Monk" Jones, the first African-American coach at the University of Georgia. Prior to coaching with the Bulldogs, Jones was acclaimed high school coach and teacher in Atlanta, winning 886 basketball games and State Championships in 1967 and 1969. In 1975, Georgia hired Jones to serve as an assistant coach in basketball and football, making him the first black coach at the school. A member of the Atlanta Sports Hall of Fame, the Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and the Georgia High School Coaches Hall of Fame, Jones received the Coach of the Year Award from the Georgia Athletic Association for four consecutive years (1968-71) and again in 1986. Born and raised in Atlanta, he graduated from Booker T. Washington High School before receiving a bachelor's degree from Tuskegee Institute in 1948.

Click below to view video tributes to our Black History Month honorees:

http://www.nba.com/video/teams/hawks/2009/02/19/DuBoisBowmanBHM.nba/team/hawks/index.html
http://www.nba.com/video/teams/hawks/2009/02/19/LucyHallGainer.nba/team/hawks/index.html
http://www.nba.com/video/teams/hawks/2009/03/09/BHM_CalvinJonesFeature.nba/team/hawks/index.html



Zaza Pachulia Hosts Holiday "Z-Spree"
On the afternoon of December 22, Hawks center Zaza Pachulia treated 20 children from the Mother's Raising Sons organization to a holiday shopping "Z-Spree" at Toys "R" Us in Buckhead. After the kids selected their toys, the group assisted Pachulia in purchasing holiday gifts for children from his home country, the Republic of Georgia. The gifts will be distributed to children who lost fathers in the nation's recent military conflict. (photos by Jennifer Boxley)



The Top Three - Natali Nava, 3rd Place (left), Shernite Arnold, 1st Place (center) and Jehuti Willis, 3rd place (right)

Hawks Host Poetry Slam
The Atlanta Hawks and United Way of Metropolitan Atlanta (UWMA) teamed up to bring you the first Atlanta Hawks Youth Poetry Slam. Metro-area high school students were asked to submit original works with a LIVE UNITED theme and the Top 10 semi-finalists competed prior to the Hawks game on December 19th. Finishing in First Place, Shernite Arnold of Booker T. Washington High School earned the opportunity to perform her verse during the halftime of the Hawks' annual Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday game on January 19th. Jehuti Willis of Westlake placed second and Natali Nava of Independence High School placed third. Judges for the competition included Donna Lowry from WXIA, Joyce Little from V-103, Charlie Jackson from the Georgia Department of Education and Milton J. Little, president of UWMA. The top three winners will be featured on a January WXIA and V103 broadcast.


Winner Shernite Arnold expresses what LIVE UNITED means to her


Natali Nava


Hawks and Thrashers Participate in Traveler's Aid Holiday Adopt-A-Family Program
The Atlanta Hawks and Thrashers teamed with Traveler's Aid to support their annual Holiday Adopt-a-Family program, which provides gifts of new clothes, toys, food and other items to low-income families in the Metro Atlanta Area during the holiday season. The Thrashers and Hawks contributed more than $25,000 to the Adopt-a-Family program. Adopting a total of 83 families, every player, coach and general manager for both teams, along with the Hawks trainers, adopted one or more families. On December 17th, Hawks Executive Vice President and General Manager Rick Sund, along with Thrashers Executive Vice President and General Manager Don Waddell, helped distribute the gifts at the Traveler's Aid office.

Over the years, the Travelers Aid Adopt-A-Family program has allowed an opportunity for many selfless and compassionate people in the community to share in the holiday spirit by sponsoring - or adopting - single parent families, low-income families with children, or families in shelters. Without the support of so many sponsors and the tireless energy of so many volunteers, hundreds of residents in our community would experience much less happiness during the holiday season.

Watch the highlights here!


JOE JOHNSON HOSTS ANNUAL SANTALANTA PARTY
On Tuesday, December 16, Atlanta Hawks guard Joe Johnson hosted the fourth "JJ's Santa-Lanta for Kids" holiday event for approximately 100 teenagers from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Metro Atlanta. Johnson, an alumnus of the William E. Thrasher Boys & Girls Club (in Little Rock, Arkansas), treated the kids to dinner, bowling and holiday gifts. The event is part of Johnson's longstanding and continued support of the Boys & Girls Clubs.

Watch the highlights here!


XTREME ROOM MAKEOVER WINNERS ANNOUNCED
The Ron Clark Academy reached out to their family of donors and volunteers to propose an Xtreme Room Makeover project where different teams would compete against one another to makeover our students' bedrooms. Thirteen teams signed up for the challenge, and after months of planning, each team had 36 hours to completely transform one child's room.

One of the contestants, Reggie, is a huge Hawks fan, with his favorite player being Joe Johnson. The Atlanta Hawks wanted to get involved so they donated a signed Joe jersey & picture to be custom framed for the room, 2 signed Joe jerseys for Reggie and his brother to wear, Atlanta Hawks goodie bags & much more. In addition, Joe invited Reggie and his brother Terrell to come out to his annual Santa Lanta holiday event at 300 Atlanta on Tuesday, December 16th. After a tough decision by the judges, they voted Reggie's basketball themed room the First Place winner! For more information on this Xtreme Room Makeover, please visit www.ronclarkacademy.com



HAWKS HOST FLICKS & KICKS

Hawks forward Marvin Williams, along with guards Acie Law IV and Mario West hosted the third "Flicks & Kicks" event on December 14 for children from Traveler's Aid of Metropolitan Atlanta and Cobb County. The Hawks trio joined the kids for a special screening of the feature film Madagascar 2 at the United Artists Perimeter Pointe theatre before having dinner at the Hudson Grille, which donated all the food and services for the event. Each child received a number of gifts, including Reebok or Converse shoes.

Watch the highlights here!



HAWKS HOST ANNUAL THANKSGIVING EVENT
The Atlanta Hawks tipped off the holiday season with a special Thanksgiving event at Philips Arena on Tuesday, November 25. Beginning at 4:30 p.m., Hawks players and coaches joined approximately 100 underprivileged children from the Atlanta area in assisting Levy Restaurants chefs preparing a holiday meal with all the trimmings. The kids and team participated in a basketball clinic on the Hawks practice court, decorated cupcakes in the Levy Restaurant kitchen and later dined together in Philips Arena's Center Club.

Participating children were from Traveler's Aid, Mother's Raising Sons and the Future Foundation. Each child received a Hawks goodie bag that included a disposable camera and Hawks picture frame so the memories from the day could be captured for a lifetime. Levy Restaurants donated all of the food and services for the event as part of their "Levy Cares" program. Photo Gallery


TEEING OFF FOR A GOOD CAUSE
It was a beautiful 82 degrees and sunny...the perfect day for teeing off for a good cause. These were the conditions for the Atlanta Hawks Foundation annual golf tournament held on Thursday, October 16 at Flat Creek Country Club in Peachtree City. The highlight of the afternoon was the Hawks team mixing and mingling with sponsors off the court and on the greens. Whether taking a putt, signing autographs or posing for photos, the players, coaches and Hawks GM Rick Sund demonstrated their appreciation for the foundation sponsors.

Since the golf tournament's inception in 1994, more than $1,000,000 has been raised in support of the organization's charitable endeavors. Such efforts include providing college scholarships to high school seniors, awarding grants to local youth charities, and opening Reading & Learning Centers at Boys & Girls Clubs and YMCAs.

Platinum sponsors included Philips, Coca-Cola, Comcast, Delta Air Lines, Fast Signs of Buckhead, Kia Motors and UPS. Breakfast was provided by Chick-Fil-A