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HEAT to Unveil Learn & Play Center


Newest Center Increases Total Number Of Learn & Play Centers Built By HEAT To Seven 

MIAMI, 3/16 – As part of its ongoing commitment to improving the South Florida community, Miami HEAT player Jermaine O’Neal, the HEAT Dancers, in-arena host Dale and Burnie will unveil the renovation of its seventh HEAT Learn & Play Center at the Miami Rescue Mission (MRM) located at 2025 N.W. 1st Avenue, Miami 33127 on Wednesday, March 17 from 3:00 - 4:00 p.m. Alongside presenting sponsor BlueCross BlueShield of Florida, the HEAT will renovate the second floor of the MRM Community Activity Center’s game room and computer lab. HEAT sponsor HP has donated all the new computer equipment, while Sony has donated a Playstation 3 game console. The Home Depot and Glidden have donated all the interior paint from the Glidden Team Colors line of products. Aaron’s has donated the new furniture as well as a 46” LCD TV. An air hockey table and a foosball table will also help make the room an inviting place where children can gather and bond. Fifty backpacks donated by Jordan Brand will be distributed to the MRM children participating in the unveiling event.

“This is the seventh Miami HEAT Learn and Play Center we’ve unveiled in six years,” said Michael A. McCullough, Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Offer of the Miami HEAT. “It’s a source of great pride and tremendous joy for us to continue to provide an appealing space for the children and communities that really need them.”   

A press conference will tip off the event promptly at 3:00 p.m. followed by a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Afterward, O’Neal, McCullough, and Dale, as well as representatives from BlueCross BlueShield of Florida, and Aaron’s will interact with the kids from the MRM in the new HEAT Learn & Play Center.

“We are extraordinarily proud of our continuing partnership with the Miami HEAT and our shared commitment to the community,” said BlueCross and BlueShield of Florida Market President Penny Shaffer. These Learn and Play Centers are truly special places.  They offer children a warm and nurturing place to read, relax, and just be kids.”

This Learn & Play Center unveiling represents the latest activity from the Miami HEAT under the “NBA Cares” initiative.  The six other existing HEAT Learn & Play Centers are located at:

  • HEAT Academy @ Dunbar Elementary (2004)
  • HEAT Academy @ Little River Elementary (2006)
  • Community Partnership for Homeless (2007)
  • HEAT Academy @ Riverside Elementary (2007)
  • Bucky Dent Gymnasium (2008)
  • His House Children’s Home (2009)

The Miami HEAT is proud to welcome Assist-Card as the Presenting Sponsor for the 2009-10 season.