Charlie's Community Mission
The Sporting News knew it in the summer of 2000 when it named Charlie one of its 99 “Good Guys In Sports”.
The NBA knew it in December 2000, when Charlie’s community efforts earned him the League’s “Hometown Hero of the Month” award.
And the Fannie Mae Foundation has known it in both of the last two years, teaming with the NBA to include Charlie among the nine finalists for the NBA Home Team Community Service Award in both 2001 and 2002.
“Our attitude plays a big part in our life,” Charlie once said. “If we don’t have a positive attitude, we won’t get anywhere in life.”
Ward, currently in his eighth year in New York and now the senior Knick in terms of continuous service with the club, has been exuding a positive attitude among the area’s young people since the day he arrived in town back in 1994. A listing of Charlie’s community efforts since he became a Knick would take up much more space than we have here, but here are some of the most recent:
During last summer's home rebuilding in Harlem, Charlie Ward starts to break down the walls to make room for a new family to move in.
In addition, Ward hosted a day-long event for youth from faith-based organizations at the 2001 NBA All Star Weekend in Washington, D.C., which included comedy performances and basketball clinics with several Christian athletes including teammate Allan Houston. The “Slammin’ Jammin’ Basketball Festival” was conceived and funded by Charlie and the athletes of CAUSE.
Charlie Ward visits PS 44 in Staten Island in December 2001.
Then in March 2002, Charlie and teammate Shandon Anderson each donated $5,000 to the Aviation Volunteer Fire Company, whose only fire truck was damaged during the terrorist attacks.
“When you hear some of these stories the only thing you want to do is help,” Ward said. “These are people who go to work every day and put their lives on the line.”
In recent months, Ward has also emerged as an active supporter of such causes as the Christian Businessman’s Association, the MDA’s Muscle Team Benefit, the First Choice Group (a grass roots organization that recruits and trains black and Latino professionals to be mentors) and the Services for the Undeserved benefit dinner, in addition to his long-standing participation in the Starlight Foundation and the Garden’s Cheering for Children Foundation.
Of course, this list is by no means complete. That will be an impossible task, so long as athletes like Charlie Ward keep on giving.