Honor to Be Presented During Wizards Home Game

WASHINGTON, D.C. -The Washington Wizards will honor three community leaders with the Pioneer Award, presented by Amtrak during the game against the Orlando Magic on February 29 at 7:00 p.m. The honor was created to recognize African Americans within the Washington, D.C. metro area who, through hard work and dedication, have positively impacted the communities in which they live.

This year's honorees are Dr. Betty Jo Gaines, Executive Director of Bright Beginnings, an organization dedicated to providing a bright start for homeless infants, toddlers and preschoolers and their families; Natalie Randolph, Head Coach of the Coolidge High School varsity football team and the first woman to lead a high school football squad in the metropolitan area; and Neal Henderson, founder of Fort Dupont Ice Hockey Club (FDIHC), a development program that teaches local and inner-city youth discipline via sports activities, establishes self-esteem and offers incentive to excel academically.

"Amtrak is pleased to partner once again with the Washington Wizards to present the Pioneer Award to three deserving individuals who are true forces of positive change in their communities. Their dedication and hard work keeps us here at Amtrak inspired to aim higher," says Dawn Marcelle, Director of Employee Relations at Amtrak.

Past recipients include Terri Freeman, President of the Community Foundation for the National Capital Region; Peggy Cooper Cafritz, founder of Duke Ellington School of the Arts; and Rick Lee, owner of Lee's Flower & Card Shop.

"We are excited to join forces with Amtrak to present these deserving individuals with the Pioneer Award," stated Washington Wizards Executive Vice President Greg Bibb. "They have distinguished themselves and provided an outstanding example by improving our community, and we are proud to honor them for their efforts."

Season tickets, partial plans and group tickets are currently available by calling the Wizards sales office at 202-661-5050 or by visiting For individual game tickets, please call Ticketmaster at 202-397-SEAT or visit

About the Washington Wizards:

The NBA's Washington Wizards are owned and operated by Monumental Sports & Entertainment, which is one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports. The company also owns and operates the NHL's Washington Capitals, the WNBA's Washington Mystics and Verizon Center, the premier sports and entertainment venue in Washington, D.C. Monumental Sports & Entertainment also oversees the management of Kettler Capitals Iceplex - the training facility for the Washington Capitals and the Patriot Center arena at George Mason University.

About Amtrak:

Celebrating 40 years of dedicated service as America's Railroad AmtrakĀ®, is the nation's intercity passenger rail provider and its only high-speed rail operator. A record 30.2-million passengers traveled on Amtrak in FY 2011 on more than 300 daily trains - at speeds up to 150 mph (241 kph) - that connect 46 states, the District of Columbia and three Canadian Provinces. Amtrak operates trains in partnership with 15 states and four commuter rail agencies. Enjoy the journeySM at or call 800-USA-RAIL for schedules, fares and more information. Join us on and follow us at