Bill Russell’s Legacy Celebrated with a Statue in Boston
Commemorating Bill Russell’s unparalleled achievements and contributions as an athlete, as a human rights leader and as a champion of mentoring programs across the country
BOSTON (May 4, 2011) – The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation in partnership with the newly formed Bill Russell Legacy Committee announced today they will erect a statue of Bill Russell in the city of Boston designed by a local artist. In commemoration of Russell’s accomplishments as the greatest champion in the history of professional sports, as a national leader in human rights and as a dedicated advocate for youth mentoring, the Bill Russell Legacy Project will also develop a Mentoring Grant program in Russell’s name to ensure his passion is carried on by expanding the resources for mentoring programs in the city of Boston.
Co-chaired by Boston Celtics Managing Partner/Co-owner and President of the Shamrock Foundation Stephen Pagliuca and Boston Philanthropist, Founder of the Sager Family Foundation and Chairman of Polaroid Bobby Sager; the Bill Russell Legacy Committee consists of Karen Russell, Russell’s friends, colleagues and former teammates as well as Mayor Tom Menino and his Administration. The Boston Celtics Shamrock Foundation has established the Bill Russell Legacy Fund to act as the major funding vehicle for the project.
“We are honored to play a role in paying tribute to such an extraordinary athlete, leader and legacy,” Boston Celtics Managing Partner/Co-owner and President of the Shamrock Foundation Stephen Pagliuca said. “Bill Russell will forever be remembered in Boston, and it’s fitting that the ultimate benefactors of his legacy will be future generations of our beloved city’s youth.”
Mayor Menino, who convened and hosted the first meetings of the Committee, said, “I am so proud to be part of an effort to honor Bill Russell. He is not only one of the greatest champions the sports world has ever seen, he is a man who has stood by and delivered for our young people through his support of mentoring programs. I want all Bostonians and all who work or visit here to recognize Bill Russell and all his accomplishments.”
The Bill Russell Mentoring Grant Program will invest in Boston’s youth by awarding grants annually to local non-profit organizations to help increase the number of children in Boston who have access to quality, structured, caring adult mentoring programs.
“I am uncomfortable with honors such as this but my years as Captain of the Boston Celtics were the proudest moments of my career,” Boston Celtics Legend Bill Russell said. “Mayor Menino’s Boston has proven to be a City that embraces the diverse contributions of all its people and neighborhoods. I am thankful to the Celtics and all the contributors for the effort to create such a wonderful Mentoring program.”
In order to facilitate and administer the grant process, the Bill Russell Legacy Project is partnering with Mass Mentoring Partnership, the state affiliate of MENTOR of which Mr. Russell is a board member and the umbrella organization for more than 170 mentoring programs in the state.
To donate to the Bill Russell Legacy Fund and for more information on the project and grant applications, please visit www.billrusselllegacy.org.