NBA Star to visit Grenada by huangyuerongp4

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NBA PLAYER TO VISIT GRENADA DURING TWO YEAR ANNIVERSARY MONTH OF HURRICANE IVAN
Washington Wizards Center and UNICEF Supporter Etan Thomas Supports Community Rebuilding Projects on the Island NEW YORK/ST. GEORGES, GRENADA—September 1, 2006: In an effort to promote sport for development and other psycho-social projects aimed at helping at-risk children, Washington Wizards center, Etan Thomas will today travel to the Caribbean island nation of Grenada accompanied by regional representatives from UNICEF. Thomas, who is 28 and of Grenadian descent, will also review the status of projects supported with funds donated by him in the aftermath of Hurricane Ivan. On September 10, 2004 the massive storm devastated much of the island’s infrastructure. "Young people in Grenada and the rest of the Caribbean face many challenges, like violence, poverty, drugs, and AIDS”, says Thomas. “I have a special connection to Grenada because that is where my grandmother is from, so it is important to me to come back and help in anyway I can. If I can offer advice, share my experiences and lend support to efforts that make a difference in kids' lives, I am more than happy to do so." While in Grenada the 6’10” Thomas will pay a courtesy call on the island’s Prime Minister, the Honorable Dr. Keith Mitchell and also meet with Minister of Youth, the Honorable Emmalin Pierre. He will also meet with the President of the Grenada National Basketball Association and with young people who have been involved in the UNICEF community projects he currently supports. Additional highlights of his visit include the opening of Basketball Fiesta in the St. Patrick’s Basketball League. The trip marks Thomas’ second visit to Grenada, having first visited the island in July 2005 Thomas donated a total of $40,000 to UNICEF in the wake of Hurricane Ivan. Other NBA players, as well as the National Basketball Association donated funds attributable to Thomas' generous gift, totaling $100,000 for UNICEF's recovery efforts in the Caribbean. Thomas’ and the league’s community involvement in Grenada serves as part of the NBA Cares platform, the league's global community outreach initiative that builds on the NBA's long tradition of addressing important social issues. NBA Cares focuses on the areas of education, youth and family development and health-related causes, and partners with internationally recognized youth-serving organizations such as UNICEF to make a lasting impact in these areas. UNICEF's Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean Tom Olsen noted that Thomas' visit could not be timelier.

United Nations Children’s Fund Caribbean Area Office 1st Floor, United Nations House Marine Gardens, Christ Church Barbados

Telephone 246 467 6000 Facsimile 246 436 2812 bridgetown@unicef.org www.unicef.org

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"This visit is very opportune because it comes at a time when UNICEF globally is promoting the use of sports as a useful tool towards the overall development of young people," said Olsen. "Sports can help build self esteem, respect, leadership and cooperation which are important life skills needed to prepare young people to make positive choices about social issues when confronted, he said. “Sportsmen like Mr. Thomas can therefore be seen as positive role models for many Caribbean youth and UNICEF is pleased to have him on board as a partner,” he added. Thomas will be accompanied on this visit by his wife and other family members and it is expected that at the end of his visit, he will have a better appreciation of the issues facing Grenadian children and provide opportunities for more interest and support for key issues facing young people in the Caribbean. * SEE PLAYER PROFILE ATTACHED. About UNICEF Founded in 1946, UNICEF helps save, protect and improve the lives of children in 156 countries and territories through immunization, education, health care, nutrition, clean water and sanitation. UNICEF is non-partisan and its cooperation is free of discrimination. In everything it does, the most disadvantaged children and the countries in greatest need have priority. For more information about UNICEF or to make a donation, please visit www.unicefusa.org or call 1800-4UNICEF. About NBA Cares: NBA Cares is the league's global community outreach initiative that addresses important social issues with an emphasis on programs that support education, youth and family development and health-related causes. Over the next five years, the league, players and teams will raise and contribute $100 million for charity, donate more than 1 million hours of hands-on volunteer service to communities around the world, and build more than 100 places where kids and families can live, learn and play. For further information, please contact: Mark Connolly, Regional Adviser, HIV/AIDS, UNICEF - Latin America and the Caribbean, Tel ++e: (507) 301-7446; mconnolly@unicef.org Tom Olsen , UNICEF Representative for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Tel ++ 246 4676151 Email: tolsen@unicef.org Elaine King, Project Officer, health and Nutrition, UNICEF Office for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean, Tel: ++ 246 467 6165 e-mail: eking@unicef.org Saskia Sorrosa, Senior Manager, Communications, Tel 212 407 8463, ssorrosa@nba.com

United Nations Children’s Fund Caribbean Area Office 1st Floor, United Nations House Marine Gardens, Christ Church Barbados

Telephone 246 467 6000 Facsimile 246 436 2812 bridgetown@unicef.org www.unicef.org

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Learn more at www.unicef.org/barbados

United Nations Children’s Fund Caribbean Area Office 1st Floor, United Nations House Marine Gardens, Christ Church Barbados

Telephone 246 467 6000 Facsimile 246 436 2812 bridgetown@unicef.org www.unicef.org


								
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