Brandon Sneed’s weekly roundup where sports and goodness collide.
Naval medical officer Dr. Andrew Baldwin—more well-known for proposing to a lady on a little television show called “The Bachelor”—is running two marathons on two different continents in one week to benefit a clinic in Africa and World Vision.
You probably know Baldwin from when he became “The Bachelor” in 2007 and ended up proposing to Tessa Horst. Predictably, they split three months later.
Less well known about the good doctor is that right now he’s fallen in love for real, not with a girl but with kids in Kenya. To help them out, he’s going to run the Nairobi Marathon on Oct. 30 and follow it up with the ING New York City Marathon on Nov. 6.
Baldwin was inspired first by a trip to Laos, the Morton Report reports, where he treated children suffering from gastrointestinal worms. “All it took was one pill that cost less than a penny to save these kids’ lives,” he said.
In 2010 Baldwin went to Kenya with Team World Vision, which brings basic supplies and clean water to children around the world. Baldwin met and decided to sponsor a young boy named Cosmas, an orphan who lost his parents to HIV/AIDS. Baldwin was reportedly moved by the enthusiasm and generosity of the villagers, who experienced more devastation than anything Baldwin could imagine.
Meeting Cosmas and other malnourished kids sent Baldwin reeling. “In the United States we have an epidemic of childhood obesity …” he told the MR. “In Africa and other third world countries, we have kids who don’t have enough calories to survive.”
When he returned home he partnered with ING’s Run for Something Better, a nationwide nonprofit dedicated to promoting fitness and preventing childhood obesity. Baldwin now speaks around the U.S. about obesity and nutrition. He ran the 2010 ING New York City Marathon and of course, as has already been mentioned, will be running it again this year.
To donate to Baldwin’s cause, click here.
Sports Illustrated ran this excerpt (“The Hero No One Knew“) this week of Jeff Pearlman’s new Walter Payton biography Sweetness: The Enigmatic Life of Walter Payton. In it, Pearlman reveals that before Payton died at age 45, he struggled mightily with drug abuse and depression and that the revered football icon also cheated regularly on his wife.
People are ranting and raving and saying Pearlman is sullying their hero’s good name in his selfish pursuit of money and fame and yadayadayada. Of course, there’s no way to really know what Pearlman’s after. Maybe he really does just want to wreck someone’s reputation; maybe he’s some sort of sociopathical sh*t-slinger. But probably not.
Probably, he’s just a biographer trying to do what all good biographers do: Write a book that is complete and worthwhile, neither spending too much time in the light nor fearing the darkness. Hell, a complete and worthwhile story, regardless of the genre, is as much dark as it is light.
None of his sins mean Payton can’t also be a hero. According to what Pearlman wrote in his Chicago Tribune column, he discovered who and what the man called Sweetness really was. It was something so simple, yet also so powerful a reminder.
It reminds us of how tragic it really is that he was gone at just 45; it reminds us how lucky those were who knew him, and how lucky we are who want to know more, as fans of Payton and football and truth, to have someone like Pearlman who bleeds over his work the way he does. And it’s something that, in my mind at least, makes Payton’s legacy even sweeter.
Read the full column here.
I seriously doubt you’ll find charity basketball games better than this.
The game will be played at 7 p.m. on Oct. 8 at Florida International University, where Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas is coach. All proceeds will go toward a charity supporting the educational community of South Florida, Broussard says.
The game will also have a nice brand rivalry flavor to it, as the teams will be headlined by players from the Jordan (Wade, Anthony, Paul) and Nike brands (James, Bosh, Durant). Comedian Kevin Hart, who has appeared in Brand Jordan commercials with Wade, is expected to coach the Jordan team, while Miami-based rap star Rick Ross is expected to coach the Nike club.
Typical. EVERYTHING LeBron does just HAS to be HUGER and AWESOMER than whatever it is the rest of his mortal human beings do. The jag. Putting together some massive all-star game … to … raise … money … for … charity. Um. Yeah. OK. It’s all good.
More than a dozen NBA stars are slated to join the Miami trio on the court. The full rosters are available here.
The Moyer Foundation on Oct. 6-7 is hosting its second annual National Bereavement Camp Conference at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle, Wash. The camp is related to the foundation’s Camp Erin, the nation’s largest network of free camps for children and teens ages 6-17 who’ve lost important people in their lives.
The NBCC provides a unique forum for bereavement professionals to share information, research and best practices.
One of the keynote speakers will be former “Biggest Loser” contestant Abby Rike.
Full story here.
If Minnesota Vikings star running back Adrian Peterson is running a little harder this season, this might be why.
Peterson and his All Day Foundation are partnering with Two and a Half Men star Ashton Kutcher and his wife Demi Moore through their DNA Foundation to raise $500,000 through a Football For Good campaign that fights child sex trafficking. Several other NFL stars are getting involved, too.
An estimated 2 million children fall victim to sex trafficking around the world, and that includes America. Football For Good is working to raise awareness and grow support for programs that help America’s more vulnerable youth. Studies indicate that some 200,000 American kids are at risk of being trafficked.
For every touchdown Peterson scores this season, he will donate $5,000 to the cause. Kutcher and Moore will match that. Boxer Victor Ortiz will add $2,500 more.
You know you’re having a good time when you can combine surfing and philanthropy.
Former world champ Shaun Tomson on Oct. 15 and 16 is co-hosting the fourth annual Project SOS: SURF24, a celebrity surfathon—yes, surfathon, and that is a truly fantastic word—that will benefit Santa Monica Baykeeper, Waves for Water, Inside the Outdoors and Tumelo home. His fellow co-host will be actress and Project Save Our Surf (SOS) founder Tanna Frederick. (Source: SurferToday.com.)
How it works is like so: eight teams of 24 participants per team, each teammate surfing for 45 minutes. Team members are encouraged to raise $500 per person. According to TheGreenGirls.com, the event goal is to raise $50,000 for Project SOS
Every penny goes to charity. If you’re a former world champ like Tomson, great, you frickin’ showoff. But if you’re horrible, like me, no mater, you’re equally welcome. Hey, it’s for charity, dude. Trophies and prizes go to people who raise the most money, not who get the most surf points.
It’s all going down at Lifeguard Tower 28 in Santa Monica, just south of the Santa Monica Pier (Ocean Park & Barnard Way).
The pro surfers sessions will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15th and Sunday, Oct. 16th from 9:30 am to 10:15 am. The celebrity surfers sessions will take follow them on the same days from 10:15 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Amateur participants will fill in the rest of the time for the 24-hour surfathon. And yes, I just wanted to use that word again. Click here to sign up. If all the spots are filled by the time you read this, no worries, you can still donate by clicking here.
For a list of those expected to participate, click here.
Per ARIALasVegas.com, Tickets are now for sale for the 11th annual Michael Jordan Celebrity Invitational (MJCI), which will run March 29-April 1, 2012 at the ARIA Resort & Casino at Shadow Creek in Las Vegas for the second straight year.
Since it began in 2001 the MCJI has raised nearly $6 million for charities, including Make-A-Wish Foundation, Nevada Cancer Institute, the James R. Jordan Foundation and Cats Care, the NBA’s Charlotte Bobcats’ charity arm.
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On with the goodness.