The Rotary Club of Tulsa will present a President's Award to the Philadelphia Eagles sports franchise at the Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards in June. In the 18-year history of the awards program, only two other President's Awards have been presented — one to former UCLA coach John Wooden in 2004 and one to Olympic medalist speed skater Joey Cheek in 2007. The award was created to honor individuals who promote and advance the qualities of leadership, education and compassion and who inspire others to do the same.
The Philadelphia Eagles recognized its potential as a social impact leader and role model. With this leverage, the team has taken the lead in establishing an award-winning charity, Eagles Youth Partnership and cutting edge business practices that demonstrate how a business can do well by doing good. The Philadelphia Eagles were the first professional sports team in the United States to establish a charity that brings critical mobile services directly to children in their neighborhoods, where the team is welcomed and embraced, bypassing the common barriers of race, ethnicity and class. Through technical assistance provided by EYP, other NFL teams are following the Eagles lead
EYP is a community outreach program, which serves over 50,000 low-income children in the greater Philadelphia region every year with a focus on health and education programs. Through EYP, the Eagles offer services to kids at school and neighborhood levels. Signature programs – the Eagles Eye Mobile and the Eagles Book Mobile – capitalize on the Eagles popularity to gain the attention of hard-to-reach children. EYP also is responsible for an annual playground build and partners with other non-profit organizations for a variety of youth programs.
The Eagles were the first team to start selling pink Eagles merchandise to raise money and awareness for breast cancer research. The NFL adopted this program league-wide during October (Breast Cancer Awareness Month). Since the program's inception, Eagles Tackling Breast Cancer has raised more than $1.5 million toward breast cancer care and research in the Philadelphia area. Now all 32 teams in the NFL sell pink team merchandise each October, leveraging fan loyalty to raise awareness and millions of dollars for cancer research.
The Eagles created a Go Green initiative that combines reuse, recycling and renewable energy sources (100% wind and solar) that remove the team entirely from the electric grid. Now the NFL and 12 of its teams have also converted to sustainable business practices.
Tuesdays in the Community are a long-standing tradition in the Eagles community relations' world. Each Tuesday is a day players see as a chance to make a meaningful difference in peoples' lives. The activities vary: trips to schools reminding students to stay active; military outreach with the USO; visits to homeless shelters; equipment donations to youth sports programs; tree planting with kids at the Eagles Forest…the list goes on. On any given Tuesday, the Eagles are out in the Greater Philadelphia area helping others.
The Eagles earned a Sports Team of the Year award from Beyond Sport in 2011. Beyond Sport is a global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world.
Sarah Martinez-Helfman, executive director of the Eagles Youth Partnership, will accept the President's Award on behalf of the NFL franchise at the ceremony on June. The male recipient will be Nnamdi Asomugha, NFL Philadelphia Eagles cornerback. The female recipient will be Jessica Mendoza, National Pro Fastpitch's USSSA Pride and U.S. Women's National Softball player with two Olympic medals. The 2012 keynote speaker and emcee will be announced on a future date.
The Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Awards were created in 1994 by the Rotary Club of Tulsa to recognize a male and a female premiere athlete who has excelled in their sport, and who exemplifies a high degree of citizenship in the image of Henry P. Iba, by demonstrating a desire to help others. Henry P. Iba was former basketball coach for Oklahoma State University and three U.S. Olympic basketball teams.
This prestigious black-tie event will be held at the Renaissance Tulsa Hotel & Convention Center on June 18, 2012. Proceeds benefit the Rotary Club of Tulsa Foundation.
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