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PRINCETON, NEW JERSEY The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Thursday named the Notah Begay III Foundation a recipient of the 2012 Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy. Two other recipients include the Chicago White Sox and Women's Sports Foundation.
At the Patterson Award presentation (l to r), Crystal Echo Hawk; Notah Begay, Jr; Notah Begay, III; Carlette Patterson, President of Patterson Sports Ventures; & Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, President and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; Clint Begay.
“I'm thankful that I can use my public platform to raise more awareness of Native American health issues and the need to address them,”
commented Notah Begay III, four-time PGA Tour winner and founder of the Foundation.
“Sports can play a transformative role in the life of a young person, and we're pleased that this award will help highlight our mission to fight childhood obesity and Type II diabetes.”
The Steve Patterson Award for Excellence in Sports Philanthropy award celebrates and promotes those in the sports world who are improving lives by leveraging the unique influence of sports. This year's winners join an impressive and growing list of sports organizations and individuals who are answering the call to give back.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation established the award in 2005 in memory of Steve Patterson, the UCLA basketball star, NBA player, and college coach who became known for his belief in and practice of using the power of sports philanthropy to make a difference. Patterson died of cancer in July 2004 at the age of 56.
Notah Begay III, an American Indian, founded the Notah Begay III Foundation (NB3) to address the epidemics of childhood obesity and type 2 diabetes impacting American Indian children, physical fitness, nutritional, and other health needs that are particular to the American Indian community.
The Foundation approaches the childhood obesity and diabetes epidemics in Native communities by creating sports, nutritional, health, and community development programming that incorporates local cultures and traditions and by empowering tribal leaders to take action. In 2010, the Johns Hopkins Center for American Indian Health conducted two consecutive evaluations of the Foundation's San Felipe Pueblo soccer program. They found that the program significantly impacts the physical fitness of American Indian children. The organization also works to call national attention to the health needs of American Indian children, who receive less than 1 percent of philanthropy foundation funding.
Today's winners reveal just how much Steve's lifelong legacy to improve lives through sports has taken hold,
said Carlette Patterson, Steve's widow and president of Patterson Sports Ventures.
It's clear that the field of sports philanthropy is growing and thriving and I hope more sports organizations will use their incredible leverage to make a positive difference in their communities and nationwide.
photo credit Bill Denver;
posted September 14, 2012 6:30 am edt