Wednesday, February 2, 2011

DETROIT PISTONS HOST FOURTH ANNUAL PISTONS CARE TELETHON BENEFITING BOYS & GIRLS CLUBS IN MICHIGAN

In Play Magazine

All Proceeds Help Pay for Memberships and Programming for Youth in Need

The Detroit Pistons announced today that the 2011 Pistons Care Telethon benefiting all Boys & Girls Clubs in Michigan will take place on Friday, March 18. The team is devoting the entire day leading up to the Pistons game against the New York Knicks, including their in-arena presentation and game broadcasts, to raise money for Boys & Girls Clubs. The telethon begins at 5 a.m. with live radio and television broadcasts at The Palace and runs throughout the day, culminating with the Pistons-Knicks game at 7:30 p.m., broadcast on Fox Sports Detroit and 97.1 The Ticket.

Boys & Girls Clubs will utilize all proceeds from this year’s telethon to funding memberships, programs and initiatives to help children enhance their lives in the areas of character and leadership; education and career development; the arts; sports, fitness and recreation; and health and life skills. Many Michigan children struggle with the effects of single-parent households and families dealing with economic struggles, substance abuse, violence and poverty. The team and the entire Palace Sports & Entertainment organization are asking for the support of the Pistons community.

“We are excited to announce the Boys & Girls Clubs of Michigan as the beneficiary of the 2011 Pistons Care Telethon,” said Karen Davidson, owner of the Pistons and Palace Sports & Entertainment. “Bill Davidson’s legacy of philanthropy lives on through Pistons Care and Pistons-Palace Foundation’s community outreach efforts.”

Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan reports that its members have a proven track record of excellence both scholastically and professionally with 90% of members graduating from high school and 95% of those members going on to higher education. Furthermore, Club alumni report earning an average household income that is 39% higher than the national average. The cost of an annual membership for a child is only $50, however the actual cost of delivering a year of service is $500 per child. Members can participate in many programs and activities with each receiving the individual attention they need when they visit their Club, which is often the third most frequented location in that child’s life besides their home and school. Members are given the opportunity to interact with professional staff that serve as much-needed role models and mentors and encourage them to set goals, build on their strengths and fulfill their potential.

“We have a unique opportunity as a professional sports organization to give back and make a consequential and lasting impact on people’s lives,” said Alan Ostfield, President & CEO of the Pistons and PS&E. “Boys & Girls Clubs provide a safe and developmental environment for kids when they need it most and The Palace family is dedicated to providing services for youth statewide during the 2011 calendar year."

Donations can be made immediately by visiting www.pistons.com and clicking the “Donate Now” button. Online donations will be accepted until March 18. Donors interested in participating on the day of the telethon will be provided a toll free number to call throughout the day. To learn about other fundraising programs that allow individuals, businesses, schools or churches to get involved, please call the Pistons community relations department at 248-377-0100.

“We would like thank the entire Pistons organization for its commitment and dedication in supporting Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan and Boys & Girls Clubs throughout the state of Michigan as this year’s beneficiary of the Pistons Care Telethon. Together, Boys & Girls Clubs across the state serve some 100,000 children annually, ages 6-18, 1st -12th grades,” said Len Krichko, President & CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan.

In 2008, the Pistons became the first professional sports team in Detroit and in the NBA to present an entire home game as a charitable fundraiser and since then has raised more than $1.3 million in pledges through the annual Pistons Care Telethon.

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