SEATTLE, March 18, 2022 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Doug Baldwin, Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett announced today the formation of Champions for Change, a philanthropic endeavor to fund grassroots non-profit organizations in the Seattle region. The trio of Super Bowl-winning athletes also announced a weekend of fundraising events June 24 through 26, including a sports celebrity basketball game hosted at Climate Pledge Arena. The former Seahawks said their goal is for the basketball game to become an annual event, celebrating Seattle athletes and their causes, but primarily to generate revenue for change-making non-profits in the Puget Sound region. Tickets for the June 26 game are on sale starting today.
“As players, we came together in a brotherhood that set aside individual priorities for the benefit of the team,” said Doug Baldwin. “That effort was celebrated, in unity, by this city and region. Our goal is to take what we learned during our championship chapter to build a new team, and once again bring the city and region together, but this time to support the organizations that make our families and communities stronger.”
While they were playing and during retirement, the three Champion Seahawks players have been involved in philanthropy, activism, and strategic community investments. During this time, they realized both that genuine collaboration yields stronger results than individual efforts, and societal change cannot occur without meaningful support for families of all forms. Champions of Change is the result.
In the inaugural year, the organization’s fundraising events will include:
- The celebrity basketball game on June 26, 2022 featuring the legends of Seattle sports teams
- A “Game Changer” auction and draft party where attendees can donate for tickets to play a variety of games with Seattle sports stars
- A day of service, when members of Champions of Change will dedicate their day to several projects in the region in partnership with their benefitting partners.
“Our goal is to make the basketball game, auction, and day of service annual events,” said Bennett. “We are dedicated to doing what we can to support the local organizations that have been the longtime support system for families within their communities. Doug, Cliff, and I intend to supercharge the work we have seen change the lives of families, and we are asking others to join us.”
The June 26 Champions of Change Celebrity Basketball Game will be produced by 3PT, with Montero Productions as the event planner for the overall weekend events. Founders Baldwin, Avril and Bennett said that the game will feature the greats of Seattle sports history as players and coaches. Champions of Change will be making regular announcements of the participants between now and the day of the game.
“We have a lot of friends in the sports community,” said Avril. “While I don’t want to ruin the surprises, we are working toward the game featuring well-known players from our team, and former or current stars from the Mariners, Storm, Sonics, Sounders, Kraken, Reign, Huskies, Cougars, as well as NBA, MLB, and NFL players raised in this area. What I will tell you is this: Fans are going to enjoy the game.”
Each of the grassroots non-profits being supported by this year’s events are sustaining a path upon which families can heal from traumas, and take their own steps toward providing a stable, healthy, and loving home for their children.
In 2022, Benefitting Partners include:
-Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic
Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic is an enduring community partner with a dedication to promoting quality pediatric care, family advocacy, health collaboration, mentoring and education in a culturally relevant context. The clinic’s founder, Odessa Brown, fought to bring quality healthcare with dignity to children in the Central District during the civil rights era. Her vision became reality and today her legacy clinic sets the standard for comprehensive care and continues to be a primary support network for families throughout the Puget Sound region.
DADS is a grassroots organization leading a movement to eradicate the epidemic of absent fathers in America. They are committed to giving fathers hope by walking together in supportive community, and helping navigate relational and legal barriers separating them from their children and families. The goal of DADS is to restore families by empowering absent fathers to be responsible family leaders and stop the cycle of family violence and brokenness in order to provide a protective and loving path for children.
-Women United Seattle
Women United Seattle is a respite for kinship caregivers and the children they care for. Research has shown children who have absent or unfit parents thrive better mentally and emotionally when paired with relatives rather than strangers; yet, there is not currently systemic or sustainable support for kinship families. That’s the gap Women United Seattle aims to fill in South King County. The organization was founded by Alesia Cannady, a grandmother now raising her granddaughter, so she brings a deep understanding of the needs of kinship caregivers like herself – a supportive community offering love and encouragement, as well as assistance with the activities and essentials the children they care for need.
-Humble Design Seattle
Humble Design Seattle serves local families emerging from homelessness by transforming empty houses into welcoming homes. The homes are curated by design teams that personalize decor based on their clients’ needs, preferences and photos or images that are meaningful to the families. More than a makeover, it’s a start over. Generally, more than 50% of individuals return to homelessness within a year of securing housing. For those moving into a Humble Design home, less than 1% return to homelessness.
-Dignity for Divas
Dignity for Divas believes restoring the self-worth of women who have been unhoused is the first step on the road to stability and self-sufficiency. Their unique program of counseling and workshops helps women overcome trauma and gain tools to live a purposeful life. This puts them in a better position, both emotionally and mentally, to successfully transition out of homelessness. Their Dream Academy in downtown Seattle provides counseling services, resume building classes, technology training, interpersonal skills and wellness classes.
For more information about Champions of Changes and upcoming events, please visit championsofchange.org.
About Champions of Change
Champions of Change is a fundraising coalition of Championship Seahawks players, supercharging local organizations embedded within their community, offering services for families that champion dignity, empowerment and collaboration.
Jameelah James, Champions of Change, +1 (206) 581-3390, [email protected]
SOURCE Champions of Change