ALEXANDRIA, Va., Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- From the front office to the
playing field, the American sports industry is lending some of its biggest
names to help kids stay in school. Among the coveted items available are
lunches with sports celebrities and signed sports memorabilia to be auctioned
off during the fourth annual Lunch With A Leader(TM) online celebrity auction.
The auction, which will end at 6:00 p.m. EST on February 20, takes place on
eBay and will benefit Communities In Schools, the nation's largest dropout
With Lunch With A Leader, there is no reason to wait for next year's
football season to get in the game. Heisman Trophy-winning quarterback Matt
Leinart is available for bidding along with Atlanta Falcons fullback Justin
Griffith, all-pro defensive end Chester McGlockton or a Jacksonville Jaguars
sideline-game experience that includes an opportunity to meet the players,
have an autograph session and be the ultimate fan.
"I am excited to partner with Communities In Schools on this auction,
because I really believe in their cause," says Matt Leinart, Heisman trophy
winning quarterback, USC. "To me, education is the most important thing in
life," he added. In 2005, Leinart proved his commitment to education by
choosing to complete his senior year at USC, instead of leaving school to be
drafted by the NFL a year earlier.
"It is very gratifying to see that so many of today's big names in sports,
like Matt Leinart, recognize our cause of dropout prevention as one that needs
to be addressed," says Bill Milliken, founder and vice chairman, Communities
In Schools. "From hockey to football to basketball, we are thrilled to have
this level of support for Lunch With A Leader."
Sports fans can buckle up for a lunch with NASCAR legend Richard Petty or
current Nextel Cup driver Brian Vickers. Some of the world's best mountain
climbers are also available for bidding: Christine Boskoff, the leading
American female alpinist; Phil and Susan Ershler, the only married couple in
the world to reach the Seven Summits; Danielle Fisher, the youngest climber in
the world to reach the Seven Summits; Michael Gauthier, the lead climbing
ranger on Mt. Rainier; Ed Viesturs, the only climber in the world to summit
the tallest mountain on all seven continents without oxygen; and Jim
Whittaker, the first American to summit Mt. Everest.
Bidders can also learn front-office techniques from sports executives like
Rich Dozer, president of the Arizona Diamondbacks; Peter Magowan, president
and managing general partner of the San Francisco Giants; Don Waddell, Atlanta
Thrashers' general manager; or Larry Coker of the Miami Hurricanes, an NCAA
National Championship winning coach.
Now in its fourth year, Lunch With A Leader has attracted more than 300
celebrity leaders who, through their participation, directly impact the lives
of young people at risk of dropping out. Communities In Schools' 1 percent
expense ratio ensures that proceeds from the online auction will go directly
towards helping kids stay in school and prepare for life.
In addition to these sports stars, singer Alicia Keys, actress Jenna
Elfman and Starbucks president and CEO Jim Donald have joined such
personalities as James Carville, Patti LaBelle, Kevin Eubanks, Sam Donaldson,
Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina, hip-hop mogul Russell Simmons, ABC
chief Washington correspondent George Stephanopoulos, and dozens of others in
support of Communities In Schools.
Sponsors of this year's Lunch With A Leader include: ICAP(R), Cox
Communications, Bloomberg, Capital One Financial Corporation, UBS, Comcast
Corporation, CVS/pharmacy, PT Research, Inc., Fannie Mae Foundation and The
Founded in 1977, Communities In Schools is headquartered in Alexandria,
Va. Today, nearly one million young people every year receive direct services
through more than 200 Communities In Schools affiliates in 28 states. For two
years in a row, Worth magazine named Communities In Schools one of the 100 top
nonprofits in America.
SOURCE Communities In Schools