-- New Facility to Aid Hundreds of Homeless Children in New York --
-- WNBA Tips Off 2006 All-Star Week with Annual Legacy Community Event --
NEW YORK, July 6, 2006 – WNBA All-Star 2006 will not only showcase the outstanding talent of the best female athletes in the world, but it will also celebrate the WNBA’s 10 years of dedicated commitment to its fans and the community.
In honor of New York playing host to the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game on July 12 at Madison Square Garden, WNBA Cares, the league’s community outreach initiative has partnered with Toyota to unveil a brand new WNBA Cares "Learn and Play" Center at the Life Shelter, a City-run facility located at 78 Catherine Street in New York City. WNBA All-Stars, basketball legends, executives and local personalities will be on-hand to officially unveil and dedicate the new center on Monday, July 10 from 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. ET.
The All-Star Legacy Project is highlighted by the extensive renovations which have been undertaken to improve the facility for the families and provides the donation of books, furniture, TV’s, DVD players, computers and additional reading materials. Construction tipped off in June and volunteers, including New York Liberty stars Kelly Schumacher, Loree Moore, Ashley Battle and Keisha Brown and members of the WNBA and NBA family visited the site throughout the month to help with the renovations.
"The WNBA Cares All-Star Legacy project serves as the centerpiece of our community outreach efforts in New York throughout 2006 All-Star week, and once again it demonstrates that the women of the WNBA have an incredible dedication to giving back to their fans and to the community" said Kathy Behrens, Senior Vice President NBA and WNBA Community and Player Programs. "We know that the new WNBA Cares Learn and Play center will bring new educational opportunities and renewed motivation to the hundreds of children that the Life Shelter serves."
Life Shelter offers temporary shelter to homeless families from the New York City area including children ages 5-13. In addition to providing social services to help families who are experiencing homelessness, the facility partners with several not-for-profit and public organizations to provide clients with a variety of programs designed to help minimize the disruption to children’s lives and aid parents in transitioning from shelter to permanent housing.
The WNBA "Learn and Play" center will serve as the new site for the Life Shelter’s many recreational and educational programs including after school art activities and a library program supported by the New York City Department of Education and designed by local college students who help the children develop their reading skills.
The WNBA All-Star Game is set to take place on July 12, 2006 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Live coverage begins on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. ET.
Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc. is the marketing, sales, distribution and customer service arm of Toyota, Lexus and Scion in the United States, marketing products and services through a network of 1422 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealers in 49 states. Established in 1957, TMS and its subsidiaries also are involved in distribution logistics, motorsports and general aviation. For more information please visit http://www.toyota.com.
About the New York City Department of Homeless Services (DHS)
The agency mission is to overcome homelessness in New York City. DHS prevents homelessness wherever possible and provides short term emergency shelter and re-housing support whenever necessary. DHS oversees 203 facilities and works with about 150 non-profit and other organizations to deliver shelter and related services to New Yorkers experiencing homelessness. For more information and to view the City’s five-year plan to end chronic homelessness by two-thirds by 2009, log onto www.nyc.gov/dhs.
About WNBA Cares
Through WNBA Cares, the WNBA is deeply committed to creating programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on promoting a healthy lifestyle and positive body image, breast health awareness, youth and family development, and education.
About the WNBA
Featuring 14 teams and the greatest female basketball players from around the world, the WNBA is the longest-running and most successful women’s professional team sports league in U.S. history. The league’s historic 10th Anniversary season, which tipped off on Saturday, May 20, features significant interactivity with fans who have played and continue to play a key role in selecting the league’s All-Decade Team, the WNBA’s Greatest Moments and the starters for the 2006 WNBA All-Star Game set to take place on July 12 at Madison Square Garden in New York City (live on ESPN at 7:00 ET). The WNBA’s 10th Anniversary season includes appointment viewing on Tuesday nights as ESPN2 will televise 14 WNBA games – including five doubleheaders – on Tuesdays this spring/summer. WNBA games and programming also will be shown in 198 countries via 79 telecasters in 34 languages this season.