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As a part of the 2006 WNBA Finals, members of the Monarchs as well as other WNBA players such Betty Lennox, Shameka Christon and Ann Strother and led a Be Smart-Be Fit-Be Yourself Clinic in Sacramento.
(Rocky Widner/NBAE/Getty Images)

The WNBA is deeply committed to WNBA CARES programs that improve the quality of life for all people, with a special emphasis on promoting health and fitness, breast health awareness, reading and youth basketball programs. As we mark the ninth season of the WNBA, the league and its players continue to be recognized for their commitment and dedication to the community.

The WNBA will embrace its responsibility as the preeminent women’s professional sports league with powerful role models to continue to deliver important messages and programs related to the areas of health, fitness, nutrition and self esteem.
Jennifer Azzi's Fitness Q&A's

WNBA Be Smart - Be Fit - Be Yourself will encourage teens and women of all ages to learn more about their bodies and the importance of physical fitness. Programming has been developed to encourage teens and women to get started on “being fit” through small changes in their daily regimen.

The program will serve as a year-long “call to action” for teens and women to make a commitment to being fit and healthy. The official tip-off of the program will correspond with the start of the 2006 season. The content of the program will be communicated and delivered through vehicles including a Fitness Journal, ‘Team’ of Spokespeople and National and Local Events and Promotion.

Breast Health Awareness
See your team's community involvement!
The WNBA Breast Health Awareness program focuses on generating awareness and educating women about breast cancer in addition to raising funds for the initiative.

Since the inception of the partnership, the WNBA and its teams have raised over $200,000 to benefit Breast Health Awareness. Highlights include pair of online auctions, held in July and October featuring games of HORSE with WNBA and NBA Stars, memorabilia and other autographed items.

The Fight Against Cervical Cancer
The WNBA has teamed with Digene Corporation to help educate women about the benefits of the HPV test in preventing cervical cancer. A 'Dream Team' of top WNBA players will serve as an integral part of a national awareness campaign to underscore the importance of obtaining a human papillomavirus (HPV) test for women 30 years of age and older. The presence of HPV causes virtually all cases of cervical cancer.

Read to Achieve
Read to Achieve is a year-round, league-wide initiative supported by NBA, WNBA and NBDL teams that promotes the values of reading and on-line literacy and encourages families and adults to read regularly with young children. The program includes thousands of reading time-outs, the donation of books and literacy materials, and the creation of Reading and Learning Centers and Reading Corners throughout the world.

National and local All-Star Reading Teams have been formed consisting of current and former NBA and WNBA players and other members of the NBA and WNBA family, who promote reading efforts through in-arena events, public service announcements and school and community appearances throughout the year.

The Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA believes that lessons learned on- and off-the-court as a member of a team are lessons that are infinitely useful in building relationships at school, home and work. By stressing fundamental skill development, teamwork, sportsmanship and positive adult participation, the Jr. NBA/Jr. WNBA aims to develop a life-long passion for the game of basketball by providing a support structure that not only encourages participation, but also makes the game fun and rewarding for players, coaches, officials and parents.

Helen Darling and the Charlotte Sting's Ten Days of Caring in celebration of the WNBA's Ten Years of Caring brought the team to a "Be Smart, Be Fit, Be Yourself" Fitness Rally at the First Ward Elementary School in Charlotte, N.C. (Kent Smith/NBAE/Getty Images)

> Sacramento wins Court of Dreams.
> WNBA celebrates 10 Years of Caring.
The WNBA Community Assist Award was created to honor the WNBA Players that reflect the passion that the league and its players have for their communities. The WNBA will recognize one player in each of the 14 WNBA team markets with an off-season Community Assist Award. In June, July and August, the WNBA chooses one player from across the league for the Community Assist Award and will make a donation in the name of that player to the charity of her choice.
> Riley receives Community Assist Award for August.
> Lennox honored with Community Assist Award in July.
> Catchings is June Community Assist Award recipient.
> Cash Opens Resource Center
Students at Catherine Ferguson Academy, a school in which most of the young women are either new mothers or pregnant, crowded around their library in excitement on Tuesday, May 9. They knew WNBA Shock star forward Swin Cash was inside with others beginning to remodel their library.

> Barb Farris Adopts a Family Barbara Farris added four new members to her extended family this holiday season as she “adopted” the Bondio family as part of the Oakland Livingston Human Service Agency (OLHSA) Adopt-a-Family program.
> Darling Participates in Reading Rally
Charlotte guard Helen Darling is spending her offseason in the community, going from school to school on the reading caravan and Teaches for America.

> Nikki McCray Visits South Africa
The Tennessee native spread generosity across the ocean and met some very inspiring youngsters.

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