News & Research
Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation Named 2012 Sport Team of the Year
Wednesday, September 05, 2012 - Beyond Sport, the global organization that promotes, develops and supports the use of sport to create positive social change across the world, has awarded its prestigious Sport Team of the Year honor to the Memphis Grizzlies organization and Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation.
Executive Director of the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation Jenny Koltnow received the award on the Grizzlies’ behalf in London, England. The Grizzlies Mentoring Alliance, which is part of the Grizzlies Foundation, is a member of MENTOR’s nationwide network of Mentoring Partnerships.
Chosen from almost 300 projects worldwide, The Memphis Grizzlies organization highlighted in the application their Grizzlies TEAM UP Youth Mentoring initiative, presented by Duncan-Williams, Inc.; Grizzlies Read to Achieve, presented by International Paper; Grizzlies Healthy Home Court initiatives, presented by Kellogg’s; and local partnerships, including the one with St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. More than 25,000 youth are served each year through these combined efforts and, for the second time in team history, the Grizzlies led the NBA in community/marketing events in the local community.
“It’s a tremendous honor to be named the Sport Team of the Year for this year’s Beyond Sports Awards. This year, we presented the combined work of the Grizzlies Foundation and the Memphis Grizzlies Community Investment efforts, both operating initiatives and outreach to advance education and youth development in the Memphis region,” said Koltnow. “We’re grateful to our Grizzlies colleagues and partners throughout Memphis who’ve helped us achieve this milestone.”
“To be recognized by Beyond Sport as the Sport Team of the Year for 2012 for our community work in Memphis marks one of the proudest days I have had as the owner of the Memphis Grizzlies,” Grizzlies owner Michael Heisley said. “This award is a culmination of the hard work and dedication of our local ownership group, along with our team of players, coaches and front office staff, and I cannot thank them enough. Since Day One in Memphis, our goal as a franchise has been to become an integral part of this Memphis community, and this award shows that we are having an impact.”
The Grizzlies Community Investment team and the Grizzlies Foundation joined the Boston Celtics (United States), Queens Park Rangers FC (United Kingdom), Tottenham Hotspur (United Kingdom) and RIHP NTH QLD Rubies (Australia) as finalists in the Sport Team of the Year category.
Founded in 2004, the Grizzlies Foundation recruits and refers mentors, provides training and technical assistance to mentoring programs and actively raises awareness throughout the community. It has donated more than $29 million to Memphis-area nonprofit organizations since its inception. In addition, the Grizzlies Foundation opened Memphis Grizzlies Preparatory Charter School, an all-boys college preparatory public middle school in downtown Memphis, this July.
To learn more about the Memphis Grizzlies Charitable Foundation and the TEAM UP Youth Mentoring Initiative, visit www.grizzliesteamup.org. For more information on Beyond Sport, go to www.beyondsport.org. For more information and resources on quality youth mentoring, as well as MENTOR’s network of Mentoring Partnerships, visit www.mentoring.org.
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