Superstation WGN And COX Communications Partner With Hometeam to Help Rebuild Boys & Girls Club In New Orleans
THE NEW ORLEANS SAINTS FOOTBALL TEAM, NEW ORLEANS SAINTS OWNERS TOM BENSON & RITA BENSON LEBLANC EXPECTED TO ATTEND SHOW TAPING ON TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2006
PROGRAM WILL AIR ON SUPERSTATION WGN IN MARCH 2007
NEW YORK, September 14, 2006 – HomeTeam, Superstation WGN's reality show that helps deserving individuals make a fresh start, partnered with Cox Communications to help rebuild a Boys & Girls Club in New Orleans. The club was flooded last year by Hurricane Katrina.
“Today we are thankful that we are able to return quality youth development services to the youth and families in this community. In the mist of the devastation caused by Hurricane Katrina we have received gifts of hope and opportunity for the youth of Southeast Louisiana. We appreciate WGN Superstation's HomeTeam reality show for their support of this project. We are certain that every child that enters this Club will have a sense of belonging, usefulness, competence, power and influence through the daily program and activities” said Bobby Lee Smith, President and Chief Program Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of South East Louisiana. “I also extend a special thank you to Mary Cahill, with Smart Spaces By Design, for her oversight and expertise in this project.”
Every week, HomeTeam, hosted by Troy McClain (The Apprentice), provides deserving individuals or families with The American Dream, a home of their very own .Superstation WGN, seen in over 69 million homes and the exclusive cable station of HomeTeam, partnered with Cox Communications and together reached out to the producers of the show to suggest a "rebuild" in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Rather than rebuild only one home, Superstation WGN and Cox Communications wanted to do more for the hurricane-ravaged community, and it was Cox who suggested HomeTeam help rebuild the local Boys & Girls Club, an integral part of the community.
“With all that this community has been through, it's great to see such a positive step forward for these kids,” said Greg Bicket, Cox Communications Vice President and Region Manager. “We're proud to help with their fundraising efforts and to provide a new computer learning center in the club.”
“We wanted to do something that would have a lasting impact for the people of New Orleans affected by Hurricane Katrina,”, said Bill Shaw, General Manager of Superstation WGN. “This club will serve thousands of families by providing a place for the children of New Orleans to learn and grow.”
Last year, the 7,500 sq. ft concrete building that housed the Boys & Girls Club was badly damaged by Hurricane Katrina. The club, a vital part of the community, offers programs teaching responsibility and provides recreational activities for boys and girls age 6 to 18. Home Team contracted with and supplied Project Management Services through Mary Cahill of Smart Spaces Design, who worked closely with Bobby Lee Smith, President and Chief Program Officer of the Boys & Girls Club of South East Louisiana, and the entire Boys & Girls Club organization to re-design the entire facility over the course of the past four months. In addition, Mozelle Spencer a nationally recognized artist was hired to craft a mural for the interior of the club.
Cox is providing computers, printers and other technology lab equipment to help furnish the club's learning center. Cox and Superstation WGN will be providing advertising time to promote a special fund where the public can make contributions which can be allocated to the rebuild efforts. To donate, visit www.bgca.org or call 800-805-CLUB.
In addition, financing or products were donated by the following Renovation Project Partners:
AmeriCorp Volunteers, Belo Foundation, Boyd Gaming – Treasure Chest Casino, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Circuit City, City of Kenner Police Department, City of New Orleans, Clear Channel Radio, Coastal Waste, Country Music Television, Driskill Environmental Consultants, ESPN – ABC Sports, Forever Young Foundation, Gootee Construction Incorporation, Hands-On New Orleans, LG Electronics, McDonald's, National Football League, New Orleans Recreation Department, New Orleans Saints, Oden Environment Services Incorporation, Pay Back Foundation, Sherwin-Williams, and Wal-Mart.
In the episode taping on Tuesday, September 19 at 4 pm, the new Boys & Girls Club will be “revealed” to the community. For the event, the Boys & Girls Club located at 1140 South Broad Street, New Orleans 70125 is open to the media.
With the Superdome right down the street from the Boys & Girls Club, the New Orleans Saints football team, along with AmeriCorps and local volunteers, were participants in this HomeTeam rebuild. The New Orleans Saints Football Team and owners Tom Benson and Rita Benson LeBlanc will be present at the “reveal” on Tuesday, September 19t,h. Mayor Ray Nagin has been invited to attend.
Superstation WGN will air the Boys & Girls Club “reveal” episode the week of March 19, 2007.
In addition, HomeTeam will return to New Orleans in February 2007 and select a family that will have their home restored as part of an additional show. The recipient will be connected to the Boys & Girls Club either through their work or their association with the club.
HomeTeam is distributed by Litton Entertainment, a leading provider of programming and news content nationwide. “We can think of no better way to enter the 2nd season of HomeTeam than by participating in the revitalization of New Orleans”, said Litton EVP Tim Voit. “But to have our efforts directly help the KIDS of this city, that's rewarding beyond our expectations. We look forward to doing more of the same across the country in Season 2.”
Superstation WGN, Litton Entertainment and HomeTeam are open to creating additional partnerships in other local regions of the country.
Families interested in being on HomeTeam can register at www.hometeam.com.
Superstation WGN, part of Tribune Broadcasting Company, is a nationally distributed cable network with broad-based, family programming consisting of cable exclusives, first-run programs blockbuster movies and sports, available in over 69 million homes. For additional information visit www.superstationwgn.com
About Cox Communications (www.cox.com)
Cox Communications, a Fortune 500 company, is a multi-service broadband communications and entertainment company with more than 5.9 million total residential and commercial customers. Cox offers an array of advanced digital video, high-speed Internet and telephony services over its own nationwide IP network. Cox Business Services is a full-service, facilities-based provider of communications solutions for commercial customers, providing high-speed Internet, voice and long-distance services, as well as data and video transport services for small to large-sized businesses. Cox Media offers national and local cable advertising in traditional spot and new media formats, along with promotional opportunities and production services. More information about the services of Cox Communications, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cox Enterprises, is available at www.cox.com, www.coxbusiness.com, and www.coxmedia.com.
Boys & Girls Clubs of America (www.bgca.org) comprises a national network of more than 3,900 neighborhood-based facilities annually serving some 4.6 million young people, primarily from disadvantaged circumstances. Known as "The Positive Place for Kids," the Clubs provide guidance-oriented character development programs on a daily basis for children 6-18 years old, conducted by a full-time professional staff. Key Boys & Girls Club programs emphasize character and leadership development, education and career development, health and life skills, the arts, sports, fitness and recreation. National headquarters are based in Atlanta.
Superstation WGN: Jessica Bellucci, 212-210-2626 firstname.lastname@example.org
Cox Communications: Stephanie Davis, 404-843-7872, Stephanie.Davis2@Cox.com
Litton Entertainment: Tim Voit, 843-883-5060 email@example.com
HomeTeam: Meghan Holston, 212-633-0390 firstname.lastname@example.org