Celebrate Positive announced today that the Pittsburgh Steelers and wide receiver Hines Ward have been nominated for the inaugural 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Awards in the Professional Sports Team and Professional Athlete categories. This award, viewed as a 21st century peace prize, honors and recognizes individuals, businesses, athletes, sports teams, entertainers and schools around the world for their positive contributions.
The 2010 Positive Peace Award nominees are judged by the United Nations NGO Voting Academy comprised of highly respected United Nations NGOs, such as Rotary International, Pathways to Peace, and Sister Cities International. The Voting Academy will use an established criteria of a professional sports team, athletes and coach's community involvement and impact on their community to determine this year's winner.
"We are honored to be nominated for such a prestigious award which recognizes the importance of helping those less fortunate than ourselves," said Steelers President Art Rooney II. "We have always believed that it takes teamwork to make a true impact in the community and are proud that our efforts are viewed as worthy of being considered for such high distinction."
"Celebrate Positive congratulates both the Pittsburgh Steelers and Hines Ward for exemplifying what giving back to the community means" said Scott Pederson, President and CEO, Celebrate Positive. "The Pittsburgh Steelers are a wonderful example of how a professional sports team can make a positive impact in their community, and Hines Ward is making an incredible impact internationally."
The Steelers were nominated by both the Salvation Army who benefits by player involvement in their Project Bundle-Up program, and the Make-A-Wish Foundation who has a high number of requests involving the Steelers.
"I have been doing this for awhile and it warms my heart every time to see the players relate to the children and the children relate to them," said Fran Brace, Director of Development for the Salvation Army. "They work so well together to get the items they need. The Steelers are fantastic at it".
"Everyone at the Pittsburgh Steelers organization from ownership to coaching staff to players to administrative staff embraces the Foundation and Make-A-Wish mission making each wish child feel special and their wish experience unique and memorable," said Leigh Ann Lubarsky of Make-A-Wish
The nomination of Hines Ward came from Pearl S. Buck International Inc his critical work in Korea which has changed the perception of the biracial population in the community. His involvement has attracted influential Koreans to join him in his efforts.
"Hines Ward changed the cultural landscape of Korea," said Janet Mintzer, President/CEO of Pearl S. Buck Intl. "After Japanese invasions, Korea placed high value on being pure-blooded Koreans, creating prejudice of biracial people. As a successful biracial Korean-American, he returned to Korea, creating media attention which sparked a cultural shift. "
Rotary International, with several of the world's most active local Rotary Clubs based in Pittsburgh, serves on the United Nations NGO Voting Academy
"We at Rotary International are honored to serve on the voting committee for the United Nations NGO Positive Peace Awards," says RI General Secretary Ed Futa. "Every day, Rotary's 1.2 million members address the question, how do we make our world a better place? How appropriate that these awards recognize those individuals and organizations who are asking the same question and taking the necessary steps to achieve positive change in our world."
The winner of the sports categories for 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award will be announced in mid December.
About Celebrate Positive
Celebrate Positive, in coordination with the United Nations and its non-government organizations like, Rotary International, Sister Cities International and Pathways to Peace provides a platform to recognize communities, businesses, schools, athletes and entertainers for the positive work to make a difference in the world. Celebrate Positive has created a destination website that provides inspirational news from around the world as well as efforts being made by the United Nations to promote peace globally. For more information on Celebrate Positive or the organizations and agencies they work with, visit www.celebratepositive.com.