Atlanta, Ga. - Celebrate Positive announced today that University of South Carolina Baseball Coach Ray Tanner and University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari have been nominated for the inaugural 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Awards in the Coach category.
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 coach's community involvement and impact on their community to determine this year's winner.
"Celebrate Positive congratulates Ray Tanner and John Calipari for exemplifying what giving back to the community means" said Scott Pederson, President and CEO, Celebrate Positive. "Coach Tanner and Coach Calipari are not only winners on the field. They are winners off the field as well."
"Coach Tanner's success on the baseball field, as illustrious and unprecedented as it is, nonetheless pales in comparison to what he has given back to the university and to the Columbia community," said Harris Pastides, President, University of South Carolina.
"He has selflessly converted his personal accomplishments into a tremendous dedication to achieving the greater good. We are blessed at the University of South Carolina to have Ray Tanner the coach, but we are doubly blessed to have Ray Tanner the humanitarian."
“From day one when John Calipari arrived on our campus, he embraced the Commonwealth,” University of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart said.
“Everyone that has spent any time with Cal knows he has a heart of gold and both he and his wife Ellen care about children. He helped raise over a million dollars in the Hoops for Haiti telethon and didn’t stop there by involving his team with Samaritan’s feet and their cause after a trip to Haiti. We are extremely proud to have him as a representative of our program.”
Tanner was nominated by Oliver Gospel Mission for his personal involvement with the organization which included helping pack 500 boxes for needy families throughout the Midlands for Thanksgiving, and for his financial contribution through the Ray Tanner Foundation.
"Coach Tanner has a true heart for the homeless", said Wayne Fields, President/CEO of the Oliver Gospel Mission "He and his family have been helping the Mission over the years not only with their time but financially as well. We are excited to have him back again as this year's spokesperson."
Calipari was nominated by Samaritan's Feet where he not only helped deliver shoes in June to orphans in Haiti, but washed the feet of the orphans before putting new shoes on their feet. In August, the two-time Coach of the Year also set an example for his players and staff who joined him in washing the feet of children in need at a shoe distribution in Detroit, followed by leading the kids in basketball drills.
“Coach Calipari has used his platform to call attention to the plight of the millions of children around the world who suffer from infection, disease and even death due to a lack of proper footwear”, said Todd Melloch, Director of Marketing for Samaritan's Feet. “He recently went barefoot during the National Anthem at a Kentucky basketball game to encourage UK fans and students to support Samaritan’s Feet.