Causes

Coach Popovich Always Giving Back

Coach Popovich is very involved in the San Antonio community; especially in the disadvantage areas, where he is active in promoting recreational youth basketball, leading to him co-founding the Spurs/Pizza Hut Drug Free Youth Basketball League. Being the epitome of a teaching coach (particularly fundamentals) coupled with his passion for promoting the game of basketball, the importance of being physically active, and more led to his founding of the team. He also volunteers at the San Antonio Food Bank, where he is serves as an Advisory Member. Coach is a big supporter of Vlade Divac's "You Can Too" campaign that is designed to provide shelter to former Yugoslavian and African refugees. Coach Pop's passion for teaching has also been beneficial in another main area in his life -his passion for wine. Above all, he enjoys being a co-owner, with fellow co-owners, Deb Hatcher, Bill Hatcher, Sam Tannahill and Cheryl Francis, of two of the booming Pacific Northwest wine industries top wineries, A to Z Wineworks and Rex Hill Vineyards. Just as he and the Spurs organization are leaders and set the standard in the NBA, so have these two wineries and his fellow co-owners, as in 2014 they became the first wineries in the world to be certified as a B Corp. B Corps are leading a global movement of people using business as force for good. A to Z Wineworks and Rex Hill already have a reputation for being one of Oregon's leading green companies (not to mention producers of great wine). Being the first two wineries in the world to earn the B-Corp Certification, they are offering to provide assistance to any other wineries who have the goal of being recognized as a socially and environmentally responsible business and artisans.

READ MORE

Els' Fight Against Autism

After learning that their lovely boy, Ben was quite severely touched by autism, and experiencing firsthand the reality of just how many individuals and families from across the autism spectrum were, (and still are), in desperate need of support, coupled with the knowledge that with your help they could make a difference, Ernie Els and his wife Liezl formed the Ernie Els For Autism Foundation. The annual signature fundraising and awareness building initiative for the foundation is the Els for Autism Golf Challenge. What has become today the largest international, charity-driven, amateur golf tournament in history. This season-long event series takes place between May and September at over a dozen of North America's finest golf courses (see here for courses and dates), culminated in a series finale in Las Vegas. How this event series works is each team's fundraising ability is valued as much as their performance on the actual course. Teams compete in a combined low-net event for a selection of first class regional prizes. All teams that fundraise $13,000 or more get the unique opportunity to join four-time Major Champion and World of Golf Hall of Famer, Ernie Els, and his friends from the PGA TOUR, at the series Finale held in October, where major prizes are up for grabs. Every year the Els for Autism Golf Challenge host a star-studded, Els for Autism Pro-Am. Proceeds from this event predominantly go towards the funding of the The Els Center of Excellence, an incredible, state-of-the-art autism center and hub for the worldwide operations of this great organization and movement. In mid-August of 2015, a tremendous milestone was reached in the fight against autism, as in the Lower School and Auditorium buildings, the heart of their global outreach programs, opened their doors. The Els Center of Excellence provides a uniquely designed, on-site educational program for three hundred children on the autism spectrum between the ages of three and twenty-one. It brings together the critical components of early intervention, transition to adulthood, and medical, professional and adult services - all on one beautiful campus. Committed to a global mission, the center also includes a multi-faceted, global outreach program. Visiting scholars and researchers from around the world gain first-hand knowledge about best practices and the latest innovations in the on-going battle, which has reached epidemic proportions. All around the world one is hard-pressed to find a family that has not been touched by autism across the spectrum. And the much needed capital campaign continues on as the Els for Autism Foundation seeks to complete the work on The Els Center of Excellence. more specifically, to ensure that the continuous build schedule for the Upper School, the sports facilities, the medical and professional component, and the adult services program are created.

Please contact Development Director Kerry Kruckel at: Kerry.kruckel@ernieels.com to make donations. Els also has a charitable foundation that supports children in South Africa who are underprivileged.

READ MORE

Guy Cooks with Kids

Cooking with Kids! was inspired in 2010, when Guy Fieri's sister, who was a vegan most of her life, lived a very healthy lifestyle, was a cancer survivor at the age of four and was cancer free, was diagnosed with melanoma and passed away within a year. Guy told Parade Magazine, "I've always been aware of the tenderness of existence, but it reminded me to live for today. It was almost the difference between watching a movie in black and white and then watching it in IMAX." CWK is dedicated to getting kids in the kitchen so they can learn to cook for themselves, their friends and their family. The core element is showing how food can be a fun way to bring people, family and friends together. The CWK site includes kid-friendly recipes, activities, with which Guy says, "don't underestimate nor speak down to what kids can do", major events, and list of partner organizations who have proudly aligned with Chef and the CWK mission. CWK was also one of the main inspirations behind the Food Network series, Rachael vs. Guy: Kids Kick-off, where teams made up of four talented kids in the kitchen, coached by Rachael Ray and Guy Fieri go head-to-head in a fun cooking competition where the kids are the culinary stars. These kid chefs learn and improve their kitchen skills and are then graded on their dishes each episode. The chef with the best "report card" at the end of each challenge has the opportunity to compete for his/her own web-series. The show also features guest judges, including a surprise video appearance by First Lady -Michelle Obama. Guy took numerous trips to Sacramento, so that this great foundation could be drafted by California state legislation and now the 2nd Saturday in May is "Cook with your Kids Day." It passed unanimously by the California State Legislature. The Madden Family and BR Cohn Winery are part of the proud sponsor/partners of CWK.

READ MORE

Rusty Staub Foundation


Daniel J. "Rusty" Staub grew up in the culinary and vino mecca of New Orleans, Louisiana and graduated from Jesuit High School after developing a reputation for being a player on the diamond, in a way typically saved for playground hoopsters. Staub would go on to play professional baseball for 23 incredible seasons, with five different teams. At only 19 years of age, Staub was signed by the Houston Colt .45's in 1963. It didn’t take long before he was called up by the then Montreal Expos. In Montreal, Rusty not only embraced Montreal’s great culinary culture but in short order (lousy pun intended), he won multiple Expo of the Year honors, and set the team’s all-time mark for on-base percentage (.402) amongst players with a minimum of 2,000 plate appearances. During his illustrious career Staub played in 6 All-Star Games, and starred in the 1971 World Series. Nowadays Staub focuses his energies on humanitarian pursuits, one of which is this former restauranteur’s annual Wine Auction Dinner featuring Great Wines of the World, held at Maoloney & Porcelli Restaurant in New York City (Oct. 18th, 2017). Perhaps the most comprehensive charity auction of Burgundy this side of, well, Burgundy. Over two decades, the Rusty Staub Foundation has raised over $15 million dollars and has fed over 950,000 individuals, with two-thirds of the proceeds raised going towards helping children in need. He also hosts an annual Celebrity Chef And Friends Golf Tournament.


READ MORE