WNBA kicks-off partnership with Nothing But Nets

WASHINGTON, D.C. |  June 14, 2007

Nothing But Nets—a grassroots campaign to prevent malaria—announced today that the Women's National Basketball Association (WNBA) is joining the global effort to raise awareness about malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa.  WNBA president Donna Orender and Washington Mystics president and managing partner Sheila Johnson will formally launch the league’s partnership with Nothing But Nets during a reception hosted by Congressman Donald Payne (D-NJ), Chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa and Global Health, on Capitol Hill tonight, June 14, 2007.

“We are pleased to team up with the strong female leaders at the WNBA to help raise awareness about malaria,” said Kathy Bushkin Calvin, Executive Vice President of the United Nations Foundation, a founding partner of Nothing But Nets. “Every day 25 million pregnant African women risk severe illness and harm to their unborn children from a malaria infection. By working together with organizations across the globe, we can help spread the word that malaria kills and nets save lives.”

The partnerships' first event will be an in-arena event hosted by the Washington Mystics on Friday, June 15, 2007, at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.  At the game, players, and fans will come together to combat malaria together through pre-game and half-time presentations, auctions, and contests.

Nothing But Nets also announced today that it teamed up with The United Methodist Church to visit local hospitals, clinics, and orphanages in Zimbabwe to better understand the impact of malaria and to distribute bed nets to those in need.  From June 9 to 15, 2007, Nothing But Nets joined the Baltimore-Washington Conference of The United Methodist Church on their bi-yearly visit to their partner church, the Zimbabwe Episcopal Area of The United Methodist Church, in Mutare. Also, during this trip, Nothing But Nets worked with local community health workers to support the training of over 200 local pastors to help them spread the message to their home congregations and communities that malaria kills and nets save lives.

United Methodist Bishop John R. Schol will share highlights from the Zimbabwe trip during the faith leaders’ lunch on Thursday, June 19, 2007, at the Metropolitan United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C. 

While malaria has been eliminated in the United States, each year the disease kills one million people and has in inordinately high impact on children. Yet, there is an easy, affordable way to prevent the deadly disease—sleeping under insecticide-treated bed nets stops mosquitoes from biting. A $10 donation to Nothing But Nets sends a bed net to an African family and educates them on its use. Since the Campaign was created less than a year ago, Nothing But Nets has engaged over 55,000 people in a discussion about malaria and delivered more than $7 million to put nets over the beds of families throughout Africa.  


About Nothing But Nets
Nothing But Nets is a global, grassroots campaign to save lives by preventing malaria, a leading killer of children in Africa. Inspired by Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly, thousands of people have joined the Campaign which was created by the United Nations Foundation.  Founding campaign partners include the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The People of the United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. Other partners include VH1, The Mark J. Gordon Foundation, AOL Black Voices, The Wasserman Foundation, Major League Soccer’s MLS W.O.R.K.S., the Women’s National Basketball Association, and Rotarians’ Action Group on Malaria.  It only costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation matches donations dollar for dollar. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.

Press Contacts:
Amy DiElsi
United Nations Foundation, Communications Officer
(o) 202.419.3230, (c) 202.492.3078 (e) adielsi@unfoundation.org


Ruth Riley “…Saving lives is not only a worthy cause in itself, but people can also have a lot of fun in the process!!”

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