Get Checked and Get Fit

Leaders Pay Tribute to Dr. King Through Character, Education, Health, Fitness and Service

BUFFALO, N.Y. – In honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, January 18, 2010, the Chris Draft Family Foundation will be paying tribute to the late civil rights leader through a host of weekend events. At the forefront is founder Chris Draft serving as an Ambassador of Service for MLK Day.

Draft is the only active athlete to serve as an Ambassador of Service for MLK Day, joining retired running back Emmitt Smith, hip hop artist Usher, actor Edward Norton and a host of others. The Ambassadors of Service are integral to the success of MLK Day of Service, as they help the Corporation generate awareness about volunteering on the King Holiday among a broad audience and promote service as part of the solution to our nation’s most pervasive challenges.

As an Ambassador of Service, Draft has several events planned for the weekend to honor MLK, starting with sharing dinner with the winners of the “Discussion and a Movie: The Blind Side” event. Last week, Draft hosted a private screening and discussion of the 2009 film  “The Blind Side” for student leaders from the Buffalo Public Schools. The students were asked to write an essay regarding the theme of character throughout the film. The winners of the essay will have dinner with Draft at the Emerson School of Hospitality (86 West Chippewa Street, Buffalo, NY 14202) on Friday, January 15.

Saturday, the Chris Draft Family Foundation will host a mentoring event with Big Brothers, Big Sisters. As it is National Mentoring Month, the Chris Draft Family Foundation has teamed with Big Brothers, Big Sisters for “A Day at the Barber Shop” in Buffalo from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, January 16. Young ladies will head to the Hair Firm Beauty Salon (2464 Main St., Buffalo, NY 14214) and young men will go to the House of Masters Barber Shop (295 East Delavan Ave., Buffalo, NY 14208) to promote proper grooming techniques while encouraging overall health and wellness.  The activity will also foster dialogue between “Bigs” and “Littles” regarding the importance of distinct moral qualities, ethical standards and principles which are necessary for the development of positive character traits.

Then, from 2:00 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, January 16, the Chris Draft Family Foundation will join the Boys & Girls Club at the Babcock Clubhouse (282 Babcock Street, Buffalo, NY 14210) for a “Fitness Blitz.” Sixty members of the Boys & Clubs of Buffalo, along with their parents, will participate in three fitness sessions, including one cooking class and two physical activity sessions. The event will feature the Triple Play – Get Fit Challenge. Triple Play: A Game Plan for the Mind, Body and Soul is a dynamic program being offered in Boys & Girls Clubs that encourages healthy eating, proper exercise and the formation of positive relationships witch add up to a healthy lifestyle. The “Fitness Blitz” will also highlight Fuel Up To Play 60 which, a youth program sponsored by the National Dairy Council and the National Football League.

To bring it all together, on MLK Day, Monday, January 18, PUSH Buffalo and the Belle Center will team up with the Chris Draft Family Foundation for a Day of Community Service. West Side residents, members of Buffalo Americorps and members of Youth Leadership Buffalo will be gathering to complete major painting and improvement projects at West Side community centers, including the Grant Street Neighborhood Center (271 Grant St., Buffalo, NY 14213), the Boys & Girls Club (282 Babcock Street, Buffalo, NY 14210) and the Los Tainos Senior Citizens Center (333 Trenton Ave., Buffalo, NY 14201). PUSH Buffalo will also be featured on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on January 24.