How sweet is that?

Sports Illustrated's Rick Reilly Thanks Readers For Raising Over $1.2 Million To Combat Malaria

Washington, D.C.

August 21, 2006


Megan Rabbitt

In a podcast featured exclusively on the Nothing But Nets campaign website (, Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly thanks the more than 17,000 individuals who responded to his May 5th column about malaria prevention with over $1.2 million in donations. In a just a few months, the UN Foundation and Rick Reilly together raised enough money to buy more than 100,000 insecticide treated nets to prevent malaria. The nets purchased will be distributed in Nigeria this fall. As Rick Reilly said in his podcast, “How sweet is that?”

“When I learned that one million kids die each year from malaria, and they wouldn’t have to die if they only had a net hanging over them when they slept, I wrote a column in Sports Illustrated and said, if you’ve ever cut down a net, jumped over a net, watched the New Jersey Nets, worn a hair net, surfed the net, or loved fishnets send 10 bucks and maybe you could save a life,” said Rick Reilly in the recording.

“The Nothing But Nets campaign purchases bednets and partners with the Measles Initiative—one of the most successful vaccination efforts ever undertaken—to distribute the nets to the countries and communities in greatest need,” said Andrea Gay, Director of Children’s Health at the UN Foundation. “Using its proven distribution system, the Measles Initiative will distribute malaria bednets along with measles vaccinations and other preventative interventions such as de-worming tablets and vitamin A to at-risk countries. It’s an effective and cost-efficient way to get the nets to the people who need them.”

“The Nothing But Nets campaign will continue to grow and hopefully we can cover the whole continent of Africa with these lifesaving nets,” said Reilly. “Now wouldn’t that be the coolest net result of all?”

Every 30 seconds an African child dies from a malaria infection transmitted by a mosquito bite. Every day 25 million pregnant African women risk severe illness and harm to their unborn children from a malaria infection. Malaria can be prevented through a simple, inexpensive measure: sleeping each night under a net treated with insecticides that kill mosquitoes or stop them from biting.

To listen to Reilly’s podcast or to learn more about Nothing But Nets, visit