WNBA Chicago Sky and UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets Campaign Honor Local Champions

Chicago-Native And 13-Year-Old Girl Win Awards For Saving Lives From Malaria

Chicago, IL

June 10, 2011


Megan Rabbitt

Today in Chicago, the UN Foundation’s Nothing But Nets campaign — a global, grassroots movement to save lives by preventing malaria — announced Naomi Kodama as the winner of its contest to find the next “Champion” in the fight against malaria. Kodama, a 13-year-old from Chesterfield, MO, will receive an award on center court during half time of the Chicago Sky home opener, alongside Chicagoan Bryant Barr, who has raised more than $85,000 for to send life-saving bed nets to Africa.

Over the past two months, supporters who have raised money and awareness to prevent malaria in Africa were encouraged to share their stories, and vote for their favorites on Champions.NothingButNets.net. Out of hundreds of entries, Barr and Kodama stood out as star supporters, having worked for years to raise thousands of dollars to protect families in Africa through the Nothing But Nets campaign. Malaria is a disease spread by a single mosquito bite. Sleeping under long-lasting, insecticide-treated nets can prevent malaria by up to 90 percent.

“Chicago has been championing the fight against malaria for years,” said Danielle Garrahan, UN Foundation’s Associate Director of Global Partnerships. “We’re proud to have supporters like Naomi and Bryant to help us spread the buzz and save lives from malaria, and excited to have the Chicago Sky join us in honoring them.”

The Chicago Sky offered a ticket promotion for the 2011 home opener, for which $10 of each ticket purchase goes to send a net and save a life through Nothing But Nets. “Fighting malaria is of global importance, and the WNBA and the Chicago Sky have worked with Nothing But Nets to build awareness for the campaign since 2007,” said Adam Fox, Chicago Sky President and CEO. “As part of our continuing commitment to participate in this important cause, we are pleased to recognize two outstanding Champions in the fight against malaria.”

Following the third quarter, two Chicago Sky fans will be invited to compete in a shoot out. For every net they make, Junior Chamber International, a partner of Nothing But Nets, will donate $10 to the campaign.

In Africa, every 45 seconds, a child dies from malaria, which is easily prevented through the use of an insecticide-treated net. The nets create a protective barrier against mosquitoes at night, when the vast majority of malaria transmissions occur, and are the most cost-effective method of preventing the spread of the disease. A net costs just $10 to purchase, deliver, and to educate the recipient on its proper use.

Bed nets work: according to The World Health Organization, enough bed nets have been delivered to cover 76 percent of the 765 million people at risk for malaria, and in three years, 11 African countries have cut malaria rates in half.

To date, Nothing But Nets has raised more than $35 million to distribute more than 4 million nets to families throughout Africa. For more information, please visit www.NothingButNets.net.


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 columnist Rick Reilly, hundreds of thousands of people have joined the campaign that was created by the United Nations Foundation in 2006. Founding campaign partners include the National Basketball Association’s NBA Cares, The people of The United Methodist Church, and Sports Illustrated. It only costs $10 to provide an insecticide-treated bed net that can prevent this deadly disease. Visit www.NothingButNets.net to send a net and save a life.

About the United Nations Foundation 
The United Nations Foundation, a public charity, was created in 1998 with entrepreneur and philanthropist Ted Turner’s historic $1 billion gift to support UN causes and activities. We build and implement public/private partnerships to address the world’s most pressing problems, and work to broaden support for the UN through advocacy and public outreach. Through our campaigns and partnerships, we connect people, ideas, and resources to help the UN solve global problems. These campaigns focus on reducing child mortality, empowering women and girls, creating a new energy future, securing peace and human rights, and promoting technology innovation to improve health outcomes.  These solutions are helping the UN advance the eight global targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). For more information, visit www.unfoundation.org.

Media Contact
Negin Janati, United Nations Foundation
(202) 378-7858, njanati@unfoundation.org