Players from the iconic Harlem Globetrotters will demonstrate their basketball finesse and famous tricks at the “Do the Write Thing Challenge” luncheon on Monday, May 13 at the Kravis Center for the Performing Arts in West Palm Beach.
Globetrotters “Buckets” Blakes and “Ants” Atkinson will also present what it means to be part of a team and how kids can offer support to one another to help stop bullying. The 850 guests will include DTWT student finalists, their parents, teachers and principals.
“The ABCs of Bullying Prevention,” a new Globetrotter community outreach program, will be briefly introduced. The program, in coordination with the National Campaign to Stop Violence, targets young children, ages 6 to 12. It involves Globetrotter players discussing the three key words in the ABCs — action, bravery and compassion — and tools that kids can use on a daily basis to reduce bullying.
The program dovetails seamlessly with the Do the Write Thing Challenge, a program also developed by the National Campaign to Stop Violence. DTWT gives sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students an opportunity to examine the impact of violence on their lives through written essays or poems reflecting on what they can do as individuals to reduce youth violence. More than 24,000 Palm Beach County middle school students participated this year.
Also participating at the luncheon will be teens from the West Palm Beach Youth Empowerment Center Audio & Video Program, who wrote and produced a video depicting the experiences of the top six recipients.
For the sixth consecutive year, the DTWT luncheon has been completely underwritten by Florida Crystals Corporation. The William H. Pitt Foundation will provide $500 grants to the school principals who had the highest participation in the program. The law firm of Larmoyeux & Bone P.L. is providing administrative support. The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has underwritten the entire cost of publishing the writings of the 282 students from the 28 traditional schools that fully participated in the program and two alternative schools who selected one of their best submissions.
This year’s DTWT first place “ambassadors” are Della Gaylor, a seventh-grader from Greenacres, and Brandon Schloss, a seventh-grader from Wellington. Both students attend Okeeheelee Middle School. Gaylor and Schloss will receive an all-expenses-paid trip to Washington, D.C. in July, where they and other “ambassadors” from around the country will be honored.
The iconic Harlem Globetrotters is one of the most recognizable franchises in sports. The organization began in 1926 as the Savoy Big Five and now, more than 85 years and 20,000 games later, continues to be synonymous with family entertainment, great basketball skills, breaking down barriers, acts of kindness and a commitment to fans that goes beyond the game.
“We are fortunate and grateful to have the Harlem Globetrotters participate in this year’s DTWT luncheon,” said West Palm Beach trial lawyer Bill Bone, chairman of the local steering committee of the Do the Write Thing Challenge. “They will deliver our important message in a fun and entertaining way.”
For more information about the Do the Write Thing Challenge, call Bone at (561) 832-0623.
ABOVE: “Ants” Atkinson of the Harlem Globetrotters.