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CESI Partners with United Athletes Foundation and Builders of Hope for 4th Annual Charity Weekend

Star-studded events include financial literacy, awards gala celebration and community events;

Major announcement of new initiative with non-profits CESI and Builders of Hope;

Fans can attend gala event or register online to win autographed memorabilia

NEW YORK CITY (April 16, 2012) – NFL Legends Jim Brown and Ray Lewis are hosting multiple events in New York City on April 27 – 28 to raise funds and awareness for the United Athlete’s Foundation (UAF), a non-profit organization whose mission it is to leverage the celebrity status of professional athletes to impact positive change in their communities. Fans will have an opportunity to attend the Awards Gala Celebration, as well as register online to win autographed memorabilia.

During the event, sponsors of the Charity Weekend – Consumer Education Services Inc. (CESI) and Builders of Hope – will announce a partnership with UAF that will change the lives of many low income families by helping them find high-quality, safe affordable housing and manage their finances in major markets such as Atlanta and Baltimore.

Reggie Howard, who played seven seasons in the NFL and intercepted Tom Brady in Super Bowl 38, founded UAF and serves as its President & Executive Director. “As a veteran of the NFL, I fully understand and appreciate the ability of professional athletes to positively influence and impact society,” said Howard. “This weekend celebrates all the hard work that these athletes do throughout the year to give back in their communities.”

Held in New York City, the weekend includes activities for children and adults, including:

  • Financial Literacy Symposium, Friday April 27, from 10 – 12 p.m.: In addition to Lewis and Brown, distinguished panelists include Sam & Wilma McNabb (parents of NFL’s Donovan McNabb), Pat O’Conner (CEO of Minor League Baseball), Craig Shapero (CEO of Fairway Payments), Ray Pellecchia (VP of NYSEuronext Communications), Lew Schulman (President of Builders of Hope) and Neil Ellington (EVP of CESI). The event will be held at the NYSE.
  • Awards Gala Ceremony, Friday, April 27, from 2 – 4 p.m.: Celebrating the accomplishments of a group of individuals who have taken it upon themselves to make a difference in the lives of others, this gala event held at the NYSE will honor the following individuals as Athletes of the Year:
    • Pat O’Conner, CEO MiLB – Lifetime Achievement Award
    • Cathy Harbin, Executive Director, Golf 20/20 – Athlete of Year
    • Melvin Ingram, Univ. of South Carolina, Top NFL Draft Pick – College Athlete of Year

Past award recipients include Alonzo Mourning, Hank Aaron, Jerry Rice and Dominique Wilkins.

  • Community Event – Youth Financial Literacy Symposium, Saturday, April 28, from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Held at the Jackie Robinson Community Center (89 Bradhurst Ave., between 146 & 147 Sts.), students from area high schools will hear from Lewis and Brown about managing money.

“This charity weekend is an opportunity for me to begin passing the torch to the next generation of professional athletes, such as Reggie Howard and Ray Lewis from UAF, who are committed to giving back to their communities,” said Jim Brown, who founded the Ameri-I-Can Foundation in 1988. “It’s an honor to work with these leaders from UAF, because they are making a significant positive impact for inner-city families. I look forward to our organizations continuing to work together to make a positive difference together for years to come.”

UAF, CESI & Builders of Hope Rebuilding Communities

CESI and Builders of Hope are partnering with UAF to help achieve the UAF mission of “Empowering Athletes to impact communities through education and social development.” The first initiative of this new partnership will be announced at the UAF Charity Weekend.

CESI, Builders of Hope and UAF will work together to renovate and rebuild neighborhoods by creating affordable housing and financial literacy though the Builders of Hope “Upcycle” neighborhood revitalization program and CESI’s Pathways to Homeownership program.

“We are proud to join with Builders of Hope and UAF to make a difference in communities across the United States,” says Dr. Diane Chen, CEO of CESI. “This initiative features the best organizations providing a holistic approach to financial literacy and affordable housing.”

Builders of Hope is an established and innovative leader in creating and rebuilding neighborhoods by providing high-quality, safe and sustainable workforce housing through the reuse of vacant or abandoned housing inventory. Individuals and families moving into the rehabilitated housing will learn techniques and skills from CESI that are necessary to live on a budget that will allow for rent/mortgage payments as well as cost of living expenses and savings.

“We believe the awareness that UAF Athletes can bring to the problem of blighted and vacant housing in our cities will help us provide safe, sustainable and truly affordable housing while rebuilding neighborhoods and transforming lives,” said Nancy Welsh, CEO of Builders of Hope.

Get Gala Tickets, Register to Win Autographed Memorabilia

For more information regarding the limited tickets available to the public for the Awards Gala Celebration, call UAF at 404-981-4470 or visit online at To register to win autographed memorabilia or to learn more about the CESI, Builders of Hope and UAF partnership, please visit beginning April 25.

“We encourage fans to visit our event website and partnership site to learn more about how these organizations are joining forces to impact change, as well as register to win autographed memorabilia,” said Howard. “This is an easy way for fans to connect with these legends and make a difference in the lives of many families.”

About United Athletes Foundation

The United Athletes Foundation is a 501c3 public non-profit organization created in 2008 by a group of professional athletes who understood their unique role in improving the lives of both the athlete fraternity and society in its entirety. To date, there are more than 100 professional athletes associated with the UA Foundation including members of the NFL, NBA, MLB, WNBA and professional boxing. Founded by former NFL player Reggie Howard, the UAF Board of Directors/advisors includes Ray Lewis, Hank Aaron, Julius Erving and Ambassador Andrew Young. For more information, please visit the Foundation’s website at

About CESI

Consumer Education Services Inc. is a not-for-profit organization for consumers who want financial freedom. CESI offers a complete life cycle of services: credit counseling, debt management, housing counseling, financial education and bankruptcy counseling. Since its inception in 1998, CESI has helped hundreds of thousands of consumers nationwide improve their money management skills and experience debt free living. CESI’s Homeownership Center supports the delivery of a wide variety of housing counseling services to potential homebuyers and current homeowners. Counselors provide guidance, advice, and advocacy to help families and individuals meet their financial responsibilities and improve their housing conditions and choices. The division helps families facing foreclosure and financial crisis as well as clients looking to purchase their first home. For more information, please visit

About Builders of Hope

Builders of Hope is a non-profit organization, 501(c)3 based in Raleigh, N.C. that provides safe, affordable housing to working families through a comprehensive model that incorporates economic benefits, environmental stewardship and social solutions. The organization helps families who otherwise couldn’t afford it, purchase a home of their own or rent quality housing. Builders of Hope saves homes slated for demolition and recycles them using its “Extreme Green Rehabilitation” model for residential construction. The patent-pending process creates beautiful, healthier homes that are energy efficient and less costly to maintain. In Dallas, Builders of Hope operates under the name EcoLogical Community Builders.

About Amer-I-Can

The Amer-I-Can Foundation for Social Change, Inc. was founded in 1988 by Jim Brown upon the belief that self-esteem is the key to improving one’s decision-making process and achieving success through self-determination. The Amer-I-Can Life Skills Training program has been successfully implemented in prisons, jails, juvenile probation camps, middle schools, high schools, colleges, universities, businesses and communities. For more information please visit the Foundation’s website at

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