Pitchfork Press

Cronkite Summer Journalism Institute 2012

Phoenix Mercury gives back

The Phoenix Mercury’s day doesn’t just consist of running drills and hours of practice to play the perfect game. They also contribute to society by reaching to their community and giving a helping hand.

Coach Gains oversees the Mercury during Practice

For the next three months, the Phoenix Mercury will work with eight charity foundations to raise money and awareness. These charities include Elevate Phoenix, a non-profit organization whose duty is to develop life-changing experiences to Ariz., and Bosom Buddies-Arizona, who provides support to families affected by breast cancer through sharing experiences and knowledge.

“The Phoenix Mercury is very active in giving back to communities,” said Acting Director of Public Relations Rebecca Clark.

Season ticket holders Pam and Peter Werth have also reached out to the community and founded the most successful outreach program the Mercury has accomplished: Adopt-A-Team.

Founded in 2007, the Werths and Mercury came together to develop a program for high school girls’ basketball teams. Schools can apply to be adopted. If adopted, the programs help teams attain new uniforms, equipment, etiquette, resumes and mentorships.

Though they serve their community as a team, Charde Houston stands out with her own foundation helping teenage girls reach their full potential.

Mercury huddle up for a team meeting during practice

The non-profit organization, founded in 2009, Project Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Project Y.O.U.) holds focus groups to help teenage girls from sixth to 12th grade deal with sex, leadership, responsibility and how to become outstanding members of society.

Project Y.O.U. gives equal opportunity to youth who are underprivileged and/or deprived.  They are chosen from area schools, churches and youth groups.

“Right now it’s only among girls, but hopefully when it gets more popular we’ll head over to the males,” said Houston.

The Phoenix Mercury proves that being an amazing player doesn’t mean only practicing plays, but giving back to the surrounding communities as well.

“We are community sport so it’s all about them,” said Clark.

~Amber Franklin

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