Got this press release with a personal appeal:
For Immediate Release
Contacts: Bob Ibach (941-312-4588 or 847-922-6686)
Children’s Miracle Network to Benefit Shands Children’s Hospital at the University of Florida: Margaret Friend (352-265-7953)
Florida Gators Make It 2 Titles in 3 Years With Defensive Win Over Oklahoma
Now Fans Have Chance For Historic Piece of Memorabilia, Funds from Sales Will Bring Smiles To Children’s Miracle Network & Shands Children’s Hospital at U. of Florida
Miami, FL -- Using two great first half defensive goal line stands against a team that regularly put up 60 or more points a game, the Florida Gators proved once again that great defenses are the answer to powerful offenses on a football field.
Facing the No. 1-ranked Oklahoma Sooners, a team that had set a NCAA modern day record for points (702) in a season behind the arm of Heisman Trophy quarterback Sam Bradford, Florida broke open a 14-14 game late in the contest at Dolphin Stadium en route to a 24-14 victory to give coach Urban Meyer his 2nd BCS Championship in three seasons, and the third national title in school history.
And with that big win, the children at Shands Children’s Hospital at UF, a facility named after William A. Shands who was a member of the Florida football team 100 years ago, will also be celebrating in the forthcoming days.
Nikco Sports announced it will continue a special program it began shortly before Christmas to raise funds for many youngsters associated with the Children’s Miracle Network to benefit Shands Children’s Hospital at UF through the sale of a limited edition (just 5,000) full-sized NCAA Championship Football.
The Gators title footballs, with the phrase “2009 National Champions” printed on one of the special white panels, are priced at $99 each and include a display case with a handsome black base. In recent years, Nikco Sports has raised close to $1.7 million for children’s charities and other special endeavors, including past programs saluting Gators football and basketball titles that have raised funds for those at Shands Children’s Hospital.
Fans can order the footballs by calling 1-800-345-2868 or visiting www.nikcosports.com. Each football comes with a numbered certificate of authenticity. The football will feature three distinct and attractive white panels, each one full of historic and important information. These will not be sold elsewhere, making it a “must-have” for any diehard Gators fan, an item that can be displayed proudly at home or at the office.
The Florida Gators football program began in 1906, two years before William A. Shands made his gridiron debut. Since that time, Florida has played in 34 bowl games, won 8 SEC titles, produced 135 All-Americans and 35 NFL first round draft choices and 3 Heisman Trophy winners (Steve Spurrier in 1966, Danny Wuerffel in 1996 and Tim Tebow in 2007). Florida is one of only three schools to win 10 games in a season for six consecutive seasons (1993-98) and one of three to win 9 games for 12 straight years.
Tebow played a major part in the winning the latest title by tossing for 232 yards and two touchdowns and running for another 109 yards against the Sooners of the Big 12 Conference.
Here’s a quick overview of each white panel on the Florida Gators football:
Panel One will contain information about Florida’s football history, and salutes the 2008 season accomplishments. It lists the final regular season record and 2008 SEC title, along with the official logo for the NCAA title game on January 8, 2009, and the colorful official University of Florida logo.
Panel Two will recap the 2008 season, game-by-game, with opponents and final scores of each contest, and also will be framed by another Gators logo.
Panel Three will have the official BCS full color logo, played in Miami on January 8, and include the final 24-14 final score with the phrase National Champions.
“Gator fans have once again witnessed a dominating season of football in winning the national title for the third time in school history, and twice in the past three years—this really shows the dominance of their program on a national scope,” said Nikco Sports CEO Craig Bidner, whose company has continued to give back to the community since its inception in 1992. “We’re very pleased to present this historic piece of sports memorabilia for Gator fans to enjoy and savor for years to come, as we did when they won the title two years ago. The response to that program was overwhelming.
“At the same time, we’re especially honored to be again joining forces with Shands Children’s Hospital at UF as we continue to try and help raise funds for so many deserving youngsters during the holiday season.”
During the past several years, Nikco Sports has almost $1.7 million for charitable organizations across the nation with the issue of limited-edition sports memorabilia that has honored amateur and professional teams, as well as select athletes such athletes as Dan Marino, Brett Favre, Jerome Bettis, Ben Roethlisberger, along with Peyton Manning, Jim Kelly, Carson Palmer, Steve Young, John Elway, David Robinson, John Stockton, Magic Johnson, Roger Clemens, Ryne Sandberg, Paul Molitor, Kirby Puckett, Edgar Martinez, Ichiro, Ozzie Smith, Mark McGwire, Ken Griffey Jr., Nolan Ryan, Tony Gwynn, Craig Biggio and Cal Ripken Jr.
Children’s Miracle Network is an alliance of more than 170 premier hospitals for children providing the best hospital care when they need it. Shands Children’s Hospital is one of the leading referring hospitals in the state of Florida, treating kids from all over the state, 45 different states and 5 countries. Funds raised help children in the community by purchasing life-saving medical equipment and diversionary items, funding pediatric research, and producing patient education materials. For more information, visit http://www.shandskids.org/.