MARIO V. CHALMERS FOUNDATION: A WINNER OFF THE COURT
Miami Heat Point Guard Mario Chalmers has never forgotten the motivational phrase he learned as a high school basketball player in Anchorage, Alaska: “In times of adversity, perform!” Chalmers’ road from Bartlett High School to the University of Kansas and finally to the Miami Heat has not been easy, but Chalmers’ performances and successes have been indeed inspirational.
The motivational phrase is one that he tries to share with young people through his Mario V. Chalmers Foundation, a non-profit organization based in Miami. The Foundation creates and supports community-based programs that encourage the positive development of youth through sports and education. Inspiring and enabling young people to live healthy lifestyles, put education first and give back to their communities is a message that Chalmers lives as well.
“Giving back to others has always been an important part of my life,” said Chalmers, who came to the Miami Heat in 2008. “I want kids to know that they can do anything they put their minds to, have big dreams and should always strive to do their best.”
The Foundation has hosted a number of big-name events in South Florida to benefit children’s organizations, including the recent “Dream Big” cocktail party with the Jason Taylor Foundation. Other Dream Big events have benefited the South Dade YMCA Family Center and the Village of Allapattah YMCA Family Center. Not surprisingly, Chalmers started his basketball career at an Anchorage YMCA when he was 10 years old.
After a childhood friend’s mother died of cancer, Chalmers expanded his Foundation’s mission to raise funds for women with breast cancer. The Foundation funds Mario’s Closet at Lawrence (Kansas) Memorial Hospital, where women can get affordable solutions that target the physical effects of cancer treatments. In addition, Mario returns to Lawrence each July to host an annual golf tournament to fund initiatives for cancer research, treatment and awareness.
“I’m so blessed to be able to return to Lawrence and help a community that has supported me for so many years,” said Chalmers, who went to college in Lawrence.
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