United Methodist Communications
Office of Public Information
810 12th Ave. S.
Nashville, TN 37203
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 2, 2007
Contact: Diane Denton
(615) 742-5406 (office)
(615) 483-1765 (cell)
Malaria Prevention Campaign to Hold Global Launch
NEW YORK: Bishop Thomas Bickerton, president of United Methodist Communications, will join NBA legend Sam Perkins, Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly and others for the global launch of the Nothing But Nets anti-malaria campaign on Jan. 4 in New York City, including a launch event at the NBA store on Fifth Avenue at 2:30 p.m. EST.
The launch will also include a malaria advocacy boot camp for student leaders, media appearances and interviews, and activities at the New Jersey Nets-Chicago Bulls basketball game on Jan. 5.
Also participating will be Katherine Commale, a five-year-old United Methodist from Downingtown, Penn., who has raised $10,000 for bed nets with help from her mother Lynda. The two have teamed up to make fund-raising presentations in their community using a diorama handmade by Katherine and her brother Joseph showing how bed nets work.
The people of The United Methodist Church are partnering with NBA Cares, Sports Illustrated, the United Nations Foundation and others in a life-saving campaign to prevent malaria by raising funds to purchase and distribute mosquito bed nets in Africa.
An insecticide-treated bed net can protect a person from mosquitoes that spread malaria, a disease that kills a million people each year-90 percent of whom are African children.
The campaign, which got its start from a Sports Illustrated column by Reilly urging readers to make a $10 donation to buy a net and save a life, has already raised enough money to provide more than 220,000 nets. Accompanied by a film crew from United Methodist Communications, Reilly recently visited Nigeria to talk with some of the people who have received nets and to see the campaign's impact.