April 13, 2005
Hannah & Friends, the foundation created by University of Notre Dame football coach Charlie Weis and his wife Maura to assist individuals affected by autism and other developmental disabilities, has partnered with Forever Collectibles to create an officially-licensed Notre Dame Fighting Irish/Hannah & Friends gold silicon bracelet.
The bracelets will sell for $2 each – and portions of the proceeds from their sales will go both to Hannah & Friends and to South Bend-based LOGAN (those funds will be designated for the Regional Autism Center at LOGAN).
Bracelets will be sold starting Saturday, April 23, 2005 (the day of Notre Dame’s final spring football game). They are available by calling 1-800-532-3713, at www.ndshop.com, at www.HannahandFriends.org, and at all Hammes Bookstores on the Notre Dame campus. Hammes Bookstores already have purchased 50,000 bracelets to make available over the coming months.
Weis, his coaching staff, and honorary Blue-Gold coaches and Irish football legends Joe Montana, Joe Theismann, Chris Zorich and Tim Brown all will be wearing the gold Notre Dame Fighting Irish/Hannah & Friends bracelets during the 76th annual Blue-Gold Football Game on April 23. The bracelets will be sold at the game.
The Hannah & Friends bracelet will begin being sold on April 23, 2005, the weekend of the Blue and Gold Spring Football Festival.
Hannah & Friends is a 501(c)(3) non-profit foundation dedicated to providing a better quality of life for children and young adults affected by Autism and other developmental disabilities. The foundation eventually will provide funding for the construction and ongoing operations of a farm, located in South Carolina. The farm will feature a petting zoo and a riding program, which will provide jobs for those living at the farm.
Founded in May 2003, Hannah & Friends also has established the Hannah’s Helping Hands program, which awards quality of life grants (of up to $500 each) to Rhode Island and Indiana families that care for someone with autism or other developmental disorders and that demonstrate need.
“On behalf of the Weis family, this project will benefit not only Hannah & Friends, but LOGAN as well. Ten percent of the earnings will go to LOGAN and an additional ten percent will get Hannah’s Helping Hands up and running locally here in Indiana,” says Charlie Weis.
Charlie and Maura Weis founded Hannah & Friends in recognition of their daughter, Hannah, who has been affected by global developmental delays. Maura (chair), Charlie (secretary & treasurer), New England Patriots two-time Super Bowl MVP quarterback Tom Brady, president & CEO of Rhode Island Hospital Dr. Joseph F. Amaral, M.D., and Carolina Panthers head football coach John Fox serve as members of the board of directors.
An advisory committee chaired by Tom Mrva, chairman & CEO of Lighthouse Computer Services, has been organized to provide support for the foundation. Other members of the committee include: Mark Bavaro (former New York Giants and Notre Dame football great), Richard Brackett (general manager, The Capital Grille), Michael Brown (president, Inskip Automotive Group), Michael Intoccia (president, Funway CafÃƒÂ©), Jimmy Smith (owner, James W. Smith Real Estate), John Springs (owner, True Blue Plantation & Caledonia Fish and Golf Club), and Rex Wicker (partner, Taylor, Grueber & Wicker, LLC).
LOGAN’s mission supports the vision of a compassionate community where all people are free to discover their potential. LOGAN was founded in 1950 when a group of dedicated parents, looking for educational opportunities for their children with developmental disabilities, opened a one-room schoolhouse on Logan Street in South Bend. Today, LOGAN provides comprehensive services to more than 1,000 people with disabilities annually in the Michiana area, employs 342 people and has an annual operating budget of more than $11 million. With the help of more than 600 volunteers and 40 community partners, LOGAN serves clients ranging in age from newborns to seniors, and strives to maximize the potential of each individual. LOGAN is committed to working together with others to create a community in which people with disabilities have opportunities, resources, and a chance to contribute.
For more information, contact Hannah & Friends (Kevin Kaplan at 888-599-4483), Forever Collectibles (Carl Bassewitz at 713-667-9520), LOGAN (Pam Jarrett at 574-289-4831) or the Notre Dame Sports Information Department (574-631-7516).