Monthly Archives: June 2011

Maryland Team Banned from Accessories

We see it all the time: athletes wearing accessories for good luck, to promote an idea or product, or just plain to look cool. In Maryland, though, one team has been banned for over twenty years. No rubber wristband or headbands or anything like it. But that may soon change.
The Testudo Times is reporting: “When a poster asked about Maryland’s accessory rules in a comment thread earlier today, I was reminded of this post I wrote – but never published – right after Mark Turgeon was hired at Maryland. I figured now was as good a time as any other to break it out.
Athlete Rubber Wristband Accessory
As a disclaimer, 99% of you won’t care about this. But as an admitted uni-addict, I do. For years, basically ever since Gary Williams arrived in College Park (bless his soul), Maryland players have been barred from wearing any type of “accessory”. Ever since Walt Williams took off his headband three games into the 1990 season, I can’t think of a single player who wore so much as a Livestrong-esque wristband.
No headbands. No shooter sleeves. No sweatbands. For whatever reason, it never happened. It’s hardly a secret that it was a rule; a few players implied strongly (or straight out said) that they weren’t allowed to wear various accessories, thus forcing fans to view their fully-exposed foreheads, forearms, and biceps.”

A Biker’s Mission—Philanthropy, Not Dope

When scandal fills the air of a famous athlete, particularly one that stood as an icon and a hero to millions of people, anger, frustration, and disappointment can sink in. And with good reason. But as we look to the accomplishments of Lance Armstrong, some are saying to just look for the good and not let the scandal of doping interfere. Regardless of whether or not Lance Armstrong doped, they say, he has done amazing things with his worldwide yellow rubber wristband that is fighting against cancer.
As The Independent reports: “A video posted to Lance Armstrong’s website in 2009 shows the cyclist training for the Tour de France on the fearsome Col de la Colombière, one of the great climbs.
Drenched in sweat and panting as he takes on the steepest section before the summit, Armstrong is seen overtaking a small boy riding with his father. “What’s your name?” Armstrong asks, slowing slightly. “Liam,” replies the boy, who is eight years old. Liam wears the yellow and black of Livestrong, the foundation Armstrong set up after surviving testicular cancer. He also sports a yellow wristband, one of 80 million Armstrong has sold for a dollar each, and rides a bike like his hero’s, except it’s so small the tubes that make up its frame are almost as thick as Liam’s little legs. “You know I could barely catch you,” Armstrong tells the beaming boy.
Armstrong Yellow Wristband
I’d forgotten about the clip until last week when I watched an investigation into alleged doping by a man who is a role model to millions. Rumours of drug-taking have surrounded Armstrong like a cloud of mosquitoes for much of his career but he has always strongly denied them, often by means of lawsuits. Now the biggest threat to his reputation – and legacy – has come with stinging accusations by a former teammate. Tyler Hamilton told the CBS News show, 60 Minutes, that, among other things, he and Armstrong had taken the blood-boosting drug EPO together. Armstrong denied the allegations, his spokesman accusing Hamilton of inventing the story to get a book deal. Last week, his lawyers demanded an on-air apology. 60 Minutes refused, insisting its story was “truthful, accurate and fair”. Meanwhile the UCI, world cycling’s governing body, says it supports Armstrong and that it had never been informed of the alleged events.”

Anecdote of a Cancer Survivor

Everyone has their story. And when that story is filled with the pain and experiences of cancer, we listen intently—because we all yearn for the cure that will help the victims and the survivors to find a way out.
In this account, coming from the Myeloma Beacon , one survivor tells of her treatments and her Livestrong wristbands . “June is the 7th anniversary of my autologous stem cell transplant. Dates assigned to diagnosis, transplant, remission, and relapse take on special significance to multiple myeloma patients, but the transplant is often regarded as a kind of rebirth—a new birthday.
What happens when we unwind our idea of who we are to include the ongoing presence of myeloma? When I lay in the hospital bed 7 years ago, I became a different version of myself. Imagining a future this far ahead was impossible.
Our daily life has a melody all its own. Life after myeloma includes a different backbeat, a gentle drumming that may begin to get louder at any moment.
Pink Cancer Wristband
I recently experienced a problem with my foot after an ordinary day. At first I thought little of it, but when it continued to hurt after a week, I saw a doctor who told me I had a spontaneous stress fracture of the metatarsal—something that frequently happens to women.
The backbeat of my post-myeloma life knows that everything is connected. The drumming became a little louder wondering if a bone problem in my foot is related to myeloma.
I have heard about all kinds of life celebration parties for cancer anniversaries—not my style. No Hallmark card required. When one of my dates turns over on the calendar, I pause. Sometimes I wear a yellow LIVESTRONG wristband. Endurance is everything. I am grateful.”

Restaurant Earns Money for Cancer Foundation

In an effort to raise money for cancer research, and to support the Lance Armstrong foundation, the iconic yellow Livestrong wristbands will be sold at restaurants.
News coming out of New Orleans, Gambit reports: “It’s time to eat up, New Orleans — to help fight cancer. Copeland’s restaurants and Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro are donating 28 percent of proceeds on Tuesday, June 28, as part of its “28 Days of Fighting Cancer.” The restaurants have been collecting donations throughout June for seven-time Tour de France champion Lance Armstrong’s LIVESTRONG Foundation. People who donate $1, $5 or $20 receive a link on the restaurants’ paper Chain of Hope, with those who donate $5 also receiving a yellow LIVESTRONG wristband, and people donating $20 receiving a chain link, wristband, LIVESTRONG card and $10 Copeland’s gift card.
Lance Armstrong Wristband
The four-week-long campaign ends Tuesday with celebrity bartenders serving drinks from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. at local Copeland’s restaurants and Cheesecake Bistros. Drinks will be served at Copeland’s restaurants by New Orleans Saints kicker Garrett Hartley (1001 S. Clearview Pkwy., Jefferson, 620-7800; www.copelandsofneworleans.com); ABC26 reporter Glynn Boyd (1700 Lapalco Blvd., Harvey, 364-1575; www.copelandsofneworleans.com); Bucktown All-Stars trumpeter Ryan Thibodaux (1319 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 617-9146; www.copelandsofneworleans.com) and former Cincinnati Bengals special teams ace (and Louisiana native) Kyries Hebert (1337 Gause Blvd., Slidell, 985-643-0001; www.copelandsofneworleans.com). Copeland’s Cheesecake Bistro celebrity bartenders include Treme actor Chris Bailey (4517 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-7620; www.copelandscheesecakebistro.com) and musician Rockin’ Dopsie (2001 St. Charles Ave., 593-9955; www.copelandscheesecakebistro.com).
The LIVESTRONG Foundation provides support for people affected by cancer and helps communities take action in the fight against cancer. The foundation has raised more than $400 million for the cause since Armstrong established it in 1997.”

More Donations to the Livestrong Foundation

If you are unaware of who Lance Armstrong is, you are at least likely to be aware of the iconic yellow silicone wristbands that his foundation designed, known as the Livestrong wristband.
In news coming from Marketwire , it appears that the Livestrong wristband and the foundation that supports it is still going strong and receiving donations for cancer research and survivors. “The family of Larry & Dr. Nancy O’Reilly have announced their ongoing support of LIVESTRONG®, committing an additional endowment of $170,000 to the Larry & Dr. Nancy O’Reilly, Lauren, Leigh, Ragan Family Fund. This additional investment in the cancer survivorship-focused foundation brings the family’s overall contribution to $1.5 million, including endowed funds and donations collected through grassroots fundraising efforts. The new gift will fund survivorship programs and patient navigation services provided by the Lance Armstrong Foundation, created in 1997 by the cancer survivor and champion cyclist to serve people living with cancer and empower communities to take action.
Yellow Livestrong Wristband
“The O’Reilly family has been a tremendous ally in the fight against cancer for many years,” said Phil Hills, LIVESTRONG executive vice president. “Their unwavering support and generous contributions make a direct, positive impact on the lives of cancer survivors and their families nationwide.”

Bracelets Deemed “Vulgar” Still in Court

After courts ruled that blocking students’ rights to publicly wear rubber wristbands that tout language offensive to some people was unconstitutional, a school district is fighting back, saying that the district should have the right to ban something that is distracting.
The Morning Call reports: “When Easton school officials banned “I ? Boobies!” bracelets, they weren’t blocking the students’ message of concern about breast cancer. Rather, administrators were responding to the language the students used, the school district says.
I Heart Boobies Wristband
In a 119-page brief filed in federal appeals court, an attorney for the Easton Area School District says U.S. District Judge Mary A. McLaughlin should have respected the judgment of school administrators who decided the popular rubber wristbands are lewd and vulgar.
Under cases decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, school administrators are in the best position as the representatives of an elected school board to make objective and reasonable decisions about when speech violates the community’s standards of decency for its children, the district said.
The brief filed Monday is the first major step in the district’s appeal of an April 15 decision by McLaughlin issuing a preliminary injunction that prevented district officials from enforcing the ban on the bracelets.
School district solicitor John E. Freund said in addition to defending its position and its administrators, the district sees the case as an opportunity to prevent the infiltration of advertising into schools in the guise of support for worthy causes.”

Company Creates Wristbands for Japan Relief

We have heard little recently in the aftermath of the Japan tsunami and earthquake. In the United States, news has moved forward, nearly causing us to forget about the tragedy that ensues in a devastated nation. One company, though, continues to remember the victims in Japan as they create silicone rubber wristbands that serve as reminders.
As reported by the Australian Newsmaker , “On March 11th, 2011, Japan’s Miyagi and Fukushima prefectures were hit by one of the most ferocious tsunamis in the country’s history. It was an earthquake with a magnitude of 8.9 that cause such a crippling tsunami to hit Japan, causing an irreparable surge of wreckage-infested water to consume ships, cars and houses without discrimination. For weeks, headlines and news programs covered the day-by-day progress of the country’s faring. Relief campaigns sprouted all over, calling for help, donations, and support for families in Japan. Slowly though, coverage began to fade. Updates on Japan became fewer and far between. Relief campaigns began to close. The tsunami in Japan had become old news.
Japan Relief Rubber Wristband

Only three months have passed since the devastation in Japan, and yet most of the world has already begun to forget about it. Japan and its people have not forgotten about the tsunami. 18,000 lives were lost as a result of it. A nuclear emergency has emerged, and the country’s housing and infrastructure have suffered unprecedented injury. Japan has not stopped working to rebuild the lives, homes, and workplaces ruined in the havoc. It will cost over $235 billion to repair the damages created in this disaster. Even though the news no longer says so, recovering from the earthquake is an ongoing crisis. Japan needs help, whether or not the world has moved on to bigger and more outrageous news.

24HourWristbands has chosen to create a small reminder in honor of the families in Japan that are still looking for hope. For those whose hearts still go out to this grieving country, 24HourWristbands has launched a new line of 16 specially designed silicon bracelets. These silicon bracelets are an effort made by those who still wish to support and raise awareness once more for Japan. The bracelets, colored appropriately in red and white, bear slogans like “Hope For Japan” and “Japan Tsunami Relief,” with Japanese translations on either side. Some bracelets also include a miniature, heart-shaped Japanese flag on them. There are also “Hope” and “Pray” T-shirts on sale as part of the 24HourWristbands campaign to promote awareness for Japan. Customizable bracelets are also available for those who wish to raise awareness with a personal touch.”

Duchess of Cornwall Gives away Bracelet

In a fun story coming out of Cornwall in the UK, a duchess was greeted by an unexpected 3-year old who tugged at a white rubber wristbands she was wearing. Flattered by the gesture, the duchess of Cornwall offered the bracelet to the child.
According to Wales Online , “The Duchess of Cornwall shared a smile – and a keepsake – with an inquisitive young fan during an unexpected encounter on a royal trip to South Wales.
Three-year-old Stefan Williams managed to slip past security guards flanking Camilla to tug on a piece of material hanging down from her jacket as she visited Cardiff to open a museum.
Duchess Silicone Wristband
When he pointed to a white rubber wristband she was wearing in support of Armed Forces charity DecAid, she took it off and presented it to the intrepid toddler.
Stefan’s mum Kimberley Stapleton, 23, said: “I was quite surprised he ran up to see her because he doesn’t normally run up to people he doesn’t know.”

Japan Relief Wristbands Garners Gaga Attention

Yesterday I reported on a recent controversy over Lady Gaga’s alleged use of funds promised to be used for philanthropic efforts in Japan. The rubber wristbands that she sold on her website were, according to a Michigan law firm were deceptively requiring a higher price than necessary. Lady Gaga is answering the accusations.
As reported in Lifeline , an affiliate of USA Today, “It seemed like Lady Gaga was just trying to do some good.
Gaga Silicone Wristband
She urged all of us to buy Japan prayer bracelets soon after the earthquake and tsunami hit the country on March 11. Each $5 rubber wrist band was stamped with “We Pray for Japan” and all proceeds, according to Gaga’s site, were going to charity. Within days, she had raised $250,000. By the end of March, she had donated $1.5 million to relief efforts.
But now a Michigan law firm, 1800LAWFIRM, is contesting all of that. In a lawsuit filed on Friday in Detroit, the firm claims that the pop star is scamming her fans and the victims because she’s not actually donating all of the money. The lawsuit notes that an unnecessary sales tax and a $3.99 shipping charge were added to each order. Detroit-area attorney Alyson Oliver told AP she wants an accounting. Oliver told Reuters Gaga may have “inflated reports of total donations.”
The lawsuit seeks class-action status and possible refunds for people who bought wristbands.
Today, however, Gaga rep Holly Shakoor issued a statement to E! News, saying, “This misguided lawsuit is without merit and unfortunately takes attention away from the kind deeds of the fans around the world who are supporting the people of Japan.”

Lady Gaga Under Fire for Philanthropic Wristbands

The seemingly ubiquitous Lady Gaga gathers attention across the globe. While her bizarre outfits often tend to be the attention-grabbers (recall the dress made out of meat she wore on the Ellen Degeneres Show), she is now in the spotlight for possibly making money on ” rubber wristbands she promised would only be sold to benefit victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.
According to AFP , “American pop star Lady Gaga is accused of misrepresenting charitable donations from wristbands sold to benefit tsunami and earthquake victims in Japan earlier this year.
The complaint, filed in a Michigan court on Friday by 1800lawfirm, says the star as well as her record label, Universal Music Group, and the Bravado International Group, lacked transparency surrounding the amount of money that was raised from sales of the wristbands and whether those funds were 100% allocated to earthquake and tsunami victims.
Lady Gaga Japan Wristband
After the earthquake and tsunami disasters in March 2011 that devastated Japan, Lady Gaga created the rubber wristbands and the singer’s website advertised that all proceeds from sales of the wristband would benefit victims.
The white rubber bracelets were sold for $5 and inscribed in red with the phrase, “We pray for Japan,” in English and Japanese.
“While we commend Lady Gaga for her philanthropic efforts, we want to ensure that claims that “all proceeds will be donated to Japan?s earthquake relief efforts” are in fact true,” said one of the plaintiff’s lawyers, Alyson Oliver, in a press release.
The suit alleges that the singer and her partners “added additional “shipping charges” in excess of the amount required to ship the wristbands based on their weight, and retained a portion of the shipping charges,” according to court documents.”