For Immediate Release
February 6, 2012
Contacts: Neil Tickner, 301 405 4622 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Actor Kevin Bacon Coming to UMD with Student Challenge
'Do Good' Challenge Marries American Idol and the Pure Joy of Giving
COLLEGE PARK, Md. - Film star Kevin Bacon is challenging University of Maryland students to "Do Good" in the state and the Washington, D.C. area, and as a carrot, he's dangling some very "cool prizes for you and your favorite cause."
Bacon and an American Idol-style celebrity panel will meet in College Park next April to pick the winners in his Do Good Challenge. He made the pitch in a recruiting video, unveiled this weekend at the Terps basketball game.
"Hey there, Terps," Bacon says breezily, sporting a 'Fear the Turtle' t-shirt. "You've heard we're all separated by six degrees or less. Well I'm going to show you how you can be separated one degree from me. It's a small world and it's easier to do good than you may think. I want to see how you can use your creativity to encourage social change."
The game, Six Degrees of Separation from Kevin Bacon, grew out of comment Bacon once made that he knows everyone in Hollywood. Now he's turned that into a fundraising organization, SixDegrees.org, that's captured nearly $4 million so far.
"All you gotta do is start a fundraiser at sixdegrees.org; or post a petition link on your Facebook page; or host an awareness event - anything that furthers your cause is allowed," Bacon says in the recruitment video. Prizes include $5,000 for the winner's cause, Bacon-related prizes, and a private jet to Atlanta for court side seats at a Hawks NBA game.
The competition is run by the University of Maryland's Philanthropy and Nonprofit Leadership Program, based in the School of Public Policy, in partnership with SixDegrees, Network for Good, Motorola Mobility Foundation, Center for Social Value Creation at UMD's Robert H. Smith School of Business, and the College Park Foundation Colonnade Society.
"This is a grand experiment that marries 'American Idol' and the joy of giving back," says University of Maryland Professor Robert Grimm who is directing the project, as well as Public Policy's philanthropy program.
"I don't know of another university that's run a competition like this," Grimm adds. "We're giving Terps a chance to put their entrepreneurial muscle to work and do a lot of good."
Bacon Issues His Challenge
Maryland is one of a handful of U.S. universities developing philanthropy studies - at both the undergraduate and graduate levels - but no other university includes Maryland's extensive and innovative hands-on experiences.
"This challenge is part of creating a new culture of philanthropy on campus," Grimm says. "Our entire program is about harnessing the entrepreneurial spirit of young people and developing innovative and effective citizens and future leaders committed to improving our world."
Individually or in teams the students who sign-up will have till mid-March to work for the cause of their choice. The recipients can be an officially recognized campus student group or a non-profit organization off-campus. Also, participants are urged to make full use of social media to achieve their goals.
Bacon and the other celebrity judges will evaluate the participants and pick six prize winners that demonstrate the most overall impact.
"Kevin and everyone involved with this challenge expects to have a lot of fun, but it's serious business too, as he demonstrates with his SixDegrees.org," Grimm adds. "I guarantee the winners that the real reward won't just be the cool prizes, but the passions aroused when you've made a significant difference."
More about the competition rules online: http://ter.ps/8l
Information provided by the Office of University Communications
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