Coach Cal Nominated for U.N. Award Viewed as “21st Century Peace Prize”

(Press Release from


Award winners will be announced this month

ATLANTA (Dec 15, 2010)Celebrate Positive announced today that University of Kentucky Men’s Basketball Coach John Calipari has been nominated for the inaugural  2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Awards in the Coach category. This award, viewed as a 21st century peace prize, honors and recognizes individuals, businesses, athletes, sports teams, entertainers and schools around the world for their positive contributions.

The 2010 Positive Peace Award nominees are judged by the United Nations NGO Voting Academy comprised of highly respected United Nations NGOs, such as Rotary International, Pathways to Peace, and Sister Cities International. The Voting Academy will use an established criteria of a coach’s community involvement and impact on their community to determine this year’s winner.

“From day one when John Calipari arrived on our campus, he embraced the Commonwealth,” University of Kentucky athletics director Mitch Barnhart said. “Everyone that has spent any time with Cal knows he has a heart of gold and both he and his wife Ellen care about children. He helped raise over a million dollars in the Hoops for Haiti telethon and didn’t stop there by involving his team with Samaritan’s feet and their cause after a trip to Haiti.  We are extremely proud to have him as a representative of our program.”

“Celebrate Positive congratulates John Calipari for exemplifying what giving back to the community means” said Scott Pederson, President and CEO, Celebrate Positive. “Coach Calipari’s positive impact goes beyond the Kentucky basketball community. His concern for the international community is well documented”.

Calipari was nominated by Samaritan’s Feet where he not only helped deliver shoes in June to orphans in Haiti, but washed the feet of the orphans before putting new shoes on their feet. In August, the two-time Coach of the Year also set an example for his players and staff who joined him in washing the feet of children in need at a shoe distribution in Detroit, followed by leading the kids in basketball drills.

“Coach Calipari has used his platform to call attention to the plight of the millions of children around the world who suffer from infection, disease and even death due to a lack of proper footwear”, said Todd Melloch, Director of Marketing for Samaritan’s Feet. “He recently went barefoot during the National Anthem at a Kentucky basketball game to encourage UK fans and students to support Samaritan’s Feet.

Rotary International, with over 33,000 Clubs and 1.2 million members in over 200 countries serves on the United Nations NGO Voting Academy

“We at Rotary International are honored to serve on the voting committee for the United Nations NGO Positive Peace Awards,” says RI General Secretary Ed Futa. “Every day, Rotary’s 1.2 million members address the question, how do we make our world a better place? How appropriate that these awards recognize those individuals and organizations who are asking the same question and taking the necessary steps to achieve positive change in our world.”

The winner of the sports categories for 2010 United Nations NGO Positive Peace Award will be announced in mid December.

About Celebrate Positive
Celebrate Positive, in coordination with the United Nations and its non-government organizations like, Rotary International, Sister Cities International and Pathways to Peace provides a platform to recognize communities, businesses, schools, athletes and entertainers for the positive work to make a difference in the world. Celebrate Positive has created a destination website that provides inspirational news from around the world as well as efforts being made by the United Nations to promote peace globally.  For more information on Celebrate Positive or the organizations and agencies they work with, visit