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McKenzie Prepares for 34 Ways Foundation Weekend Fundaraising Events

    <span>New Orleans Saints' cornerback Mike McKenzie and his 34 Ways Foundation will host the 3rd Annual 34 Ways Foundation Event Fundraiser on Friday, July 4th and Saturday, July 5th, 2008 at the W Hotel New Orleans located at 333 Poydras Street. There will be plenty of refreshments and live entertainment on both evenings from 4 – 8pm in the Grand Ballroom on the second floor of the hotel.   

McKenzie and several players from the Saints will host a silent auction on July 5th from 4 – 7pm. The auction will feature donations from some of New Orleans's finest businesses. The proceeds will go toward the design and construction of the 34 Ways Foundation Community Learning Center, an after-school facility that Mike McKenzie is developing for the continued education, health and fitness of New Orleans' youth. The fundraiser is made possible through 34 Ways Foundation and its partnership with Think Tank Productions.

McKenzie's non-profit 34 Ways Foundation was founded in 2002 as a support organization to provide guidance and encouragement to children through football camps, activities and programs. Its mission is to help kids by promoting sports, academics, and other mentoring programs that build character, teach discipline, and encourage good health and education. The foundation desires to enrich communities and inner cities by providing fun and edifying opportunities to New Orleans youth.

Regarding the event, McKenzie states "The people of New Orleans have lost a lot. They've lost not just material things, but they've lost family, friends, and their livelihoods. We are raising funds for a facility that will provide the guidance and support necessary to uplift this devastated community, especially for the youth who have nowhere to go when they're not in school. We are here to try to rebuild the New Orleans community from the inside out." On Friday morning, McKenzie will participate with Feed the Children, an organization that strives to deliver food, medicine, clothing, and other necessities to families or individuals affected by famine, war, poverty, or natural disaster. Feed the Children continues to provide for families that have been impacted by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

The year's event is being presented by CoverGirl and Alize'. Sponsorship is also provided by Pernod Ricard (Seagram's, Martell, and Stoli Elit) and Miller, along with Artitudes Art Gallery and Crunk!!! Energy Drink. McKenzie has also developed a relationship with Build Now, a non-profit organization dedicated to giving families impacted by Katrina the opportunity to return to safe, beautiful, affordable homes. Build Now provides an alternative to substantial renovations or modular homes by designing and constructing site-built, elevated houses that reflect the style and quality of traditional New Orleans architecture. Build Now will be responsible for the architectural design of McKenzie's future Community Learning Center. A sneak peak of the center's architectural design, provided by Build Now, can be seen at the event.

To become a financial contributor to the 34 Ways Foundation, contact McInnis McKenzie at mmckenzie@34waysfoundation.com. For more information regarding the event, contact Think Tank Productions CEO, Jeff Gapultos at 504-267-7345 or via e-mail at info@thinktanknola.com.

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