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Dwyane Wade's foundation aims to make a difference

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You'll be surprised what Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade points to as the highlight of his summer.

No, it's not signing an extension to stay in the warm Florida sun. It's not joining forces with LeBron James to form what some are calling the most formidable 1-2 punch in NBA history.

It's something that takes place well off the court, but is very close to his heart.

His Wade's World's Foundation, which is holding a four-day fund-raiser this weekend , is what the Robbins native pinpoints as the high point of his offseason.  The activities includes a benefit dinner, bowling event, entertainment night and youth programs, all of which aim to give back to his hometown.

"It's just as much satisfaction," he said of his charitable efforts versus his on-court triumphs. "When you come and see the outlook of the kids and the smiles on their faces, there's nothing like it. Just like there's nothing like winning a championship, there's nothing like winning a gold medal. All of these are fulfilling in different ways. This is the championship of my summer."

Wade's been actively searching for ways to improve the area with programs aimed giving youths a helping hand since 2006.

 "We deal with a lot of issues that are close to home," he said. "We just try to pick [projects] that touch us in certain ways and we try to fill needs and voids. Knowledge is power for our kids and we really want to help them with their social skills, give them that platform of education and help them understand how important it is to their success."

The six-time All-Star and gold medalist knows that his position in the public eye comes with both power and responsibility. He said he aims to solidify the positive messages kids get from their parents and teachers - but understands that he brings a unique perspective.

"Hopefully they're listening and hearing every message that comes across, especially from their parents. From myself, why it resonates a different way is because  I'm someone who walked through the same streets; I'm someone who walked in the same shoes.  I'm someone who has, as they look at it, made it out.

"Hopefully they understand they can be and do what they want."

Wade credits a strong support system, including watchful, well-meaning coaches for his own successes.

 "They didn't let forget about my dream for one minute," he said. "When I told them this was what I wanted to do, they held me accountable. I think that's the biggest thing with kids, is holding them accountable, in addition to giving them the platform and opportunity to do it. We want to see them follow through."

Last year, Wade made a significant contribution to the cash-strapped Robbins Public Library, which was on the brink of closing.

"[I wanted them] to continue to be there for the kids and make sure the doors are open for the kids to further their education as much as possible," Wade said. "I know how important education is and we don't want it to close down.

"I was happy the community was happy that the library was saved," Wade said. "That meant a lot to me to know the importance of it to the community."

To learn more about Wade's foundation, visit their official site. To learn more about Wade's expectations for his Heat this year, including if he sees them reaching the 73-win plateau, read here.

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8 Comments

Wow .. great Foudation I put my money there nice Dwayne wade :)

I am not ever surprise. A brillant out standing accomplishment of a great gentlemen. I always knew you had in you.Keep up thegreat work.In this life it is full of yesterdays news. but the next day news is to come it will become greater....Amen

I already comment on your foundation is just to tell you that I'm on twitter and I am a subscriber you .. if you want to send me a message her would be nice of you

My Twitter name is BigDaddy Bowws :P

DW, I'm extremely proud of the example you're setting as a real model for young men to give back. It's important that we all learn the power and benefits of giving our time and talents, without expecting much more than the pleasure that giving brings.

D wade ur the sickest player evaaa!!!
people say kobe or lebron but what are they doin off the court not as much as Big Daddy D haha.
You're by far the greatest player in my eyes. kick some butt this season its D Wade's house!!!

You are The best basketball player to me and i hope that you would win another Championship

te felicito primero por ser un gran deportista, segundo porque eres una gran persona y creo que das un muy buen ejemplo a los jóvenes, me encanta la fundación que tienes...ojala otros deportistas hicieran los mismo que tú.
Un abrazo desde el fin de mundo..Chile

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This page contains a single entry by Kyle Koster published on August 19, 2010 11:45 AM.

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