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ADF Hosts Launch Reception

On July 1st, 2006 the African Development Foundation held its launch reception in New York at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.  The gala was organized as a special event for the ADF to publicize our African Sports Initiative and the sponsors who are contributing to the program.  The occasion, attended by 300 guests, was both exciting and historic as plans and pledges were announced to develop little-league level baseball in Africa, using Ghana and Uganda as pilot projects.

Africa will now benefit from the assistance and expertise of Major League Baseball (MLB) teams, MLB players, and notable sports sponsors.  Plans are now in the works to build baseball fields; fund leagues; conduct professional training camps for players, coaches, and umpires; open an Office of Baseball Development in Ghana; and develop a baseball academy in Ghana.

In September 2006 the first professional coaches will arrive in Ghana to conduct training for kids and coaches through MLBs Envoy Program.  In December 2006, some of the great MLB players of today will visit Ghana to help raise enthusiasm and interest in the game.  In 2007 a little league team from Ghana will visit the U.S. to play teams in Harlem, New York and Newark, New Jersey.

In attendance at the reception were numerous personalities in the U.S. sports world including: Mets General Manager, Omar Minaya; Mets Manager, Willie Randolph; Mets 1st Baseman, Carlos Delgado; Yankees’ Senior Director of  Media Relations & Publicity, Rick Cerrone; Yankees Pitcher/Closer, Mariano Rivera; New York Knicks’, Stephon Marbury and John Starks; New York Jets, Freeman McNeil, and Spalding President, Carl Ferraro.  Also in attendance were Ghana’s Director of Sports Development, Dr. Emmanuel Owusu-Ansah; New York Congressman Charles Rangel; and New York Attorney, Londell McMillan.  The evening was highlighted with entertainment by Gospel Singer/Producer, Bebe Winans; former American Idol contestant Nicole Ortiz; and Jam X Reggae Band.