On most days, Aldon Lightfoot works with fellow longshoremen to load and unload ships at the Port of New Orleans. Earlier this week Lightfoot worked alongside seven members of an elite class of athletes, Heisman Memorial Trophy winners to build a Habitat home for his growing family.
The house of Aldon Lightfoot and Kimberly Jones and their three children will be built with help from a construction crew that includes celebrated Heisman Trophy winners John Lattner (1953, University of Notre Dame), Johnny Rodgers (1972, University of Nebraska), George Rogers (1980, University of South Carolina), Mike Rozier (1983, University of Nebraska), Danny Wuerffel (1996, University of Florida), Eric Crouch (2001, University of Nebraska) and Mark Ingram (2009, University of Alabama).
This unique collaboration grew out of existing relationships among Nissan and its partners Habitat for Humanity and the Heisman Trophy Trust. Together, the three organizations will team up with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity to build a home in partnership with the Lightfoot family.
“Nissan is committed to improving the communities where our employees and customers live. Joining with Habitat for Humanity and the Heisman Trust, who share this mission of community service, is an ideal extension of our partnership with both organizations,” said Nissan Marketing Vice President Jon Brancheau. “We are grateful to these athletes for joining in this one-of-a-kind partnership to build this house alongside a New Orleans family.”
The “Heisman House” concept launched by Nissan in 2011 highlights its sponsorship of The Heisman Memorial Trophy, which is awarded annually to an outstanding college football player. The campaign gathers many of the most celebrated college football players of the last 30 years into the fraternal order of the Heisman House.
“We are proud to partner with our premier sponsor, Nissan, these former Heisman winners and Habitat for Humanity on this worthwhile project,” said William J. Dockery, President of the Heisman Trust. “When most people hear the word Heisman, they immediately think of the trophy and college football. Many do not realize the mission of The Heisman Trust is to support the underprivileged and underserved. This is just another example of the work the Heisman Trust is doing all year long.”
Partnering with New Orleans Area Habitat for Humanity, the Lightfoot family will move into their new three-bedroom Habitat home in Central City from a one-bedroom apartment. The family includes a daughter, 8, two sons, ages 5 and 2 months, and a new baby on the way.
“We are grateful for Nissan’s long-time support in helping to make affordable housing possible and for extending an opportunity for the Heisman Trophy Trust and athletes to get involved in our work,” said Kymberly Wolff, senior vice president of Development at Habitat for Humanity International. “We look forward to continuing to partner together to help families fulfill their dreams of home ownership.”
Nissan’s national partnership with Habitat dates to 2005, following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Since 2006, Nissan has contributed more than $9 million to Habitat for Humanity. Nissan employees have helped to build more than 62 homes across the United States, and the company has donated 111 vehicles to support Habitat’s mission.
Crown Royal’s been running a cool contest that honors one local hero for their service by giving them naming rights to a NASCAR Race at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. The Sprint Cup series race that will take place in Indy on July 29 is now called Crown Royal Presents the Curtiss Shaver 400 at the Brickyard powered by Big MachineRecords.com. The winner of the contest, Curtiss Shaver, is a firefighter from Troy, Alabama.
Shaver lost his lower left leg in a farming accident, but his life was saved by local firefighters. After this incident, Shaver began a lifelong career as a firefighter and EMT. He’s also a huge NASCAR fan.
After Shaver was selected, Crown Royal held a ceremony in Troy that included laying a replica “Yard of Bricks” in the downtown area. Shaver participated in this effort to bring a piece of the fames Brickyard in Indy to his hometown. He laid the final brick which featured an engraving of his name and the race logo.
There will be a bunch of events and celebrations in Indy on race weekend that will honor Shaver. He’ll ride his own pre-race pace car, kiss the bricks and even deliver the trophy with his name on it. Shaver’s’s the sixth person to be awarded race naming rights. After making the final five this year, Shaver was voted the winner by adult fans who voted on the Crown Royal Facebook page.
I’m heading to Indy for race weekend and I hope to congratulate this guy in person. Seems like a pretty cool honor for a very deserving dude.
St. Patrick’s Day is finally here. Before you map out your day-to-afternoon-to-evening drinking plans, why not spend a quick minute to help MANjr and Guinness set a new world’s record for the biggest St. Patrick’s Day bash of all time! Help this noble cause and you’ll feel better about yourself tomorrow. Here’s what you need to do:
1. Visit Guinness.com
2. Click “Count Me In”
3. Enter your first name, zip code and date of birth
4. Enter the promo code “MANJ”
That’s it! Get in on the action, drink Guinness responsibly and have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Valentine’s Day isn’t until tomorrow, so before you make reservations or scramble for last minute flower and chocolate orders, take some time to celebrate another holiday: Clean Out Your Computer Day.
That’s right, Clean Out Your Computer Day falls on the second Monday in February every single year. And it certainly feels like Monday today, so that means it’s time to give your old machine some love.
Seriously, when was the last time you defragged that bad boy? Or fixed your registry errors? You probably have at least two dozen programs cramming up your start up menu right now. Think of all the junk and clutter and unwanted programs that you have running on your PC right now.
So yea, it’s time to give your comp a good solid scrub. Free up some RAM. Accumulate some speed. Make that thing run like it used to.
How you ask? Well if you’re super on the ball and you perform regular maintenance on your PC, then you already know what to do to speed your machine up. But most of us lag on that stuff. So that’s why they make all in one tools like System Mechanic from iolo technologies.
System Mechanic is a software suite that includes more than 50 tools that will clean out and optimize the performance of your PC. The software lets you free up drive space, remove junk files and get rid of system-clogging clutter. It can find and repair security flaws, remove spyware, fix registry problems, update drivers, defrag memory, turn off unused background programs and optimize your Windows start up and Internet settings.
System Mechanic sells online for $40. If you want your machine to run like it used to and you aren’t going to put in the effort to gut the thing yourself, might as well drop the cash to increase performance. Enjoy the holiday, get rid of the junk and get your system back in order.
You know “The Gunny.” R. Lee Ermey has had over a 100 film and TV roles, everything from Apocalypse Now to Toy Story. You’ve seen him on Mail Call on the History Channel. He was the drill sergeant in Full Metal Jacket who pushed Vincent D’onofrio to the brink. The Gunny started out as an advisor on the film, but Stanley Kubrick liked him so much that he gave him the role of Gunnery Sergeant Hartman.
Before he became the quintessential drill sergeant character actor, Ronald Lee Ermey spent 11 years in the US Marine Corps. He served 14 months in Vietnam and did two tours in Okinawa. When his military career was cut short by injuries, Ermey posted up in the Philippines. He studied Criminology and Drama at the University of Manila, and he began appearing in films in the Philippines.
His role as a helicopter pilot in Apocalypse Now led to other acting and advisor roles. He served as a technical advisor on the film An Officer and a Gentleman, and he went on to appear in films like Fletch Lives, Toy Soldiers, Se7en, Mississippi Burning, both Texas Chainsaw Massacre movies and X-Men 3.
When The Gunny isn’t acting, doing voiceover work, teaching people about military history or showing up in Geico commercials, he finds ways to support the troops. The Gunny recently teamed up with WD-40 for the Drop and Give Me 40 promotion that supports three different troop charities. When you purchase Limited Edition WD-40® Collectible Series cans, the WD-40 company will donate 10 cents for every can purchased to the Armed Services YMCA, the Wounded Warrior Project and the Veterans Medical Research Foundation.
We spoke with The Gunny last week while he was on the deck of the USS Midway Museum in San Diego. He gave us more details about the Drop and Give Me 40 promotion while he was drilling ROTC candidates. We also talked a little bit about Mail Call and working with Stanley Kubrick. Check out the video:
To learn more about the Drop and Give Me 40 campaign, visit supporttroops.wd40.com.
Here’s another cool contest that you guys should check out. Easton is offering fans of baseball, hockey and lacrosse the chance to win a once of a lifetime opportunity with their Dream Crazy Tour and web series. Easton will be selecting three people to serve as ambassadors for each sport. The group will travel around the US and Canada from April through December and attend different sporting events while filming a web series.
Entrants have until Monday, April 11 to submit a short video audition at www.easton.com/dreamcrazy. Submissions limited to legal residents of the 50 states age 21 and over. The max length for the videos is one minute and 30 seconds. The videos should be kept around 100mb (500 mb is the max). Check out the video and visit the Easton site to learn more about this awesome contest.
Nissan is currently running a contest on Facebook where one lucky entrant can win a trip to the New York International Auto Show to serve as an Auto Show Reporter. Flight, hotel, shuttle service and exclusive NYIAS credentials for the winner and a guest are all included in the trip. The contest runs through April 12.
To enter the contest, you need to create a video (minimum 30 seconds, two minutes max) with you and your Nissan and share your thoughts on what’s innovative about the vehicle. In the video, you need to introduce yourself, your Nissan, tell everyone where you’re from and discuss the most innovative feature that you appreciate about your Nissan.
The contest is open to anyone residing in the US who is 18 years or older. You need to be available to travel from April 19 to April 21. The videos will be judged on creativity, originality and appropriateness to the theme. The approximate retail value of the prize is $3,000. Visit the Nissan North American Facebook page to check out more details.
South by Southwest Interactive is a huge, annual conference that brings together leading entrepreneurs, start ups and innovators in the tech space. SXSW Interactive is wrapping up in Austin, Texas, and we had a chance to interview Senior Innovation Editor Ellen McGirt from Fast Company Magazine and PepsiCo’s Social Media and Digital Director Bonin Bough yesterday. We discussed the newest trends in Interactive, the emergence of mobile, how micro influencers can make themselves more available to agencies and advertisers and a lot more. Here’s the video:
Visit the SXSW Interactive site to find out more about what’s going on at SXSW this year.
Rams QB Sam Bradford had a ridiculous rookie season. The first overall pick in the 2009 NFL draft passed for over 3,500 yards, reinvigorated the franchise and led the Rams to a 7-9 record. The dude set NFL rookie records and was one win away from taking his team to the playoffs. And he did it all with that ridiculous mop top.
Well now that the season’s over, the mop has been buzzed, courtesy of AXE Hair celeb stylist Amy Komorowski. Bradford cuts his scraggly hair at the end of every season. It’s kind of a tradition for him. But now he’s the new spokesman for AXE Hair, so he went full buzz yesterday to support the launch of a new AXE Hair product – the AXE Buzzed Look Cream + SPF 15.
The mop’s not gone for good, though. Ever since high school, Bradford’s been growing his hair out during the football season. So you can expect the same goofy Bradford look when the young QB takes the field in his second year.
With so much focus on his hair, Bradford knows that his teammates will probably let him hear it.
“No matter what, my teammates love to give me crap about everything from what I wear to my hair,” Bradford said. “I’m definitely expecting to get some flack about this.”
Expect a hefty dose of locker room jokes next season, big guy.
Comedian Mike Birbiglia, author of the best-selling book Sleepwalk with Me, is spending a week in a window display at the Herald Square Macy’s in New York City. The stunt is part of an effort by Downy Fabric Softener to promote “Clean Sheet Week.” The idea for Clean Sheet Week came from a National Sleep Foundation Bedroom Poll conducted last year. The poll found that seven out of ten people claim to get a more comfortable night’s rest on sheets with a fresh scent.
Birbiglia’s stay in the display window started on Wednesday. He’s going to sleep in Downy sheets till February 1st. Here are some highlights from his press conference yesterday: