Monthly Gossip Column: NFL, Lorena Ochoa, Mary J. Blige, JLo, Danny Glover, Kat DeLuna

Four NFL players with roots in Nigeria visited the country in March to establish scholarships at 10 Nigerian universities, distribute HIV testing kits to clinics and dig water wells during a a mission called Athletes in the Diaspora: Community Interventions. The participating players were Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, Houston Texans defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, and Chicago Bears defensive linemen Adewale Ogunleye and Israil Idonije. Plans are in progress to return to Nigeria in 2009 and to visit another African nation in 2010. Source: New York Times

Golf sensation Lorena Ochoa was named one of the most influential people by TIME magazine. She was not only recognized for her domination of the 2007 LPGA tour but also for her philanthropic work. She founded the Fundación Lorena Ochoa in 2004 to provide disadvantaged children with academic resources and is the leading benefactrix of the elementary school La Barranca located in her hometown of Guadalajara, Mexico. Source: TIME

R&B singer Mary J. Blige partnered with Hip Hop music executive Steve Stoute to establish Mary J. Blige and Steve Toute Foundation For the Advancement of Women Now, Inc. (FFAWN). The foundation is dedicated to helping all women gain the confidence and skills they need to reach their full individual potential. The foundation will concentrate on the Yonkers, New York area and is expected to expand to the New York metropolitan area and later the nation. Source: NY Daily News

Singer Jennifer Lopez will host and help coordinate the third annual Noche de Niños gala to benefit the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles. The fundraising event will benefit the 93,000 children treated annually at the hospital. Source: People En Español

Actor Danny Glover joined the board of directors of UAE-based company Colourblind Entertainment. Glover will play an integral role in the development of Sharq Warriors, a video game franchise featuring ‘Sami’ the first modern Arab action hero. He joins internationally renowned journalist Riz Khan, a show host at Al Jazeera English, as par of an acclaimed international team that is launching the video game. Colourblind Entertainment created Sami and the Sharq Warriors specifically for video gamers from the Middle East region looking for a hero they can directly relate to. Source: PRNewswire

The Latino Commission on AIDS announced recording artist Kat DeLuna as the 2008 International Ambassador to the Commission. DeLuna accepted the title passed down from Gael Garcia Bernal during Cielo Latino, the largest national fundraiser for the Latino community in its fight against AIDS. Source: Hispanic PR Wire

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