June 9, 2014 – The Charlotte Hornets, FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth and Lowe’s made a $250,000 donation to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public School Foundation earlier today at Hornets Nest Elementary School as part of the first community service initiative since the Hornets name returned to Charlotte. The donation was specifically earmarked for the Teacher Innovation Fund, a new fund established by the Hornets that empowers teachers to successfully implement strategies to educate and prepare every child to graduate.


In addition to the donation, the three organizations surprised Hornets Nest Elementary School third- grade teacher Michelle Fox-Massey and first-grade teacher Sarah Norris with $5,000 grants from the Teacher Innovation Fund. Volunteers from the Hornets, FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth and Lowe’s worked on various beautification and refurbishment projects at the school throughout the day, while also delivering Thank You kits to all 9,600 teachers at all 160 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools.


The Hornets also announced today the re-brand of the team’s charitable foundation as the Charlotte Hornets Foundation. The Charlotte Hornets Foundation will continue to focus on three pillars within the community: Education, Hunger and Wellness. For more information about the Foundation, please visit http://www.hornets.com.   


Including today’s donation, the Hornets and FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth have now contributed nearly $1 million to Charlotte-Mecklenburg communities since 2010. In 2010, the two organizations gave $250,000 to CMS to help fund middle school sports.  In 2012, they partnered to donate a 26-foot, 14,000-pound refrigerated mobile pantry to Second Harvest Food Bank of Metrolina that was funded by a $250,000 cash donation. In 2013, they made a $200,000 contribution toward the sponsorship of Y Achievers, a YMCA of Greater Charlotte program that operates in partnership with CMS.


The Hornets and Lowe’s continue to partner around the importance of education in the Charlotte community. Today the re-branded Book Bus, a full-service literacy bus that the two organizations launched last season, was unveiled. The Book Bus travels year-round throughout Charlotte to encourage reading and distributes books to area youth. In its first year, the Book Bus made more than 100 visits, distributed nearly 4,000 books and drove 2,200 miles. The Hornets and Lowe’s also partner in providing $50,000 in educational grants annually to local non-profit organizations.  


Charlotte Hornets Chairman Michael Jordan places his handprints in cement at Hornets Nest Elementary School as part of the first community initiative of the Charlotte Hornets Foundation. Jordan, along with executives and staff from the Hornets, FOX Sports Carolinas/SportSouth and Lowe’s, participated in various beautification and refurbishment projects as part of the Day of Service event.