Thursday, July 11 2013 00:38

Sports Illustrated Kids, Operation Hawkeye, and the Inspiring Story of Will Thomas...

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Sports Illustrated KidsWhen I became a Father for the first time nearly four years ago, I had no idea that being a Dad would lead to this website, nor that doing this site would lead to relationships with other outfits that would choose me to represent them in helping to share stories beyond that of my own. As of today, I'm proud to reveal that I've joined Sports Illustrated Kids as a Brand Ambassador. What that means is that I'll be working some great content from SI KIDS into the mix here on The Rock Father, all as a compliment to my own stories about getting my little ones active. With my girls in swimming (even Baby Finley, who just turned one) and gymnastics, we've got some athletic experiences in our weekly routine, and as Addie is showing interest in Baseball, Soccer, and Hockey, some new worlds are about to open up, and my relationship with SI KIDS fits in nicely.

Sports Illustrated Kids - July 2013In the July issue of Sports Illustrated Kids (on-stands now, or available digitally via iTunes, Amazon Apps, Google Play or Nook Apps stores), First Lady Michelle Obama takes center stage to discuss her LET'S MOVE! progam and it's goal of getting kids active throughout the school day - something I take great interest in, as my little ones grow.

To Subscribe to Sports Illustrated Kids, click here.

Additionally, there's the inspirational tale of Will Thomas, the 14-year-old founder of OPERATION HAWKEYE - a mission that raises support for U.S. Special Operation Forces and military families. "Inspired by a tragic military event in the summer of 2011, the then 12-year-old Thomas committed himself to shoot 17,000 baskets in his driveway as a way to privately honor our fallen heroes.  As others in the community learned of Will’s challenge they began pledging money for every basket made.  The feat took him nearly 60 hours to complete and began a mission whose goal in 2013 is to raise over $300,000 for military forces and their families." Visit  https://www.facebook.com/SIKids to view a special video about Will and Operation Hawkeye.

Operation Hawkeye E17 Free Throw Challenge:

E17 Free Throw ChallengeSports Illustrated Kids believes Will is an example of how even kids can change their communities and is inviting others across the country to join Will in his next challenge.  The E17 Free Throw Challenge is a 60-day basketball event where kids all over the country will attempt 1,700 (individual) or 17,000 (team) basketball free throws in an effort to raise money and awareness for military families. For more information or to participate, individuals or teams can register and pledge funds at the Operation Hawkeye E17 site, http://www.ophawkeye.com/e17.  All participants will receive recognition from the U.S. Special Operations Command as well as an Operation Hawkeye bracelet. The individual or team that raises the highest donation will receive further recognition and a special prize.

We have a small basketball hoop here at Rock Father HQ (it's pink) that Addie loves to shoot hoops with out on the sidewalk. We might be getting a bigger one soon, and the E17 Free Throw Challenge just might be something that we'll work into our active play this summer. 

What are some of your favorite summer sports to play with your kids? Feel free to chime in below!

Disclosure: The Rock Father is participating in a sponsored blog ambassador program from Sports Illustrated Kids. As a part of this program, I have received paid compensation and a year subscription for placement of digital advertisements and specific postings related to SI Kids.

James Zahn

James Zahn is best-known as The Rock Father™, a media personality, commentator, adventurer and raconteur. He is the Owner, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of THE ROCK FATHER™ Magazine. In January, 2019, after nearly a decade of publishing The Rock Father™ Magazine, he joined Adventure Media and Events as Senior Editor of The Toy Book—the leading trade publication for the toy industry since 1984, as well as The Pop Insider — a destination for all things pop culture, and The Toy Insider — the leading consumer guide for toys and games. He is also editor of The Toy Report, a weekly newsletter published by The Toy Book each Thursday. Zahn has over 27 years of experience in the entertainment, retail and publishing industries.

He regularly serves as a Brand Ambassador and spokesperson for several Globally-recognized pop culture and lifestyle brands in addition to consulting for a number of toy manufacturers. 

Creatively, James has directed/edited music videos, lyric videos, and album trailers for bands such as FEAR FACTORY, has appeared as an actor in feature films and commercials, written comic books, and performed in bands. He currently serves as an artist manager and video director for PRODUCT OF HATE, whose debut album was released by Napalm Records in 2016, distributed by ADA/Warner Music in the U.S. with Universal Music handling global. A new album has been completed and is set for release this year.

Zahn and/or his work have been featured in/on CNN, NBC, ABC, WGN, CBS, GCTN, G4, The Chicago Tribune, Forbes, MarketWatch, Reuters, BusinessWire, Fangoria, Starlog and more. He's appeared as a music expert on CNN's AC360 alongside Anderson Cooper, and has been interviewed by Larry King. In the past he served as a writer for the Netflix Stream Team,  Fandango Family and PBS KIDS, penned articles for Sprout and PopSugar, and was a contributor to Chicago Parent.

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