L.A. Laker to auction championship ring for charity
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By Catholic Online
9/23/2010 (9 years ago)
Catholic Online (https://www.catholic.org)
Los Angeles Laker Ron Artest is known for his tenacity and integrity. Artest is now donating his first NBA Championship ring to help raise money for mental health counseling for children. Artest has a close association with the cause, as he himself faced similar mental health issues while he was a child.
As a child, L.A. Laker Ron Artest received therapy through a government program that was discontinued once government funding ran out. He intends to repay the favor by auctioning off his championship ring to benefit children's mental health.
LOS AANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) The athlete wants to put some distance between who he is today and the same man who ran into the stands and punched fans during a 2005 game in Detroit.
As a child, Artest received therapy through a government program that was discontinued once government funding ran out. In the past couple years, Artest has seen therapists which has helped him tremendously. In a show of gratitude, Artest thanked his psychiatrist minutes after the Lakers beat the Boston Celtics for the NBA Championship. "When I grew up, mental health was something that wasn't talked about. People were scared to say they were seeing a psychologist and stuff like that. Even before the championship I was telling people I was seeing a psychiatrist. When we won the championship, it was on a much more larger scale," Artest says. Artest is working to repair his image. "I think it'll be more important to give back to something I believe in, which is providing kids with someone to talk to because it's so expensive. I pay for parenting counseling, marriage counseling and anger management, and it's very expensive. This will be for children of all demographics, rich or poor - preferably the rich can pay for their own psychologists - but it'll be a great way to help kids who don't know where they're going in their life at this point." Many celebrities have made offers in upwards of $100,000 for the ring, but Artest insists on making it a raffle to give every fan the chance to own it. He is still looking for a foundation or charity to partner with. "You work so hard to get a ring, and now you have a chance to help more people than just yourself, instead of just satisfying yourself," Artest says. "What's better than that? For me, this is very important..." "For five years, I've wanted to do this psychology-type of assistance, but I never had an outlet where I could make a big impact, as far as where the most people could see it. It was always like maybe 10 or 20 people seeing what we were doing. The idea came from when I was in Sacramento. I had marriage counseling. I also had anger management. It just made me think that counseling is not something generic."
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