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Monday, November 05, 2007

JTIII foundation

The Post has a great story this morning about John and Monica's philanthropic efforts.

Taking Time Out for a Good Cause

"John and his father have always been about providing the tools through education and other means for young adults to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and get ahead in life," said Leonsis, vice chairman emeritus at AOL and a trustee of the university. "I said, 'Pick causes that are meaningful to you and are authentic to what you stand for.' " Education, Monica Thompson said, was a natural cause for them, given her husband's upbringing in Washington and his commitment to Georgetown. As a breast cancer survivor, she also is interested in promoting better health care for at-risk women and families. And finally, they wanted to engage in a way that wasn't exclusively high-society. So when the John Thompson III Foundation held its first fundraiser on a September weekend, it opened with a panel discussion at Georgetown University on the state of intercollegiate sports. The couple then hosted a block party and health fair at the Southeast Tennis and Learning Center in Anacostia, followed by a $500-per-ticket black tie gala at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center. The events made money, though Monica Thompson said the final tally is pending. The Thompsons assumed much of the administrative costs and will give the proceeds to the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, Capital Breast Care Center, Southeast Tennis and Learning Center, and Washington Jesuit Academy. "You see young kids who make mistakes because they don't know any better and how, if they don't have strong parental guidance to help them, how that makes it so much harder for them," she said. "But you take a child who is from a disadvantaged environment, if you give that child the proper skills and access to broaden their knowledge and be educated and go on to college, you then create the ability for that person to improve their circumstances and you create a productive person in society." She will serve as the foundation's executive director and only staff member, and won't take any salary for the work. It's a good segue for her, since she was a fundraiser for Princeton University for six years, focusing on large endowments and gifts.

For more information about the JTIII foundation, please visit

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