ESPN and National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to co-host fundraising event

WASHINGTON – Sept. 13, 2004 – The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (Foundation) announced today that it will honor film icon Clint Eastwood for his efforts in conservation at a special fundraising dinner next week. Eastwood will receive the Foundation’s “Chairman’s Award” – the highest accolade bestowed by one of the nation’s leading conservation organizations.

The Foundation will hand out the award at a private fundraising event on New York City’s Randall’s Island Sept. 22, 2004, and Eastwood will attend the event if his production schedule allows. The award recognizes outstanding leadership in the conservation of America’s natural resources. Past recipients of the Chairman’s Award have included former presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.

Eastwood, whose film career spans more than four decades, is a longtime advocate for conservation issues and describes himself as a “preservationist” who encourages people to take advantage of state parks.

When he was appointed a commissioner of the California State Board of Parks and Recreation in 2002, Eastwood said that his biggest priority was maintenance “to protect and preserve our existing natural and cultural resources for future generations.”

Eastwood’s natural resource and conservation-related efforts also include the following:

* Elected as vice-chair of the California State Board of Parks and Recreation in July 2004.

* Served as spokesperson for the Take Pride in America volunteer stewardship initiative in the 1980s.

* Taped public service announcements for Take Pride in America and for the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the California State Fish and Wildlife Service.

* Currently sits on the boards of the Hearst Castle Preservation Foundation and the Monterey Peninsula Golf Foundation.

“We want to thank Mr. Eastwood for his many contributions” said John Berry, executive director at the Foundation. “His support for conservation and efforts to encourage the public to get involved in the stewardship of America’s lands has helped to protect wildlife habitat and species.”

ESPN and Foundation fundraising dinner For five years, the Foundation has celebrated with ESPN at the Great Outdoor Games, which has included fishing, sporting dogs, archery, log rolling and other events. This is the first year the two organizations have joined in partnership at a fundraising dinner for the Foundation. Funds will help the Foundation continue its mission to conserve fish, wildlife and plants, and the habitats on which they depend.

“The conservation ethic embraced by Mr. Eastwood, the Foundation and ESPN Outdoors is central to the American lifestyle and quality of life. Millions of Americans pursue outdoor activities. Mr. Eastwood sets a powerful example for them and for us. We at ESPN are committed to delivering a strong conservation message in all that we do, from the Great Outdoors Games to the CITGO Bassmaster Classic, in our programming and publications,” said Christine Godleski, vice president and general manager, ESPN Outdoors. “We are proud to join the Foundation in honoring Mr. Eastwood.”

ESPN’s Dan Patrick will serve as host at the casual blue jeans event. Guests will dine on chicken and ribs, and have an opportunity to participate in target, timber, fishing and other fun outdoor activities. In accordance with the outdoors theme, fundraising auction items will include an autographed Lance Armstrong jersey worn in the 2003 Tour de France, a fishing-themed shadowbox signed by Ted Williams, a VIP trip to the 2005 Great Outdoor Games, a deepwater fishing trip in the Bahamas and more. The evening will end with fabulous fireworks.

ESPN Outdoors, an initiative of ESPN, Inc., strives to entertain outdoorsmen and -women, enrich their lives and encourage participation while advocating ethical behavior and conservation. ESPN, Inc. is the world’s leading multinational, multimedia sports entertainment company featuring a portfolio of over 50 multimedia sports assets. The company is comprised of seven domestic television networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Now, ESPN Today), ESPN HD, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN International (networks and syndication), ESPN Radio,, ESPN The Magazine, SportsTicker, ESPN Enterprises, ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN Broadband, ESPN Wireless, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN PPV. Based in Bristol, Ct., ESPN is 80 percent owned by ABC, Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company. The Hearst Corporation holds a 20 percent interest in ESPN.

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation is a nonprofit organization established by Congress in 1984 and dedicated to the conservation of fish, wildlife and plants, and the habitat on which they depend. The Foundation creates partnerships between the public and private sectors to strategically invest in conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources. The Foundation distributed 687 grants in 2003 and has leveraged $261 million in federal funds since its establishment, for a total of more than $786 million in on-the-ground conservation. This year, the Foundation celebrates its 20th anniversary.