Remembering Abe Pollin's many contributions

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Post's Nov. 25 front-page coverage of the passing of Abe Pollin certainly captured him as a civic leader, sports team owner, developer, philanthropist, skilled business executive and great humanitarian. While he was all of these -- and much more -- we at the U.S. Fund for UNICEF remember him best as a true international children's champion.

Mr. Pollin supported many outstanding charities and made it part of his life's work to advance humanity, both in his community and around the world. We consider ourselves blessed that UNICEF's global work for children was among the causes close to his heart. For years he chaired UNICEF's Washington area committee and generously provided leadership and support to save and improve the lives of children everywhere. Whether it was hosting a gala fundraiser, offering to match local donations for a UNICEF emergency or appearing before Congress to promote appropriations for UNICEF, Abe Pollin was there to make the world a better place for vulnerable children.

Abe Pollin showed how one person can make a difference, no matter how daunting the problem, whether here or a continent away. His example humbles and inspires us.

Martin Rendón, Woodbridge

The writer is vice president for public policy and advocacy for the U.S. Fund for UNICEF.

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I did not know Abe Pollin, but I admired him for what he did for the community. He distinguished himself from other sports team owners for several reasons.

He changed an offensive team name without any coaxing or lawsuits, and he explained why he thought the name "Washington Bullets" was insensitive, given how many young black men had been killed or wounded by gunfire.

He kept the team in the city, primarily with his own money. He created jobs at all levels. He tried to bridge a divide between the African American and the Jewish communities by his service to both. He put his money where his mouth was in helping educate inner-city youth and funding a broad array of other causes, far and near.


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