- The Washington Times - Friday, January 31, 2003

President Bush yesterday named retired Washington Redskins player Darrell Green as chairman of a new blue-ribbon panel to promote voluntary service to the needy.

Mr. Bush announced the creation of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation which will be made up of athletes, entertainers and political celebrities, among others during remarks yesterday at the Jelleff Boys and Girls Club in Georgetown.

It was the second time in as many days that Mr. Bush highlighted aspects of his "compassion agenda," initiatives he discussed in his State of the Union speech Tuesday night to get those in the private sector more involved in public service.

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Mr. Bush said the council is a "commission to convince our fellow citizens to love one another … [and] to devise practical ways to encourage others to serve."

White House spokesman Ken Lisaius provided details in an interview later. "It's a council that's designed to be like the [Presidents] Council on Physical Fitness. Those on the new council will go around the country and serve as ambassadors for volunteerism, mentorism and [for federal programs such as] USA Freedom Corps," which can offer tens of thousands of opportunities to volunteers nationwide.

"The president talks about a compassion agenda for America," Mr. Lisaius said, adding that the council would put those words and goals into practice by promoting community involvement.

Lindsey Kozberg, spokeswoman for USA Freedom Corps, a White House panel led by Mr. Bush that seeks to promote public service, said the new council also is charged with recognizing individuals, businesses and schools that provide "outstanding volunteer and civic participation."

The proclamation that created the council, established within the Corporation for National and Community Services, said the panel will seek to encourage and recognize volunteerism especially by school-age youngsters.

Mr. Green, a former Redskins cornerback, is long recognized for community service.

In 1988, Mr. Green and his wife, Jewell, founded the Darrell Green Youth Life Foundation, a charity that views "education, values-based development, family life and community support" as crucial for children's success.

Mr. Green was present at Mr. Bush's address Tuesday at the invitation of Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, Tennessee Republican.

The Green foundation operates Youth Life Learning Centers, which provide comprehensive after-school and full summer education programs. It also offers the National Training Institute and other programs that provide the kind of academic instruction and values training that can help children from what the foundation calls "insecure environments."

Serving as honorary vice chairmen of the council will be two former U.S. senators, Republican Bob Dole of Kansas and Democrat John Glenn of Ohio. Mr. Dole was the Republican Party's unsuccessful presidential nominee in 1996. Mr. Glenn is a former astronaut and the first American to orbit the Earth.

Others on the panel include former Baltimore Orioles infielder Cal Ripken Jr.; actor and director Sean Astin, a star in the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy; actress Dixie Carter; and Luis Gonzalez, a left fielder for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The panel also will include Robert Nardelli, president of Home Depot; ABC News correspondent Cokie Roberts; Hope Taft, first lady of Ohio; and Deal W. Hudson, editor and publisher of Crisis magazine. Up to 25 members will be selected to the council and will serve without salaries.

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