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Negandhi among ESPN employees cited for volunteer efforts

Last year, ESPN employees directly affected more than 50,000 individuals through volunteer efforts in the community. Today, SportsCenter anchor Lindsay Czarniak and ESPN President John Skipper helped recognize the efforts of those employees who go above and beyond helping others at the annual Team ESPN Volunteer of the Year Awards.

SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi won the 2015 Team ESPN Commentator of the Year Award. Negandhi serves as a Special Olympics Global Ambassador and a Unified Sports champion. Among the many Special Olympics events he volunteered for last year was coaching the Unified basketball team during NBA All-Star Weekend. He even made an appearance at the White House, spreading the message of social inclusion.

“To be in a position where I can use this platform to help others in every way possible is certainly a blessing,” Negandhi said. “There’s more work ahead. And I feel lucky to work for a company that supports my efforts in the community, and I’m honored to receive this award today.”

The Volunteer of the Year prize was awarded to Nirmala Sreenivasan, a security specialist at ESPN headquarters. Sreenivasan volunteered nearly 200 hours for 12 different organizations last year.

“We all come from different backgrounds and experiences, yet we share one thing in common: our willingness to give our time and service to help others,” Sreenivasan said. “There is a lot of human suffering in the world and all of us working together can help humanity and give people their dignity. By offering our time, love and our services, we will build bridges between cultures and make this world beautiful.”

Team ESPN Volunteer of the Year Award Winners

Environmental Champion: Robbin Dunn — A longtime member of ESPN’s Green Team, Dunn volunteers for every electronic waste drive and Green Team event, and continually provides feedback and thoughtful ideas on ways to improve our campus.

V Spirit Award: Ben Dooley — Dooley served as the Committee Chair for ESPN’s V Week initiative which raised $2.2 million for The V Foundation in 2014 — $400,000 more than 2013.

Volunteer Team of the Year: Project Management, Transition & Remote Services — This team from ESPN Technology regularly volunteers time in the community, helping build a Habitat for Humanity home, cleaning up the Riverfront in Hartford and participating in on-campus volunteer events.

Regional Volunteer of the Year: Ricky Cedrone — From ESPN’s New York office, Cedrone is a wish granter for the Make A Wish Foundation. He helped a young man whose wish was to go to college get a full scholarship to attend Iona.

International Volunteer of the Year: Ana Blanch — Blanch spearheads ESPN’s relationship with Special Olympics in Mexico, regularly setting up volunteer activities.

Volunteer of the Year: Nirmala Sreenivasan — She volunteered nearly 200 hours for 12 different organizations last year. The largest portion of her time was spent at the local soup kitchen serving meals week after week to those less fortunate.

Commentator of the Year: Kevin Negandhi — A Special Olympics Global Ambassador and a Unified Sports champion, Negandhi is committed to spreading the message of social inclusion.

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