Upper Deck Recognizes Teen Founder of ‘Cards2Kids’ with a Scholarship Award in Honor of Richard P. McWilliam

John Makowiec receives a scholarship for sharing the same innovative spirit as former CEO and President, Richard P. McWilliam.

Upper Deck Scholarship in Memory of Richard P McWilliam

CARLSBAD, Ca. (June 12, 2014) – John Makowiec is a Chicago-area teenager whose passion for collecting sports cards began when he was just five years old. As a high school sophomore, John created ‘Cards2Kids’, a charity organization that collects new and used sports cards to donate to various child-focused associations and hospitals. As an avid collector, John wanted other kids – especially those who are ill or may not have the means – to experience the joy of collecting sports cards and holding your favorite player in the palm of your hand.

John started out by setting up at various events and asking collectors to help fill donation bins. He then recruited a number of hobby shops and appointed local ambassadors to help the cause, gradually building a team of volunteers to help repackage and ship the cards. Over the last 3 years, over 1,000,000 cards have been received by kids across the country, thanks to John and his team. Now a High School graduate preparing for his freshman year at Duke University, John plans to continue what he started - with a little help from Upper Deck. At a special ceremony last night, Upper Deck announced that John has been awarded a scholarship in recognition of his innovation and leadership in creating and managing the ‘Cards2Kids’ organization. The scholarship is in honor of Richard P. McWilliam, Upper Deck’s late founder and CEO whose innovation, imagination and enthusiasm revolutionized the trading card industry when he started the company back in 1989.

“Richard completely transformed the trading card industry by introducing countless innovations that the market had never seen before,’” said Jason Masherah, president of Upper Deck. “This scholarship pays a fitting tribute to Richard, by inspiring kids to discover new ideas that will impact future generations of collectors, just as Richard did 25 years ago.”

Upper Deck surprised John Makowiec at the Bleachers Sports store in Winnetka, Illinois yesterday with the announcement of this special scholarship award. Upper Deck staff proudly presented a giant check to John in front of his family and dozens of supportive collectors to commemorate the occasion.

“I started this charity as a way to help kids enjoy the hobby that I love. For something like this to happen is really amazing,” said John Makowiec. “I am honored to receive this award and it will be a big help for me as I enter my freshman year in the fall at Duke University.”

“We are incredibly proud of John for his dedication and hard work creating the ‘Cards2Kids charity’,” said Jenny Just, John’s mother. “Upper Deck has gone above and beyond in their support for the charity and for my son. We are extremely appreciative and grateful for such a wonderful gift.”

About Upper Deck

Upper Deck, headquartered in Carlsbad, Calif., is a worldwide sports and entertainment company built on the pillars of quality craftsmanship, authenticity and innovation with a dedication to creating products that turn memorable moments into collectibles. Upper Deck revolutionized the sports trading card experience with anti-counterfeit holograms, high quality card stock and stunning photography in its inaugural 1989 baseball set, and since then its mission has been to capture the excitement of the game and deliver it to fans of all ages. The cornerstone of Upper Deck’s business, which opened in 1989, is based on sports trading cards. As its brand has evolved to include other products over the years, the company now creates exclusive memorabilia, gaming products, collectible cards and a wide array of sports trading cards.

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About Cards2Kids

Cards2Kids was founded by John Makowiec, a Chicago-area teenager whose passion for collecting sports cards began when he was just five years old. Over ten years later, as a high-school sophomore, John created Cards2Kids – a charitable organization* that collects new and used sports cards and donates them to kids in need through national and regional charities such as the Boys & Girls Clubs of Chicago and Children’s Memorial Hospital. After partnering with organizations such as the Chicago Cubs and Upper Deck and working with local card shops to collect donations, Cards2Kids has collected over one million sports card and is still counting.

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About Bleachers Sports

With over 20 years of experience, Bleachers has accumulated one of the most extensive collections of modern and vintage sports cards in the world. In addition, Bleachers offers a full line of authentic memorabilia and is a premier source of Rock N' Roll and Music Memorabilia.

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