Bob Johnson and Morgan Freeman Join Philanthropic Platforms to Support Disaster Preparedness Program

    Bob Johnson and Morgan Freeman Join Philanthropic Platforms to Support Disaster Preparedness Program

    PLAN!T NOW Launches Bahamas Hurricane Website; Joins for Celebrity Charitable Giving

    PR Newswire

    BETHESDA, Md., June 20, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies, today announced through his online charity auction platform,, the launch of a fundraising auction in coordination with Morgan Freeman, co-founder of PLAN!T NOW, to underwrite a new Bahamas Hurricane Prep website,, aimed at assisting the island community with hurricane preparedness for hurricane season.

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    The Bahamas Hurricane Prep site, through the efforts of partners NEMA, the Atlantis Hotels, The Bahamas Chamber of Commerce and Employers Confederation, Bahamas Hotel Association and the Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, will serve the people and tourists of the Bahamas this season, which promises to be an active one.

    Bahamas Hurricane Prep, which is an effort between PLAN!T NOW and its Bahamas partners, is a key program component that will benefit residents, visitors and business owners in the Bahamas. The Website will provide vital information about hurricanes and how they affect those on the islands, and make available information about preparing emergency kits, lists of emergency shelters, and links to relevant authorities and outlets where they can find up-to-date information. The website will be updated regularly with new information about preparedness in the islands.

    The National Weather Service's Climate Prediction Center has forecast 12 to 18 named storms in the Atlantic during the 2011 hurricane season. Of those storms, three to six are expected to become major hurricanes, underscoring the importance of preparedness measures.

    "I am pleased to partner with Bob Johnson and his platform to help individuals who are most in need during critical weather months," said award-winning actor and a co-founder of PLAN!T NOW, Morgan Freeman. "We are approaching some of the most severe and deadly weather months across the country and have already witnessed the devastating impact hurricanes, flooding and other natural disasters can have on our families, our communities, homes and businesses," he concluded.

    Several auction items have been donated to benefit PLAN!T NOW including a once in a lifetime opportunity to play an 18-hole round of golf with Bob Johnson and Morgan Freeman; two VIP tickets to a taping of The View with a meet-and-greet with Whoopi Goldberg and a one-night stay at the prestigious The Carlyle hotel; an Atlantis Bahamas VIP entertainment experience, including two tickets to an Atlantis Live concert; a memorabilia pack from the Hollywood blockbuster movie The Dark Knight which featured Morgan Freeman; a Morgan Freeman signed copy of the Invictus movie script; and a signed PLAN!T NOW T-shirt by country music award-winning singer and songwriter Kenny Chesney.

    "We have been fortunate to build on the relationships we have to create and expand celebrity charitable giving, making a success. Our platform is a great way to connect celebrities and their fans while benefitting charity at the same time," said Robert L. Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies and founder of "My dear friend, Morgan Freeman, is a prime example of how star power can be used to directly benefit worthwhile causes such as PLAN!T NOW and the efforts to assist individuals in need."

    PLAN!T NOW advocates the empowerment of people through information and connection, and creates dialogue between people living in hurricane and all severe storm-affected areas. PLAN!T NOW works with a range of nonprofit, government and educational organizations, home-rebuilding organizations, and federal climate science divisions and offers scholarships to students whose lives have been affected by disasters, offering financial aid to help them continue their education, and is working to educate younger students as well. is a custom built auction platform developed in affiliation with, a web and social media auction platform built exclusively for non-profit fundraising. ?Charity Bids employs unique digital media solutions to power branded non-profit fundraisers, corporate social responsibility programs and celebrity sponsored fundraising initiatives. allows celebrities to auction off items and experiences as part of their social responsibility using the technology of the Internet.

    Since its launch, has supported various celebrity driven charitable giving efforts including: Beyonce Knowles, the Survivor Foundation; Tom Hanks, Welcome Back Veterans; Emmitt Smith, the Pat & Emmitt Smith Charities; Magic Johnson, the Magic Johnson Foundation; Ludacris, The Ludacris Foundation; Michael Bolton, the Michael Bolton Charities; Chaka Khan, the Chaka Khan Foundation; and Holly Robinson Peete, the HollyRod Foundation.

    About is the premier online charity auction website created by Bob Johnson, founder and chairman of The RLJ Companies in affiliation with Charity Bids, an online auction site renowned for its global non-profit fund raising and expertise. ClubCharity is an online philanthropic website as well as a resource for entrepreneurs, shoppers, and fans to find collectibles, exciting experiences, and other personalized novelties for the sole purpose of giving back and helping those in need. ?For more information visit:; media inquiries, contact Traci Otey Blunt at

    About PLAN!T NOW: PLAN!T NOW advocates the empowerment of people through information and connection, and creates dialogue between people living in hurricane- and severe storm-affected areas and those who prepare coastal regions of the United States, Mexico and the Caribbean to withstand those storms. Operating with the understanding that no matter where you live, a natural disaster can happen at any time, PLAN!T NOW advocates the power of preparedness. For more information visit: or contact Donna Lee at

    About Charity Bids: Charity Bids is a turn-key web and social media auction platform created exclusively for non-profit fundraising. Charity Bids creates and promotes branded standalone and/or seamlessly embedded multi-channel online & Facebook auction programs that enable non-profits to raise funds through the auction of in kind items and experiences either leading up to an event or on a standalone basis. This proprietary multi-channel e-commerce platform is empowering Charity Bids to revolutionize the charity auction marketplace by introducing a suite of web based sales, referral, promotion, reporting and data generation tools that have been combined into a first-of-its-kind online auction portal.

    About The RLJ Companies: The RLJ Companies, founded by Robert L. Johnson is a diverse portfolio of companies in the financial services and asset management; sports and entertainment; real estate; automotive; and gaming industries. The RLJ Companies is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland, with affiliate operations in Charlotte, NC; Little Rock, AR; Los Angeles, CA; San Juan, PR; and Monrovia, Liberia. For more information visit:; media inquiries, contact Traci Otey Blunt at

    SOURCE The RLJ Companies