Earlier today I was a t Shake-A-Leg Miami with folks from Broward Navy Days. Broward Navy Days organizes the Annual Fleet Week at Port Everglades and makes sure all of the men and women who serve our country enjoy a good time while they are in port. We are looking forward to working together during Fleet Week 2013, but today was about introducing them to our charity partner, Shake-A-Leg Miami.
We had a wonderful time learning about what we all can bring to the table, and I am excited to get working on it! Stayed tuned for a Veterans Day event!
The afternoon was capped off meeting with veterans from the VA Medical Center…they had just returned from a day of fishing on Biscayne Bay. These Veterans fishing outings generally take place twice a month, and sometimes in lieu of fishing, they opt for kayaking or sailing. Regardless of the activity, the veterans all enjoyed their day at Shake, and many will be coing out to a Marlins game over the weekend!
All week long, Marlins players have been visiting classrooms throughout South Florida that won a visit through tthe Marlins@School contest.
During each visit, the students demonstrated to the players what they learned through the Marlins@School lessons. Following the preseentations, the players answered all of the kids questions ranging from their favorite scary movie to how old they were when they started playing baseball. A great time was had by all!
HONORARY BAT GIRL CONTEST WINNER FOR THE MARLINS TO BE RECOGNIZED AT MARLINS PARK ON MOTHERS DAY
Nine-Time Grammy Winner and Music Legend Bonnie Raitt Shares Special Video Message to Support Those “Going to Bat against Breast Cancer”
Miami, FL – Major League Baseball announced the 30 winners of the 2012 Honorary Bat Girl program, which recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and demonstrate a commitment to “Going to Bat” in the fight against the disease. The winner of the Honorary Bat Girl Contest for the Miami Marlins is Gale West from South Florida. In 1988 she lost her mother to breast cancer. This taught her immediately the importance of yearly mammograms and self-examination. In September 2001 she faced the same diagnosis. With the loss of her mother and her own fight, support for awareness has become an important part of Gale’s life.
“As a lifetime fan of baseball I am thrilled and so grateful that MLB has been such a strong voice in creating awareness. It is fantastic to know that when the players swing their pink bats and wear their pink gear on game day they are sending a powerful message to their fans everywhere; truly going to bat against breast cancer,” said Gale West.
In October 2011 Gale celebrated 10 years cancer free by going “to bat” herself with the help of family and friends. Together they raised over $1,000 for research. Gale West is one of the 30 winners, one for each MLB Club. Gale West will take part in a meet and greet with a player, be honored during a pre-game ceremony, and will be given a special Miami Marlins jersey and two tickets to the game. Each winner was selected by a Guest Judging Panel that includes MLB players and celebrities in addition to fan votes casted on HonoraryBatGirl.com.
Nine-time Grammy award winner Bonnie Raitt, who lost her brother and close friends to cancer, recorded a special video at the MLB Fan Cave to lend her support to the Honorary Bat Girl initiative and the ongoing fight to eradicate the disease. The video, which will run online and in-stadium, can be seen at http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=21041567&c_id=mlb . The Guest Judging Panel who helped select the 30 winners included MLB players Joe Blanton of the Philadelphia Phillies, whose mom is a breast cancer survivor; Jason Heyward of the Atlanta Braves, whose aunt passed away from lung cancer; Howie Kendrick of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, whose best friend’s mom is a breast cancer survivor; and Barry Zito of the San Francisco Giants, whose mom was affected by cancer. Also on the Guest Panel was MLB Network host Chris Rose, who has several close friends who have been affected by the disease; international soccer star Mia Hamm, supporter of the Honorary Girl Initiative with former MLB player and current ESPN analyst Nomar Garciaparra, whose grandmother passed away from breast cancer; actor James Denton of Desperate Housewives, who lost his mother to breast cancer.
Also on Mother’s Day, hundreds of MLB players are expected to use pink bats by Louisville Slugger, the Official Bat of Major League Baseball, stamped with the MLB breast cancer awareness logo. To further demonstrate their support for the breast cancer cause, players and on-field personnel will wear the symbolic pink ribbon on their uniforms along with pink wrist bands. Commemorative dugout lineup cards also will be pink.
The Honorary Bat Girl Contest was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative celebrated on Mother’s Day. In 2006, Major League Baseball created the “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” program. Since its beginnings, MLB has continued to grow the program throughout the League and with all 30 Clubs to honor those affected by the disease. Along with MLB licensed partners and Susan G. Komen for the Cure, MLB raises awareness about the breast cancer cause. Game-used Louisville Slugger pink bats from Mother’s Day games that have been authenticated by MLB will be auctioned exclusively on MLB.com to benefit cancer research. To learn more about Major League Baseball’s charitable initiatives visit MLBCommunity.org.
Below is an email from the organizer of Challenger League:
The Marlin’s Clinic is an amazing experience for our kids and their families. The Challenger program allows disabled kids to play baseball. These kids love the game and they all follow their local team- the Miami Marlins. Actually, ½ the team names in our program are the Marlins.
The opportunity for them to actually stand on the playing field and hit & play catch with their baseball heroes is an unforgettable experience for them. They are concentrating so hard to just hit a ball off the tee or make a throw in the bullpen to show the Marlin player that they can play baseball. All you need to do is look at their smiling faces to know what a great time they had.
I know the parents love the opportunity the clinic provides for their children…
The clinic is really an incredible experience that our families look forward to every year.
I vividly recall the moment David Samson told me of his desire to do something to honor all of the construction workers that were building our new home. We were at Allapattah Middle School, and his Ayudan team was working with City Year on a beautification project. We were painting a mural, and between brushstrokes, he casually mentioned his plan to run 50 miles to raise $500,000 for charity. I immediately thought, “Wow, he really is crazy!” My next thought was, “If there is anyone I know that has the will to pull this off, it’s David.”
This season is my 15th in Community Outreach with the Marlins, and 11 have been with David. While much of his focus over the past decade was on solidifying the future of baseball in Miami by overseeing the ballpark efforts, he never lost sight of the Marlins role in our community and our responsibility to our neighbors. He possesses a passion for helping others and a desire to leave a positive legacy.
After a few more brush strokes, as the idea began to sink in, I realized how fortunate I am to work for someone who genuinely leads by example. Not only was this man going to put his mind and body through a grueling back-to-back marathon, he was dedicating himself to raising a half million dollars to donate to charity in the name of our construction workers!
I have experienced some unforgettable moments with the Marlins…clinching the 2003 Wild Card…Pudge clutching that ball…reveling a World Series Championship at Yankee Stadium…Anibal Sanchez’ no-no…celebrating the Florida Marlins franchise at Closing Day 2011…Opening Marlins Park just a few weeks ago. Last night added another memory to that list…Cheering David on as he jogged in through center field and presented checks totaling over $600,000 to 10 incredible charities.
That is the most inspirational of all.