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MLB.com

Press Release

06/19/2008 10:52 AM ET
Major Leaguers honor student volunteers
Reds players will honor Indianapolis-area high school students volunteers

CINCINATTI -- During an on-field ceremony prior to this afternoon’s game, Cincinnati Reds players Ken Griffey, Jr., David Ross and Javier Valentin will represent all Major Leaguers when they honor six Indianapolis-area high school students serving as Captains of the Indianapolis Action Team, a service learning program in which Major League players and high school students are inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers. During the 2007-08 school-year, these Indianapolis Action Team Captains raised awareness about the importance of community involvement among other students in their high schools and organized hundreds of other students to get involved in volunteer activities.

Administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, the Action Team program encourages young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities. To date, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 14,000 high school students across the country to help over 60,000 people in need by volunteering in their communities, while an Action Team service-learning curriculum created by the Players Trust in partnership with The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition teaches valuable community service skills to 700,000 high school students in more than 5,000 classrooms across the U.S..

Receiving signed certificates of achievement from the players today are 2007-08 Indianapolis Action Team Captains Mercedes Ittenbach and Caleb Stutler of Herron High School; Olivia Franklin and Hollyn Hartlep of Lawrence North; DJ Moore of Indianapolis Metropolitan High School and Kate Hendrickson of Cathedral High School. Ms. Hendrickson also receives a $1,000 college scholarship from the Major League Baseball Players Trust in recognition of her dedication to community service. Among their many efforts this past school year, the Indianapolis Action Team organized and hosted a Halloween party for more than 30 people in need and they collected and refurbished used bicycles before donating them to Indianapolis-area disadvantaged children.

Earlier today, the Indianapolis Action Team Captains helped provide everlasting memories for 30 children from Volunteers of America-Indianapolis programs attending this afternoon’s Reds game as part of the Major League Baseball Players Trust’s “Buses for Baseball” program. The children received free round trip transportation to the game, free tickets, and, upon arriving at the Great American Ball Park, met the players, received autographs, souvenirs, food and beverages, all courtesy of the players’ charitable foundation. When the group returns to Indianapolis following the game, the children will receive a refurbished bicycle from the Indianapolis Action Team.

Action Teams are working together in Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Mobile, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland (Maine), San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.. Volunteers of America and the Major League Baseball Players Trust are planning to expand the Action Team program to Chicago, Cleveland and Tampa during the 2008-09 school-year.

Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. In partnership with Volunteers of America, the national human service organization, the Players Trust created and helps administer the Action Team, a national youth volunteer initiative currently inspiring the next generation of volunteers in cities throughout the United States. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com.