Mariner pitchers Hisashi Iwakuma and Brandon Maurer spent part of their day on Thursday visiting kids at Tacoma’s Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital as part of the Holland America Line Get Well Tour.
The kids got the chance to meet Kuma and Maurer – and the Mariner Moose – get photos and autographs, and a Get Well Tour duffle bag, baseball and Moose doll, all courtesy of Holland America Line.
The annual Mariners Care Cystic Fibrosis Golf Tournament was held Thursday at The Golf Club at Newcastle. Tournament co-hosts Dustin Ackley and Charlie Furbush (Justin Smoak, also a tournament co-host, was in El Paso on rehab with the Tacoma Rainiers) were joined on the links by teammates, manager Lloyd McClendon, General Manager Jack Zduriencik and a host of golfers to help raise funds for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Final numbers are still being tallied, but the tournament and auction of sports memorabilia raised over $200,000 to benefit Cystic Fibrosis research. Since 1986 the tournament has raised over $5.2 million for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
In addition to his duties as a co-chair, Charlie Furbush brought his “A” game. He was the winner of the “celebrity longest drive” and Dominic Leone’s foursome, along with Kyle Hall, Sam Kajani and Jerry Heuett won 3rd place.
Here are some pictures from the event:
Several thousand students in elementary schools in the greater Seattle area got a break from reading and math on Tuesday so they could get some life lessons from Seattle Mariners players.
It was the 17th Annual Mariners Education Day where the entire team and broadcasters split up into five groups and fan out to area schools to urge the kids to become members of the Mariner Moose D.R.E.A.M. Team.
D.R.E.A.M. Team stresses the importance of the D.R.E.A.M. principles: Drug-free, Respect, Education, Attitude and Motivation.
At each school, the players talked about how they worked hard and were able to achieve their dreams of becoming Major League ballplayers. But they also urged the kids to aim for their own goals of becoming teachers, doctors, engineers or anything they want to be.
The students were also urged to keep learning even during the summer. At Burien’s Hilltop Elementary School, star pitcher Felix Hernandez challenged students to read at least two books each week.
The schools visited for this year’s Education Day assemblies were South Shore PK-8 in South Seattle, Hazel Valley Elementary and Hilltop Elementary in Burien, Cascade View in Tukwila and Sunny Hills Elementary in Sammamish.
Donna Person-Smith, a 46-year old Graham, Pierce County woman, has been named the Seattle Mariners 2014 Honorary Bat Girl.
Person-Smith, a breast cancer survivor, was diagnosed with Stage 1 cancer three years ago. She was faithful about getting mammograms, but Person-Smith says her cancer was not detected until she had breast reduction surgery and a tissue sample sent for testing came back positive. Her doctors told her that her tumor was so deep it may not have been detected until it had grown larger. But with early detection, Person-Smith says her prognosis is excellent.
The married mom of three kids will be honored on Sunday, May 11, Mother’s Day, when the Mariners take on the Kansas City Royals. Person-Smith will get a pink-themed personalized Mariners jersey, a special pink Louisville Slugger, and will throw out the ceremonial first pitch before the game.
Person-Smith, whose mother is also a breast cancer survivor, credits early detection and the great care she received from her doctors at Virginia Mason with saving her life. “Cancer isn’t a death sentence. You can recover, you can move on and have a healthy life,” said Person-Smith.
During Sunday’s game, the Mariners and Royals players will wear symbolic pink ribbons on their uniforms along with pink wristbands. Dugout lineup cards will be pink-themed and the baseballs used during the game will have pink stitches. Pink Louisville Slugger bats used during the game will be auctioned off exclusively on MLB.comto benefit the fight against breast cancer.
Mariners ace pitcher Felix Hernandez and Grammy-winning recording artist Macklemore teamed up at Safeco Field to surprise a group of students from Bellevue’s Highland Middle School and launch an anti-bullying campaign.
The students gathered at the ballpark for what they thought was a public service announcement taping with the Mariner Moose. The students were in for more than a little surprise when the Moose was suddenly recast with the two Seattle superstars.
Felix and Macklemore are two individuals who are not afraid to stand up, stand out and celebrate their individuality. In the PSA, they ask students to “be kind, stay positive, and support each other,” and to sign an anti-bullying pledge. The PSA ends with the line, “Together, we can change the game.” The 30-second PSA will be distributed to radio and TV stations throughout Western Washington.
“Everyone deserves to feel safe at their school. I hope kids will hear our message and treat each other with respect and kindness,” said Hernandez.
“It’s an honor to be working with the Mariners and Felix Hernandez to help spread a message of individuality to our area schools. We hope to encourage our youth to feel free to be themselves and to take care of each other along the way,” said Macklemore.
The campaign also consists of an education component for Seattle-area middle schools with posters and activity guides for teachers, as well as online resources at mariners.com/changethegame to provide students, teachers and parents tools to help address the issue of bullying in schools. Parents can help their children complete the activities and take the anti-bullying pledge to be entered into a contest to meet Hernandez and Macklemore prior to the Seattle Mariners vs. New York Yankees game on Thursday, June 12, which is Macklemore Bobblehead Night at Safeco Field.
You hear a lot from professional athletes and even sports teams talk about how they want to “give back to the community.” Here at the Seattle Mariners, we take our responsibility to be good corporate citizens seriously.
Through our Community Relations Department and our non-profit foundation, Mariners Care, we are able to channel resources to over 1,500 worthy causes and organizations. Since 2000, Mariners Care has helped raise over $14.8 million to benefit primarily youth-oriented community service programs. And each season, we are proud that every member of the Mariners team participates in our community programs.
If you’d like to learn more about the specific programs, such as our annual golf tournament to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, or the Refuse to Abuse® 5k Run/Walk that benefits the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence, or any of the dozens of programs, fundraiser and community outreach efforts we take part in, you can find the entire Mariners Care Community Report at this link.
Rick Rizzs, Jay Buhner and volunteers from 18 Seattle area social service agencies and charities gathered before sunrise at the Toys R Us in Bellevue Tuesday to spend $250,000 on gifts to brighten the holidays for children across the region.
Toys for Kids started as a good idea over 17 years ago when Rizzs, Buhner, Dave Henderson and several other former Mariners players passed the hat to help needy families. Today, that act of goodwill has grown into a non-profit organization that provides holiday cheer to more than 6,000 children each year.
Various fundraising efforts over the year culminate in a shopping spree at Toys R Us. Volunteers from organizations such as Atlantic Street Center, Broadview Women’s Shelter, Harborview Medical Center, Union Gospel Mission Family Services, and Vision House swarm the store beginning at 6am, lists in hand, to buy gifts for kids who might not otherwise receive one.
Maria Ochoa-Meyers, who was shopping for Communities in Schools of Renton, was looking for art supplies and Barbies. Although the ghoulish Monster High dolls are increasingly popular, “girls still like Barbie,” she said.
A team from Atlantic Street Center turned out in red Mariners T-shirts to fill the wish lists of 1,500 kids. By 6:45am, they had already filled to overflowing 23 shopping carts, with more to go.
Next Thursday and Saturday Santa Moose, Rick Rizzs, and some surprise guests will start delivering the gifts at parties at Seattle Ronald McDonald House and Harborview Medical Center.
It’s not too late to help out. You can make a tax deductible donation online at RicksToysForKids.org, or you can find out how to give some or all of the proceeds from your sales on ebay to help the cause.
The 13th annual Toys for Kids Dinner and Auction was held on Saturday at the Harbor Club in Bellevue, and raised over $200,000 to help homeless and disadvantaged kids this Christmas.
The annual event is hosted by Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs and former player Dave Henderson, with the help of the Mariners RBI Club.
Several former Mariners players were in attendance to help raise money, including Bill Krueger, Dan Wilson and John Olerud. Current Mariners outfielder Raul Ibañez also took part in the event and there was a surprise appearance from Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch.
The Seattle Mariners RBI Club awarded Eric and Kate Wedge the Al “Moose” Clausen Community Service Award, an annual award given during our dinner and auction to a past or present member of the Mariners organization who has made a significant contribution to the community.
With all the money raised, Rizzs and an entourage of shoppers start clearing shelves at local toy stores beginning December 4. We’ll have an update on this blog after the first few shopping events. Thanks for all the helped raise money for a wonderful charity!
For the third year in a row, the Mariners Grounds Crew (yes, those dancing grounds crew members) will be holding a coat drive to help people in need during the winter months. The group led by head groundskeeper Bob Christofferson gathered 976 coast for kids and adults last year, and are hoping to reach 1,000 coats this year. New and used coats are welcome, and they will go to Battered Women’s shelter and the YWCA.
If you have a coat or two laying around that you could donate, Bob and his crew would love to find a home for it. You can drop it off at the front desk of Safeco Field (Third Base Entrance, 1250 First Avenue South). The deadline is December 14.
Yesterday was a busy day with Hisashi Iwakuma selected as a finalist for the AL Cy Young Award and the Mariners naming Lloyd McClendon manager. Perhaps the best news of the day (while the other two were certainly great) came when Raul Ibañez was named the Hutch Award Winner.
The award is given each year to an MLB player who best exemplifies the honor, courage and dedication of baseball great Fred Hutchinson, both on and off the field. Baseball Hall of Famer Rod Carew will give the Hutch Award Luncheon’s keynote address; proceeds from the event will benefit cancer research at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. Ibañez will receive the 49th annual Hutch Award® at a Jan. 30 luncheon at Seattle’s Safeco Field.
Ibañez has received the MLB Players Association Heart & Hustle Award three times and has four times been the Mariners nominee for the Roberto Clemente Award, baseball’s highest honor for community service. The Sporting News named Ibañez one the “Good Guys” in sports and he also received the Tug McGraw Good Guy Award from the Philadelphia chapter of the BBWAA.
Ibañez is as widely respected for his accomplishments on the field as he is for his character, leadership and community involvement.
His many community activities include chairing the annual Mariners Care Cystic Fibrosis Golf Tournament; supporting Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program, which works to make books available to at-risk children throughout the state of Washington; and involvement with Make-A-Wish®, Boys & Girls Clubs, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Treehouse, Covenant House Pennsylvania and Project H.O.M.E.
He also serves as a spokesman for “Refuse to Abuse,” the Mariners’ unique partnership with the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence. The program raises awareness of violence in intimate relationships through public service announcements in both English and Spanish.