Hayley Loffer, a 12-year old girl from Hayden, in north Idaho, has won a trip to the 2013 MLB All-Star Game as one of the top finishers in her age group in Pitch, Hit & Run, MLB’s annual skills competition.
Hayley will now compete against two other top qualifiers in the 11-12 Year Old Girls Division on July 15, just before the Gatorade All-Star Workout Day at Citi Field in New York. Pitch, Hit & Run competitors then get to stay on the field and shag balls during the derby.
Loffer earned her spot at the national finals by placing first in her age division at the Team Championships at Safeco Field on June 23, and then having one of the top three scores among all competitors in her age division.
Loffer, who will be entering 8th grade at Canfield Middle School in Coeur d’Alene next fall, has placed first in her age division the last three years at the Team Championship round at Safeco Field, but this is the first year that her scores were high enough to advance to the National Championship.
Loffer is currently competing in the Sparkler Youth Fast-Pitch Tournament in Hyland Hills, Colorado.
More than 600,000 youth participated in over 4,000 competitions that took place across North America. Scotts, the “Official Lawn Care Company of Major League Baseball,” is in its first year sponsoring the grassroots program.
Several Mariners players, coaches, broadcasters and front office staff members were out at TPC at Snoqualmie Ridge today to help raise money for the 28th Annual Mariners Care Golf Tournament to benefit Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Tournament co-chairs Raul Ibañez and Justin Smoak carted around the course hitting shots with all the groups and taking pictures. Additional participants in the tournament included current players Brendan Ryan, Blake Beavan, Joe Saunders, Tom Wilhelmsen, Carter Capps, Charlie Furbush, Nick Franklin and Danny Farquhar, former Mariners Dan Wilson, Dave Valle, Dave Henderson, Brian Hunter and Brian Holman, coaches Daren Brown, Scott Budner, Jason Phillips, Mike Brumley and Dave Hansen, broadcasters Rick Rizzs and Dave Sims and front office staff members Jack Zduriencik and Tom McNamara. Manager Eric Wedge and his wife Kate were also carting around the course shaking hands and sharing smiles.
[Update] We just received a wonderful update that yesterday’s tournament and dinner/auction raised $220,000, bringing the 28-year total to $5.1 million raised for Cystic Fibrosis. Thank you so much for all the wonderful donations and to all the sponsors!
The top celebrity group was led by Joe Saunders (Pepsi) and Charlie Furbush had the celebrity closest to the pin.
And a big thank you to tournament co-chairs Raul Ibanez and Justin Smoak. This was the 6th year that Raul has hosted the tournament, with the event raising $1,176,000 in those years (2004-08, 2013). This was the second year for Smoak to be involved with the charity, and the event has raised $440,000.
Here are some photos from the (sometimes rainy) day on the golf course…all to help raise money for a great cause!
Mariners pitcher Joe Saunders treated a group of Seattle Children’s Hospital patients and their families to a “suite” experience at Safeco Field on Monday.
Saunders and his wife Shanel, through their charitable foundation Team Saundo, have purchased a suite for seven Mariners games, and are inviting patients and families from Children’s, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital and Seattle’s Ronald McDonald House to enjoy a day at the ballpark on them.
Monday’s group, all clad in Team Saundo T-shirts, got to go down on field pregame, where they met Joe Saunders. He took them into the Mariners dugout and gave the kids sugar-free bubblegum and sunflower seeds from the players’ stash. Everybody posed for photos on the field and at the dugout rail, then Team Saundo made its way to Suite 19 for the game.
Saunders and Shanel started Team Saundo in 2007 to make a positive impact on the lives of children by supporting initiatives focused on children’s health and well-being, education and involvement in sports.
In each of Saunders’ Major League stops (Los Angeles Angels, Arizona Diamondbacks, Baltimore Orioles, and now Seattle Mariners), Team Saundo has contributed to the community. (710 ESPN’s Shannon Drayer wrote a nice story about Joe’s activities in a recent blog post.)
The next Team Saundo suite game will be June 23 when the Mariners meet the Oakland A’s.
It was quite a Mother’s Day for 32-year old Kimberly Fugere of Renton. She got a personalize Mariners jersey, met Dustin Ackley and Brandon Maurer, oh, and she threw out the ceremonial first pitch before the Mariners vs. Oakland A’s game on Sunday.
Fugere is the Mariners 2013 Honorary Bat Girl, one of 30 across Major League Baseball. Kimberly is also a breast cancer survivor. Two years ago, the 32-year old Fugere was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. In the years since, it has spread to her brain and lungs. Two months ago, she underwent brain surgery.
Through it all, Fugere maintains a prositive outlook and is focused on getting well and being a wife to husband Ross and mom to her two children, ages six and three.
The Mariners and Major League Baseball are proud to salute Kimberly Fugere, and all those whose lives have been touched by cancer.
The Honorary Bat Girl program was introduced by MLB in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual “Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative celebrated on Mother’s Day.
The pink Louisville Slugger bats used by players in Sunday’s game will be auctioned off on MLB.com to raise funds for the fight against breast cancer. And fans can order their own hot-pink Louisville Slugger at shop.mlb.com or sluggergifts.com.
No need to worry about the future of our nation, if it’s in the hands of someone like Nate McCarthy of Mukilteo.
Nate, who is 16, and undergoing treatment for leukemia, asked Make-A-Wish® if he could use his wish to update his high school baseball field.
Here’s Nate’s letter to Make-A-Wish about why he wanted this wish:
The reason that I would like my Make-a-Wish to be updating the baseball field at Kamiak is because baseball is my life. During the treatment I was at every game and the guys came to my house frequently to play video games or just to hang out and that helped me take my mind off my hard treatment. Throughout my treatment I just wanted to get back on the diamond, to be with my friends and have fun. Every guy on that team has gone through my treatment with me and has treated me with respect and kindness. I want to give back to them because they did this for me. I have been playing with these kids (juniors and seniors) since I was in Little League and have gotten to know them well. I want to be able to continue that especially on a diamond that everyone can be proud of and enjoy playing on. Thank you. Sincerely, Nathan, 16 years-old
Nate recently got his wish on World Wish Day, Mariners Hall of Famer Dan Wilson joined hundreds of people at Kamiak High School to celebrate a special wish by a special young man.
The Mariners are proud to join with Make-A-Wish to pay tribute to Nate. He is an inspiration to us all.
The Toys For Kids holiday gift distribution tour stopped at Seattle’s Ronald McDonald House on Wednesday.
On hand were former Mariners John Olerud, Dan Wilson, Julio Cruz and Dave Henderson. Santa Moose was also there.
Each year, for the last 16-years, former Mariners have joined together at the holidays to raise money to buy gifts for children in the Puget Sound area who might not otherwise have a very happy holiday.
This year’s Toys For Kids fundraising dinner and auction brought in a record of over $173,000. The money was spent on gifts that are being distributed during the holidays by a variety of charitable and service agencies. In addition to Ronald McDonald House, the organizations include The Country Doctor community clinic, Atlantic Street Center, Hopelink, Seattle Children’s Home, Harborview Medical Center, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Vision House, Broadview Women’s Shelter, YWCA Seattle Emergency Housing, Union Gospel Mission Family Services, First Avenue Service Center, Family and Adult Service Center and First Place School.
Bright and early this morning (well, early, anyway), Rick Rizzs, Jay Buhner and his family and a team of volunteers converged on Toys R Us in Bellevue to spend over $173,000 on gifts to help brighten the holidays for children and needy families across the Puget Sound.
The shopping spree started at 6am, before the store opened to the public. Volunteers fanned out across the store for two hours, piling shopping carts full of games and puzzles and dolls and toys of all manner.
Toys For Kids was started over 16 years ago by Rick Rizzs and Dave Henderson to buy toys and gifts for children in the greater Seattle area that might not otherwise receive them. In 2000, the Mariners RBI Club got involved, hosting the annual Toys For Kids Auction, which was held on November 17 in Bellevue. Since 1995, Toys For Kids has raised about $1 million.
The toys will be distributed in several events at various participating organizations. The first is Saturday, December 8, at Yesler Community Center.
A total of 17 organizations will participate in Toys For Kids this holiday season including The Country Doctor community clinic, Atlantic Street Center, Ronald McDonald House Seattle, Hopelink, Seattle Children’s Home, Harborview Medical Center, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Vision House, Broadview Women’s Shelter, YWCA Seattle EmergencyHousing, Union Gospel Mission Family Services, First Avenue Service Center, Family and Adult Service Center, First Place School.
As the holidays are now in full swing, and thoughts turn to giving, please forgive The Corner of Edgar & Dave for bit of bragging.
The Seattle Mariners front office just completed our annual United Way campaign. For the third year in a row, we reached 100% participation, and we increased the level of giving by the 188 full-time front office staff by 9%.
Former Mariners catcher, and newly-inducted Hall of Famer, Dan Wilson, and his wife Annie, chaired the United Way of King County annual giving campaign. Greg Johns, Mariners.com beat writer, posted a story on this year’s campaign.
The Mariners have now been closely associated with four United Way of King County campaign chairs: CEO & Chair Howard Lincoln (2003-2004), owners Jeff & Tricia Raikes (2006-2007), owner John Stanton (2007-2008), and the Wilsons.
The Seattle Mariners RBI Club on Saturday presented their annual Community Service Award to Mariners Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Jack Zduriencik.
Zduriencik was singled out for recognition for his “tireless efforts to maintain and strengthen professional baseball in the Pacific Northwest and his consistent work as a community servant through his support of local charities.”
Over the years since he arrived in Seattle, Zduriencik has been involved with such organizations as Make-A-Wish, the Northwest Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Special Olympics of Washington, United Way of King County and Boy Scouts of America Chief Seattle Council.
Zduriencik is the 12th recipient of the Moose Clausen Community Service Award, which has been presented each fall during the annual RBI Club fundraiser for the Toys For Kids charity. Toys for Kids was started 16 years ago by Mariners broadcaster Rick Rizzs and former Mariners outfielder Dave Henderson to give support and holiday cheer to children and families in need during the holidays. The dinner and auction raised a record of $170,000. The money raised will all be spent on gifts for kids associated with 17 different service agencies in the Puget Sound area.
Also at the dinner, the RBI Club honored Clausen and his wife Dorothy for their years of service to the organization and the Mariners. They were presented with a handcrafted Blue & White Handkerchief vase by noted Seattle glass artist Bryan Rubino.
Our own Rick Rizzs will be on King 5’s New Day Northwest with Margaret Larson on Monday. Rick will be talking about one of his favorite topics (besides baseball), the charity he and Dave Henderson founded over 15 years ago known as Toys for Kids.
Toys For Kids is a non-profit organization that raises money to buy holiday toys and gifts for children in the greater Seattle area that might not otherwise receive them. With the help of the Seattle Mariners RBI Club, which puts on a fundraising dinner (this year at the Harbor Club in Bellevue on November 17), Toys For Kids raised over $145,000 last year for the annual toy drive. All of it was spent in two huge shopping sprees at Toys R Us and Babies R Us in Bellevue. Then, in December, Rizzs, Henderson and other former Mariners players and their families, join representatives from various organizations that distribute the toys during the holiday season. Participating organizations include The Country Doctor community clinic, Atlantic Street Center, Ronald McDonald House Seattle, Hopelink, Seattle Children’s Home, Harborview Medical Center, Our Savior Lutheran Church, Vision House, Broadview Women’s Shelter, YWCA Seattle Emergency Housing, Union Gospel Mission Family Services, First Avenue Service Center, Family and Adult Service Center, First Place School.
If you’d like to be in the audience for New Day Northwest you can get free tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, tune in starting at 11am to KING 5.