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.
Before Wednesday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles, a group of Mariners players, and the Moose, paid a visit to Seattle’s Veterans Administration Hospital to sign autographs, pose for photos and swap stories with patients. Mariners team photographer Ben Van Houten was there and sent back these photos.
Felix Hernandez, one of the most dominant pitchers in Major League Baseball, is also recognized for his leadership off the field.
Felix is the Seattle Mariners 2012 nominee for the prestigious Roberto Clemente Award, presented by Chevrolet.
Beginning today, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the national award recipient by visiting MLB.com/ClementeAward to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2012 World Series, where the national winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced. Voting ends at 11:59 p.m. ET on Sunday, October 14th, and the winner of the fan poll will receive one vote among those cast by a selection panel.
Tonight, before the Mariners take on the Baltimore Orioles, Felix will be honored during a pre-game ceremony. Felix is active with a number of local charities and non-profit organizations including Make-A-Wish, Seattle Children’s Hospital, Esperanza, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Special Olympics of Washington and Humane Society of Seattle/King County.
The distinguished list of past national Roberto Clemente Award recipients includes three former Mariners (Harold Reynolds, Jamie Moyer and Edgar Martinez), as well as 14 members of the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
Crews from Seattle Parks & Recreation, City of Lakewood and Metro Parks Tacoma got tips on how to keep a playing field in top shape from one of the best grounds crews in Major League Baseball.
Seattle Mariners head groundskeeper Bob Christofferson and his team put on a field maintenance clinic at Safeco Field in conjunction with Baseball Tomorrow Fund, which provides grants for youth baseball and softball field renovation and construction.
Christofferson took some of the mystery out of what they do (stripes on the field are the result of the direction of the mower blades on the grass) and good naturedly dodged a few questions about how he helps ensure a “home field advantage” for the Mariners.
As beautiful as the field is to look at, Christofferson told the group “my number one job is the take care of the ballplayers’ needs. They don’t care about how green the grass is. They only care about how it plays.”
For example, he told them that groundskeepers work with the position players to make sure the conditions of the grass and the dirt are to their liking. One staff member, Tim Wilson, is the designated mound expert. “He talks to the pitchers before their starts, but mostly after, to make sure the mound conditions are just right,” said Christofferson. A good grounds crew will tailor the mound so that it matches up with each starter’s preferences and motion. Some guys like a soft landing. Some want it hard as a rock. The young pitchers, he says, don’t always know what they want, but with a veteran like Felix Hernandez, Christofferson says Wilson knows exactly how Felix wants it.
In addition to the finer points of the pitcher’s mound, the group got hands-on instruction on chalking, infield prep and fertilizer.
After the clinic, representatives from Baseball Tomorrow Fund presented a $10,000 check to Kennewick American Youth Baseball to help with the renovation of one of their fields at Canyon View Elementary school into a mini replica of Safeco Field. The project is in honor of Cooper Larson, who was a bat boy for a KAYB team. Cooper was just shy of his 5th birthday when he died of a non-operable form of brain cancer in 2008. Before he died, Cooper came to Safeco Field with the Make-A-Wish Foundation and met Raul Ibañez and other members of the Mariners team. He proudly wore his Kennewick Youth Baseball uniform that day.
Tim Doyle, Vice President of KAYB, says the grant will be a big help with the project, but they still have a ways to go to get to their fundraising goal. Plans for the project have been drawn up, the permits have been issued and they hope to start work soon so that the field can be ready for the new youth baseball season next spring.