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Press Release

06/23/2009 4:11 PM ET
Mariners honor local student volunteers
Miguel Batista, Russell Branyan, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Brandon Morrow recognize Seattle-area student leaders in national program to encourage youth volunteerism

SEATTLE -- During an on-field ceremony prior to tonight’s game, Mariners players Miguel Batista, Russell Branyan, Ken Griffey, Jr. and Brandon Morrow will represent all Major Leaguers when they honor 13 Seattle-area high school students serving as Captains of the Seattle Action Team®, part of the national service-learning program in which Major League players and high school students are inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers. During the 2008-09 school-year, these Action Team Captains raised awareness about the importance of community involvement among other students in their high schools and organized 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 17,000 high school students across the country to help over 75,000 people in need by volunteering in their communities. 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 country. The Association of Educational Publishers presented this innovative service-learning program with a 2009 Distinguished Achievement Award.

Receiving signed certificates of achievement from the players tonight are Seattle Action Team Captains Fabiola Arroyo and Mackenzie Hammon of Sultan High School (Sultan, WA); Katie Grajewski and Sophia Mastroianni of Kentwood High School (Covington, WA); Cameron Eckhaus, Paige Eckhaus, Kassey Leite and Lisa Ponsler of Spanaway Junior High (Tacoma, WA); Amanda Akers, Alyssa Bream and Jamara Polzin of Marysville Pilchuck High School (Marysville, WA) and Adrianna Aroche and Chelsea Sheffield of Everett High School (Everett). Also, Mackenzie Hammon receives a $1,000 college scholarship from the Major League Baseball Players Trust in recognition of her dedication to community service.

Action Teams are working together in Boston, Chicago, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Maui, Minneapolis, Mobile, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland (Maine), San Francisco, San Juan (P.R.), Santa Fe, Seattle, Tampa and Washington D.C.. Beginning in September 2009, virtually every high school in America will be able to join the Action Team by participating in a new Internet version of this unique service-learning program. Action Team applications and additional information can be received by sending an e-mail request to ActionTeam@mlbpa.org.