Major League Baseball Charities and The Partnership at Drugfree.org Honor Coach and Teen Athlete with First Annual Commissioner’s Play Healthy Awards

~Patty Sterner of Willmar, Minnesota and Loureen Prudente of Troy, Michigan are Honored~

New York, NY (December 15, 2010) – Patty Sterner, a coach and mother from Willmar, Minnesota and Loureen Prudente, a teen athlete from Troy, Michigan, were honored by The Partnership at Drugfree.org, in conjunction with Major League Baseball (MLB) Charities, with the first-ever Commissioner’s Play Healthy Awards during The Partnership at Drugfree.org’s annual gala at The Waldorf=Astoria on Thursday, December 9.

Judged by a panel of parents, coaches and industry professionals, Sterner and Prudente were selected as part of a nationwide competition  based on their commitment to fair and healthy play within their sport and their involvement in their community.

Sterner, a youth track coach from Dassel-Cokato High School, has demonstrated her passion for educating young people and families on the dangers of underage drinking. Following the loss of her stepdaughter, Amanda, due to alcohol poisoning, she commits her work and personal life to teaching her student athletes how to live positively and take pride in healthy competition.

Prudente, an Athens High School student and athlete, is committed to a drug-free lifestyle on and off the playing field.  Known for raising awareness among her cross-country teammates about ways to have fun and compete without the use of drugs, she is also deeply involved in a pledge program which obtains signatures from adults who promise to not serve alcohol to minors. Prudente also volunteers her time presenting a prevention program on the risks of tobacco use to elementary school students.

”Major League Baseball is proud to present the inaugural Commissioner’s Play Healthy Awards to Coach Patty Sterner and teen athlete Loureen Prudente,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “Their remarkable efforts to promote healthy and safe participation in sports will inspire coaches and players around the country to follow their example. Our long-standing relationship with The Partnership at Drugfree.org continues to spread the important message of drug-free competition and highlight the outstanding work of people like Coach Sterner and Loureen.”

“Patty and Loureen are exceptional role models not only for their teams, but within their schools and communities,” said The Partnership at Drugfree.org President and CEO, Steve Pasierb.  “MLB has been an extraordinary partner in our work and we’re excited to honor these individuals for the impact they’ve made encouraging others that sports, healthy living and fun can go hand in hand.”

The winners received a trip to New York City for themselves and one special guest, two tickets each to The Partnership at Drugfree.org’s gala, a $1,000 gift card, and a commemorative plaque presented by Major League Baseball Charities. Both winners will be featured prominently on drugfree.org/playhealthy.

The Commissioner’s Play Healthy Awards are a culmination of both organizations’ comprehensive nationwide efforts, including the Play Healthy website, to educate families on the risks of steroids and performance-enhancing substances and to recognize youth coaches and student athletes who embody the spirit of teamwork and healthy, drug-free competition. Major League Baseball has supported The Partnership at Drugfree.org’s message over the last several years with more than $40 million in media exposure and grassroots initiatives to build awareness for the perils of performance enhancing drug and steroid use.

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About The Partnership at Drugfree.org

The Partnership at Drugfree.org is a nonprofit organization that helps parents prevent, intervene in and find treatment for drug and alcohol use by their children.  Bringing together renowned scientists, parent experts, and communications professionals, this public health nonprofit translates current research on parenting, teen behavior, addiction and treatment into easy to understand resources at drugfree.org. Through its nationwide PACT360 community education programs, The Partnership at Drugfree.org educates and mobilizes local community efforts to address drug threats at the grassroots level, including methamphetamine and prescription drug abuse, and also provides parent training and teen programs that help prevent teen substance abuse.  The Partnership at Drugfree.org depends on donations from individuals, corporations, foundations and government and is thankful to SAG/AFTRA and the advertising and media industries for their ongoing generosity.

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