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Major League Baseball Charities and the Partnership for a Drug-Free America Announce First Annual Commissioner’s Play Healthy Awards

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New York, NY (August 2, 2010) – The Partnership for a Drug-Free America, in conjunction with Major League Baseball (MLB) Charities, today launched the first annual Commissioner’s Play Healthy Awards to celebrate extraordinary individuals on and off the playing field. The awards are an extension of the Partnership and MLB’s 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.

One winning youth coach and one student athlete will receive prizes, including a trip for themselves and one special guest to New York City. The winning coach and athlete will also receive two tickets each to the Partnership’s annual gala at The Waldorf=Astoria on December, 9, 2010, where they will be honored by both organizations. Additional prizes will consist of a $1,000 gift card, a commemorative plaque presented by Major League Baseball Charities and the opportunity to be featured prominently on the Partnership’s website drugfree.org.

A panel of judges will determine the winners by reviewing all nominees who demonstrate their commitment to fair, drug-free play and an overall healthy lifestyle. Additionally, the judges will evaluate the nominee’s commitment to leadership, sportsmanship and encouragement of others on and off the field. The applications will consist of general information about the athlete or coach and a 100-word essay.

“Promoting the importance of clean competition to young athletes and their coaches is critically important for the health and well-being of young people and for the integrity of all sports,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “By creating this award with the Partnership for a Drug-Free America, we will celebrate and reward those who are playing clean.”

“Student athletes and their coaches can be exemplary role models not only for their teams, but within their schools and communities,” said Partnership President and CEO, Steve Pasierb. “We’re honored to partner with MLB to highlight the positive role that sports play in our teenager’s lives. The Commissioner’s Play Healthy Award is part of our ongoing commitment to educate teens and families about the risks of steroids and performance-enhancing substances, as well as the value of healthy competition.”

Nominations may be submitted online at www.drugfree.org/playhealthy between Monday, August 2, 2010 to Friday, October 15, 2010. Nominees for the student athlete award must be between 13 and 18 years old and nominees for the youth coach award must coach teams of students who are between the ages of 13 to 18. All nominations must be made by someone other than the person being nominated. Winners of the Commissioner’s Play Healthy Award will be notified on Wednesday, November 15, 2010 and announced on Wednesday, December 1, 2010. Please visit www.drugfree.org/playhealthy for additional contest rules and regulations.

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