More fame and fortune for Miss Tasha. Well, fame. Well......something. Whatever, I'll take it! Whee!----------
Honorary bat girls a Mother's Day tradition
One for each team selected by celebrity panel and fan voting
It's time for one of the most popular and meaningful moments on the Major League Baseball calendar. From the bright pink Louisville Sluggers to the Honorary Bat Girls, the collective pursuit to end breast cancer is a Mother's Day tradition at the ballpark.
In advance of Sunday's big day for moms, MLB and Susan G. Komen for the Cure on Friday announced the 2011 Honorary Bat Girl Contest winners, who will be recognized on the field at MLB ballparks during Mother's Day and breast cancer awareness celebrations.
One winner for each of the 30 clubs was selected by a celebrity panel of judges and more than a half-million fan votes on HonoraryBatGirl.com. That campaign recognizes baseball fans who have been affected by breast cancer and have demonstrated a commitment to fighting the disease.
2011 Honorary Bat Girl Contest winners
|D-backs||Connie Marino||Peoria, Ariz.|
|Braves||Donna Brantley||McDonough, Ga.|
|Orioles*||Brigid Morahan||Annapolis, Md.|
|Red Sox*||Amy Seich||Canton, Mass.|
|White Sox||Tasha Huebner||Chicago|
|Reds||Cheryl Veigel||Canton, Ohio|
|Indians||Beth Ann Vanek||Munroe Falls, Ohio|
|Rockies||Alma Hubersberger||Lone Tree, Colo.|
|Tigers||Amy Maurice||Oak Park, Mich.|
|Astros||Linda Anderson||Pearland, Texas|
|Angels*||Melanie Hansen||Orange, Calif.|
|Dodgers||Alicia Manzur||Upland, Calif.|
|Brewers||Joan Kamholz||Albany, Wis.|
|Twins||Carrie Johnson||Stillwater, Minn.|
|Mets*||Linda LaCugna||Manalapan, N.J.|
|Yankees||Dayna Varano||Wayne, N.J.|
|Athletics||Deborah Mata||Orinda, Calif.|
|Phillies*||Linda Camerota||Brigantine, N.J.|
|Pirates*||Catherine Brennan||Verona, Pa.|
|Padres*||Anitra Rooney||La Mesa, Calif.|
|Giants*||Jennifer Solorio||Sacramento, Calif.|
|Mariners*||Kathleen Willett||Snohomish, Wash.|
|Cardinals*||Alissa Nicks||Maryland Heights, Mo.|
|Rays||Shari Elliott||Bradenton, Fla.|
|Rangers*||Leslie Sewell||Benton, La.|
|Blue Jays*||Joanne Lubansky-Johns||London, Ontario|
|Nationals||Cathy Colleli||Olney, Md.|
"It's critical because we're a cultural institution and Mother's Day is a big cultural event in our society, and baseball being purely a very American cultural experience -- going to a baseball game on Mother's Day and Father's Day -- we want to make sure we look out for that community interest. The pink bats, our players have used them, they make statements with the pink ribbons, and our fans really respond."
The Honorary Bat Girl Contest was introduced in 2009 to raise additional awareness and support for the annual Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer initiative celebrated on Mother's Day. In three years, nearly 4,000 testimonials have been submitted and more than six million fan votes have been cast. Going to Bat Against Breast Cancer is a joint partnership between MLB, its licensed partners and Susan G. Komen for the Cure to raise awareness about the breast cancer cause, while also raising funds to support breast cancer research.
The 30 Honorary Bat Girls were among more than 1,500 entrants that were selected by fan votes and a panel of celebrity judges that included Mrs. Billye Aaron, breast cancer survivor, Komen Global Ambassador for breast cancer and wife of Hall of Famer Hank Aaron; Ambassador Nancy G. Brinker, breast cancer survivor and founder and CEO of Komen; Gabrielle Union, actress, and supporter of the cause; Red Sox pitcher and lymphoma survivor Jon Lester; Angels ace Jered Weaver, whose mother is a breast cancer survivor; Twins All-Star Jim Thome, whose mother passed away from lung cancer; Yankees broadcaster and breast cancer survivor Suzyn Waldman; and MLB Network analyst and former pitcher Mitch Williams, whose late mother had breast cancer.
"I have been involved for three years now as a judge, and I can honestly say that every person who sends in their story warrants the opportunity to be an honorary bat girl," Williams said. "My mother battled the disease successfully, before losing her battle with brain cancer, so I am extremely proud to be a part of MLB and their involvement with the Susan G. Komen Foundation to raise awareness and money to help fight this terrible disease."
"MLB's Honorary Bat Girl program is wonderful because it highlights the personal stories of those affected by breast cancer," said Katrina McGhee, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Susan G. Komen for the Cure. "The program showcases the everyday heroes who have faced breast cancer bravely and underscores why Komen's work to end breast cancer forever is so important."