Results tagged ‘ People All-Stars Among Us ’

PEOPLE All-Stars Among Us: Kat Lanigan

Earlier this month Major League Baseball, PEOPLE and the Washington Nationals announced the three local finalists for the 2010 “PEOPLE All-Stars Among Us” national campaign, which debuted in 2009 and recognizes individuals who are serving their community in extraordinary ways.

 

The Nationals finalists are Mark Bergel of Bethesda, Md., Kat Lanigan of Herndon, Va., and Joe Mornini of Rockville, Md. Notes From NatsTown will feature thoughts from each local All-Star on why they should represent the Nationals at the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim.

 

The choice is yours. Vote HERE through Sunday, June 20.

 


Kat A Thousand Thanks.JPGMy dad was deployed for the first time in 2001. I was 10, my sister was nine, and my mom was left to take care of us by herself while he was in Bosnia. Over the nine months our dad was gone, my sister and I became keenly aware of the sacrifices children make when their parents are deployed. Our extracurricular activities became more difficult to negotiate as we dealt with the limited availability of one parent and a reduced income, and championships and awards lost some of their luster without our whole family together to share it with.

 

Added to these hardships were the even more difficult everyday problems of having a deployed parent. Every day, we missed seeing our dad at breakfast in the morning. We missed him when we went to the park, to a baseball game, or on a vacation. And, every day, we worried that our dad might not come back home.

 

Since then, my dad has been deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. We went through it all again and again bu we decided to try to help other kids across the country who were going through the same things we were. In 2006, my sister and I started A Thousand Thanks to Military Children. Through this program, we send thank-you letters to kids with deployed family members. Requests include information we can use to customize the letter for each child and can be submitted through our website at http://www.saluteourservices.org. They also include a choice of character from whom the letter will be sent; we are lucky enough to be able to send letters from the Looney Tunes and the Scooby-Doo as well as sports stars like Shaquille O’Neal and Tony Schumacher.

 

There is no way to relieve kids of all the stresses they face during a parent’s deployment. I just hope that the letters we send give kids something to be excited about and let them know that people recognize the hardships they must deal with and the sacrifices they make while their parent is deployed to serve our country. To date, we have sent over 30,000 letters to kids nationwide, and I hope to be able to send many more.

 

Being the Nationals’ representative at the All-Star Game would give me an amazing opportunity to tell more people about the program and be able to send more thank-you letters to kids around the country, as well as allow me to see some of my favorite baseball players. I am so excited and grateful to the Nats for giving me this chance to share A Thousand Thanks with more people, and I hope you will go vote for me.

PEOPLE All-Stars Among Us: Joe Mornini

Earlier this month Major League Baseball, PEOPLE and the Washington Nationals announced the three local finalists for the 2010 “PEOPLE All-Stars Among Us” national campaign, which debuted in 2009 and recognizes individuals who are serving their community in extraordinary ways.

 

The Nationals finalists are Mark Bergel of Bethesda, Md., Kat Lanigan of Herndon, Va., and Joe Mornini of Rockville, Md. Notes From NatsTown will feature thoughts from each local All-Star on why they should represent the Nationals at the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim.

 

The choice is yours. Vote HERE through Sunday, June 20.

 


Joe TRR '10 c.jpgTeam River Runner began in the summer of 2004, when kayaking legend Mike McCormick and I discussed how to create a whitewater-kayaking program for the wounded warriors at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Inspired by the heroes of September 11, we brainstormed this idea and how to make it happen. After years of connecting with paddling communities, veterans and wounded warriors, VA and DoD clinicians and supportive citizens across America, we made it happen and TRR has grown to proudly host 25 chapters nationally. We have had over 1,500 participants plus family members participate in one of our programs and/or trips.

 

Our goal is simple: travel to the nearest pool, river, lake or ocean and go out onto the healing waters and paddle. TRR paddling can be nature cruising on wilderness flat-water sections, driving through the surf line and out into oceans, or running pounding whitewater rivers all over this beautiful country. Each TRR chapter strives to have participating veterans take on strong leadership roles and assist in coordinating their local program. TRR wants our wounded warriors and disabled veteran athletes to be able to paddle at their highest potential, compete when interested, and teach others how to paddle as ACA Certified instructors.

 

Please VOTE FOR (me) JOE MORNINI because by doing so you are voting for hundreds of veterans and volunteers around the USA that are serving our wounded warriors.

 

Quotes from Wounded Warriors that participated with TRR while receiving treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center:

 


TRR group shot c.JPG“Joe has improved the quality of my live as well as the lives of HUNDREDS of other vets (and counting!).”

 

“Joe Mornini is the founder of Team River Runner, and one of my heroes. The kayaking program he runs is the best therapy for PTSD sufferers I’ve ever experienced!”

 

“Joe Mornini is on the Washington Nationals page! He’s a local boy, a special ed teacher, a kayaker, and has done a lot to save a few vets from their mental anguish and sheer boredom. Vote for Joe!”

 


TRR group shot 1 c.jpg“Please vote for Joe Mornini on this site. He started a Non-Profit called Team River Runner that teaches wounded servicemen and women how to have fun again. If it wasn’t for this program who knows where some of us would be today… Go to the Washington National and vote for Joe, then refresh the page and vote again and again. There are only a few days left to vote. Please help him win this honor so he can get TRR some advertising and get butts in boats!”

 

From a TRR volunteer:

 

“Basically, Joe’s about the most unselfish guy I’ve ever met. As nearly as I can tell he does what he does for no other reason than that it will help these young men and women (and some not so young). No profit motive, no quest for glory, just basic humanity at its best. How many people like that have any of us ever met?”

PEOPLE All-Stars Among Us: Mark Bergel

Earlier this month Major League Baseball, PEOPLE and the Washington Nationals announced the three local finalists for the 2010 “PEOPLE All-Stars Among Us” national campaign, which debuted in 2009 and recognizes individuals who are serving their community in extraordinary ways.

 

The Nationals finalists are Mark Bergel of Bethesda, Md., Kat Lanigan of Herndon, Va., and Joe Mornini of Rockville, Md. Notes From NatsTown will feature thoughts from each local All-Star on why they should represent the Nationals at the 2010 All-Star game in Anaheim.

 

The choice is yours. Vote HERE through Sunday, June 20.

 


Mark and others with dresser c.jpgMy name is Mark Bergel and I am the founder and Executive Director of A Wider Circle. A good way to share with you what we do–and why your vote can help so many in need–is to have you to take a journey with me.

 

Imagine driving home tonight. You pull into the parking lot or driveway in front of your home. It is littered with glass and garbage. You hear screaming and yelling from the homes all around you. The security door doesn’t work; in fact, the doorknob isn’t even there. You just reach in the hole and pull open the door. You walk into your living room and see nothing but an old TV in the corner, on the floor. You have one chair–it is also old and it is dirty. That is all the furniture you have–your dining room is a dining room in name only, you have no table, no chairs, and nothing else in the space. Your kitchen has bare cupboards and there is half a piece of meat and some ketchup in the fridge.

 

As you walk into the bedroom, your children are lying on the floor, trying to sleep. You have no beds for them. This is your home. Nothing on which to relax, nowhere for your family to gather. This is poverty.

 

Before:

 


Bedroom before N2N work c.jpgAfter:


Bedroom after N2N c.JPGThe moment I started A Wider Circle was in one of these apartments. I was a volunteer bringing emergency food to people around the region. In this apartment lived a grandmother, mother, and two children. The grandmother had oxygen in her nose, used a walker and reminded me of my 80-year-old grandmother. She was 35. Her daughter was 20, and in extremely poor health. The two children were four and five, and they showed all the signs of a life in poverty, from their teeth to their skin to the clothes they wore.

 

I sat there with them, knowing I was witness to the cycles of poverty, and knowing that the energy and the resources existed in our region, in each of us, to break these cycles. I knew we could help these families get and stay out of poverty. So far, we have served 50,000 of these individuals. With your help, we can serve all those in our region – and we can show what is possible when those of us who can help make it a priority to do so.

 

At A Wider Circle our mission is to help children and families lift themselves out of poverty. We not only turn empty apartments into comfortable, stable homes, we provide life skills education and professional development so children and adults have a greater sense of the potential and the abilities they have inside. We work in schools and shelters–we go wherever the needs are the greatest. Please vote for me to help bring more solutions to the children in our nation’s capital, and to the mothers who are raising them with the hope of their achieving far more than what seems possible today. Believe in this dream, and help make it a reality for our neighbors in need.

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