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05/18/2005 11:01 AM ET
Minnesota Action Team inspires youth involvement
Local high school students recognized for their efforts to promote community involvement during the 2004-05 school year

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Prior to Wednesday's game at the Metrodome, Twins players Lew Ford and J.C. Romero presented certificates of achievement to the Minnesota Action Team -- a group of highly motivated and community minded students -- for inspiring hundreds of their high school peers to get involved helping the needy.

The Minnesota Action Team is part of an expanding youth volunteer initiative created by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, the national human services organization.

With the guidance and inspiration of Ford and Romero, the Minnesota Action Team successfully encouraged over 300 students to log more than 1,000 hours volunteering at various Volunteers of America programs throughout the Minneapolis area. The Action Team began their efforts last August, when the players and students recorded a volunteerism video, and participated in training sessions where they discussed the importance of community involvement.

Recognized on the field Wednesday for their participation in the Minnesota Action Team were team captains Michael Anderson, Michael Durkin, Sarah Foley, Kari Foley, Alex Gast, Olivia Killeen, Morgan Moores and Christopher Staral. Pam Hoepner, director of corporate partnerships for Volunteers of America’s Minnesota affiliate, joined Ford and Romero in presenting the certificates of achievement to the Action Team.

In addition to Minnesota, Action Teams are inspiring thousands of high school students to get involved in Boston, Denver and Philadelphia. The Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America plan to take the Action Team “national” by launching programs in additional cities. All Action Teams enjoy the support of Donruss Trading Cards.

The Players Trust is a charitable foundation established and administered by Major League baseball players and makes financial and in-kind contributions to charities around the world and encourages others to get involved supporting causes they believe in. For more information on the Players Trust and the Action Team, please visit