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Major League Baseball marks Katrina anniversary with remembrance, raising awareness for Habitat for Humanity

AMERICUS, Ga. (Aug. 25, 2006) – Major League Baseball announced Friday that it will mark the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation in the Gulf Coast with a special program of remembrance at each of the 15 ballparks where home games are scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 29, one year to the day since Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast.

Since partnering with Habitat for Humanity International last fall to assist in hurricane recovery efforts, MLB has sponsored 21 homes constructed at build sites including Major League ballparks, MLB Spring Training locations, the 2005 World Series, the Inaugural World Baseball Classic and the 2006 Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

“Major League Baseball was proud to be able to give our fans, players, and clubs a means through which they could support the many people displaced by Hurricane Katrina,” said Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig. “On this solemn anniversary, we would like to continue to provide assistance to those affected by the disaster by reminding our fans and the public of the enormous need that still exists for support and rebuilding in the Gulf Coast.”

The programs of remembrance Tuesday will include:

  • Ten-second public service announcements featuring Harry Connick Jr., Faith Hill and Spike Lee encouraging support for Habitat for Humanity.
  • In-stadium graphics highlighting ways in which fans can learn how to donate to or volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Those wishing to donate or volunteer may call 1-800-HABITAT or visit Habitat’s Web site www.habitat.org.

Also in honor of the one-year anniversary, the Atlanta Braves will donate a portion of baseball gear collected through an equipment drive earlier this month to the New Orleans Recreation Department. The equipment drive was held in conjunction with the Baseball Tomorrow Fund, a joint initiative between MLB and the MLB Players Association to promote the growth of youth baseball and softball participation.

“We are tremendously appreciative of the support Major League Baseball has provided during the past year,” said Chris Clarke, senior vice president for Communications at Habitat for Humanity International. “Those efforts have resulted not only in the construction of homes but in raising awareness throughout the country that the job’s not done yet. Rebuilding in hurricane-affected areas will continue for years to come, and the need for decent, affordable housing exists in virtually every community across the country. We are grateful that Major League Baseball has helped drive that message home.”

About Habitat for Humanity International
Habitat for Humanity International is an ecumenical Christian ministry that welcomes to its work all people dedicated to the cause of eliminating poverty housing. Since its founding in Americus, Ga., in 1976, Habitat has built more than 200,000 houses in nearly 100 countries, providing simple, decent and affordable shelter for more than 1 million people. For more information, visit www.habitat.org.