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Press Release

05/06/2008 4:20 PM ET
Astros honor local student volunteers
Hunter Pence and Chris Sampson recognize student leaders in national program to encourage youth volunteerism

HOUSTON -- During an on-field ceremony prior to tonightÂ’s game, Houston Astros players Hunter Pence and Chris Sampson will represent all Major Leaguers when they honor 10 Houston-area high school students serving as Captains of the Houston Action Team, a service-learning program in which Major League players and high school students are inspiring and training the next generation of volunteers. During the 2007-08 school year, these Houston Action Team Captains raised awareness about the importance of community involvement among other students in their high schools and organized hundreds of other students to get involved in volunteer activities.

Administered by the Major League Baseball Players Trust and Volunteers of America, the Action Team program encourages young people throughout the United States to volunteer in their communities. To date, Action Teams of high school students and Major Leaguers have inspired more than 12,000 high school students across the United States to help over 55,000 people in need by volunteering in their communities, while an Action Team service-learning curriculum created by the Players Trust in partnership with The Wall Street Journal Classroom Edition teaches valuable community service skills to 700,000 high school students in more than 5,000 classrooms across the country.

Receiving signed certificates of achievement from the players tonight are 2007-08 Houston Action Team captains Victor Mauricio and Robert Stuart of Mayde Creek High School; Fabian Fierro, Edna Garcia, Samantha Gonzalez, Jordan Meza, Arely Monterrubio, Ramon Pardo, Steve Rivera and Anais Zamora of Reagan High School.

Earlier today, Pence and Sampson joined these students and other members of the Houston Action Team to host a field-day for students at Crockett Elementary School in Houston. The players and Action Team students organized games and activities such as three-legged races and sack races for the younger children.

Action Teams are working together in Boston, Cincinnati, Dallas/Ft. Worth, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Minneapolis, Mobile, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Portland (Maine), San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C.. Volunteers of America and the Major League Baseball Players Trust are planning to expand the Action Team program to Chicago, Cleveland and Tampa during the 2008-09 school-year.

Through the Players Trust, Major Leaguers contribute their time, money and celebrity to call attention to important causes affecting the needy and to help encourage others to get involved in their own communities. In partnership with Volunteers of America, the national human service organization, the Players Trust created and helps administer the Action Team, a national youth volunteer initiative currently inspiring the next generation of volunteers in cities throughout the United States. For more information on the Major League Baseball Players Trust, please visit www.MLBPLAYERS.com.