Sharon Mason founded Equine Dreams, a Newark, Ill., nonprofit organization that provides therapeutic horseback riding, free to children and adults with disabilities.
Eric Greitens returned from Iraq wounded but with a determination to continue serving his country. He co-founded The Mission Continues to provide wounded veterans with opportunities for ongoing public service through placements with local community organizations, empowering veterans with the message that their abilities and experience remain valued.
They are among 30 stories of inspiration that are about to be recognized, thanks to your participation. Major League Baseball and People magazine on Monday announced the winners of the All-Stars Among Us campaign, which drew 1.7 million votes in the finalist balloting, more than double the amount cast last year. Fans were asked to choose one winner from among three finalists per club -- 90 finalists overall.
"Major League Baseball is privileged to recognize this team of 'All-Stars' whose selfless and tireless work is making a significant impact within communities across the nation," Commissioner Bud Selig said. "Together with People magazine, we look forward to using the All-Star Game, the premier sporting event of the summer, as a platform to honor these 30 winners and their worthy causes."
The All-Stars Among Us program debuted in 2009 as part of MLB's "Going Beyond" initiative, and recognizes individuals who are serving their communities in extraordinary ways. The 30 All-Stars Among Us will be honored during the pregame ceremony of the 81st All-Star Game on July 13 in Anaheim.
"For the last 36 years, People magazine has celebrated everyday 'heroes' whose acts of courage, commitment, strength and compassion are changing the lives of others," People managing editor Larry Hackett said. "These stories of ordinary individuals -- who dedicate their lives to making their communities a better place -- continue to inspire our more than 45 million readers."
"We are delighted to partner with MLB for a second year to honor these 30 'All-Stars Among Us,' and to provide these local 'heroes' with the national recognition they so richly deserve," added Paul Caine, the president of Time Inc.'s style and entertainment group.
The All-Stars Among Us will be included in the Red Carpet Parade presented by Chevy. One of the winners will also be featured in the July 19 issue of People, which hits newsstands during the week of the All-Star Game.
Looking through the finalists, it was obvious that voters could not go wrong with any of the choices. There was Betty Chinn, who grew up homeless in China but for the past 20 years has helped feed the hungry and needy of Eureka, Calif. Casey Davis took it upon himself to create a website providing health education videos for the deaf.
Alma Martinez serves the needs of low-income HIV-positive Los Angeles residents, personally ensuring that no one dies alone. Seventh-grade teacher Lenny Moitoso of Fairfield, Conn., co-founded Ludlowe Corps, which sends students to developing countries to participate in health, education, and environmental projects.
The 81st Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and Le Reseau de Sport, and around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage. MLB.com, MLB Network and Sirius XM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Game coverage.