SAN DIEGO - The San Diego Padres will honor the recipient of the first Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award for 2015 on April 27 in a pregame ceremony prior to that night's game vs. the Houston Astros. Niki Mani, currently a senior at La Jolla Country Day, has been selected as the recipient of the award by members of the Padres' Hispanic Community Advisory Council (HCAC). For the first time in the program's history, each winner will also receive $1,000 from the Padres Foundation to be donated to the charity of their choice.
Mani was selected to receive the award in the area of LIVE (youth health) for her dedication to assisting underserved diabetic patients in Chula Vista and San Diego through her non-profit, Stop Diabetic Blindness (www.stopdiabeticblindness.org). As a sophomore in high school, Mani founded the organization after shadowing doctors in a retina eye clinic and seeing firsthand the need for free, regular eye treatments as preventative care to diabetic blindness. Through her efforts, she has raised $400,000 in donated supplies and services to help provide free monthly clinics treating 40-60 predominately Latino uninsured patients per month.
The Padres' Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award series was established in 2012 to recognize and pay tribute to individuals or organizations whose work makes a positive impact on those who live and work in San Diego's Hispanic community. In support of the Padres Foundation's community vision, four awards will be given throughout the year, one each in the areas of children's health (LIVE), children's education (LEARN), youth baseball/ softball or youth fitness (PLAY) and supporting our law enforcement and military communities (SERVE). To submit a nomination, visit www.padresbeisbol.com/comunidad (Please note: English nominations can be made by pressing the English nomination button).
All Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award winners will be honored together on the field before the Padres game on Friday, Sept. 25, 2015, as part of a Hispanic Heritage Month celebration.