Cashner understands firsthand the challenges that families face when one member is battling a health condition. Over the past year, Cashner's mother, Jane, has been fighting acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Her diagnosis came shortly after she celebrated the 10-year anniversary of beating breast cancer.
Earlier this year, in the midst of their mother's fight, Cashner and his sister, Aimee Christensen, created the Cashner Family Foundation, with a mission of bringing hope and joy to children battling various medical conditions. The Foundation aims to provide funding to hospitals for activities and adventures that will entertain and encourage children in need. It is through this entertainment that Cashner hopes kids will gain the perseverance and hope needed to endure their most difficult times.
As part of the Foundation's goal to provide entertaining experiences, Cashner hosts patients and their families from Rady Children's Hospital in his personal suite at Petco Park during every homestand. Approximately six VIPs (Very Important Padres - patients from Rady Children's Hospital) are joined by their family, doctors, nurses and support network. Prior to the game, Cashner visits the suite to personally welcome his guests and provide each child with a custom "Cashner Family Foundation: Pitching for a Cause" t-shirt. Guests can then enjoy the game from the fully catered suite.
In addition to his work with families from Rady Children's Hospital, Cashner is heavily involved in the Padres' ongoing efforts to salute military and first responders.
"Andrew has always been supportive of the club's community programs, especially when it comes to recognition of our military and first responders," said Padres Executive Chairman Ron Fowler. "This year, it has been especially meaningful to watch him take his own personal experience from a family hardship, and channel it into a program that benefits local kids who are dealing with medical difficulties. We are proud to have him as part of the Padres organization."
Beginning on Roberto Clemente Day, fans are encouraged to participate in the process of selecting the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet by visiting ChevyBaseball.com, which is powered by MLB Advanced Media, to vote for one of the 30 Club nominees. Voting ends on Friday, October 9th, and participating fans will be automatically registered for a chance to win a trip to the 2015 World Series, where the winner of the Roberto Clemente Award presented by Chevrolet will be announced.
Clubs playing at home on September 16th will recognize their local nominees as part of Roberto Clemente Day ceremonies, while visiting Clubs will honor their nominees before another September home game. As part of the league-wide celebration, the Roberto Clemente Day logo will appear on the bases and official dugout lineup cards and a special tribute video will be played in ballparks. The Padres are on the road on Roberto Clemente Day, September 16. The club will recognize Cashner as part of a special pregame ceremony prior to the Tuesday, September 22 game against the San Francisco Giants. Special guest Roberto Clemente, Jr. will be in attendance to present his father's namesake award.
The concept of honoring players for their philanthropic work was created in 1971 as the "Commissioner's Award," but was renamed to the "Roberto Clemente Award" in 1973 in honor of the Hall of Famer and 15-time All-Star who died in a plane crash on New Year's Eve 1972 while attempting to deliver supplies to earthquake victims in Nicaragua. Each September since 2002, Major League Baseball has commemorated Roberto Clemente Day.