Major League Baseball, Target Corp (NYSE: TGT) and PEOPLE today announced the 30 winners in the "Target Presents PEOPLE All-Star Teachers" campaign, which celebrates remarkable current and retired teachers who make an impact on the lives of their students and communities.
All 30 winners, one representing each MLB Club, will be included in All-Star Week activities and recognized during the pre-game ceremony of the 2014 MLB All-Star Game -- Tuesday, July 15 with pre-game ceremonies beginning at 7:30 p.m. ET / 6:30 p.m. CT on FOX from Target Field in Minneapolis. As part of the pre-game ceremony, Tony-award winner Idina Menzel will perform the classic song "Forever Young" by 11-time Grammy Award winner Bob Dylan, who is a Minnesota native.
One of the winners, Eric Vander Loop of Appleton, WI, who will represent the Milwaukee Brewers, will be featured in the July 21st issue of PEOPLE, which hits newsstands nationwide on Friday, July 11. Mr. Vander Loop brings his three passions - family, teaching and baseball - to school with him each day where he teaches fifth grade and has coached the high school baseball team for the last seven seasons. Vander Loop has started summer programs in his district for youth and has helped raise more than $1000,000 for the American Cancer Society.. Annika Betz, 17, a former fifth grader of Vander Loop says of the teacher, "he teaches how powerful people can be, especially when we come together."
Fans nationwide cast their votes at AllStarTeachers.com to select 30 winners from a pool of 90 finalists. Additionally, Eric Stonestreet, a Dodgers fan who plays a teacher on Modern Family; Matthew Morrison, a Mets fan who plays a teacher on FOX's Glee; and AJ Calloway of Extra TV, a Yankees fan whose mom is a retired principal and sister is a current principal, served alongside New York Yankees Carlos Beltran and Los Angeles Dodgers Adrian Gonzalez as "All-Star Teachers" Ambassadors to support the program.
Target presents "PEOPLE All-Star Teachers" is just one part of Target, MLB and PEOPLE's effort to celebrate teachers and raise awareness about the importance of education this baseball season. MLB Legends have attended 14 Target education-focused events in MLB communities throughout the first half of the season including Hall of Famer Ernie Banks, Vinny Castilla, Ron Cey, Cliff Floyd, Luis Gonzalez, Tim Laudner, Gary Matthews, Tony Oliva, Harold Reynolds, Michael Young, Edgar Martinez, Tim Wakefield, Mickey Lolich, Willie Horton, Chad Tracy and John Smoltz. Guests and fans can visit AllStarTeachers.com and ABullsEyeView.com/Baseball for updates and behind-the-scenes access to campaign activities leading up to the All-Star Game.
Below is a complete list of "Target Presents PEOPLE All-Star Teachers" winners. To read their amazing stories, go to AllStarTeachers.com.
Baltimore Orioles - Thomas Arentz, Baltimore
Boston Red Sox - Paul Richardson, Lexington, Ky.
Chicago White Sox - Garrett Lim, Walnut, Calif.
Cleveland Indians - Jacqui Spetrino, Mentor, Ohio
Detroit Tigers - Michael Sinclair, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Houston Astros - Carol Liberman, Houston
Kansas City Royals - Megan Coone, Independence, Mo.
LA Angels of Anaheim - Blake Smith, Santa Ana, Calif.
Minnesota Twins - Neil Johnson, Shakopee, Minn.
New York Yankees - William Termine, Middle Village, N.Y.
Oakland Athletics - Keith Debro, Oakland
Seattle Mariners - Kevin Zelko, Seattle
Tampa Bay Rays - Alison Kearney, Bonita Springs, Fla.
Texas Rangers - Brenda Medina, Corpus Christi, Texas
Toronto Blue Jays - Rolland Chidiac, Kitchener, Ont.
Arizona Diamondbacks - Elizabeth Zipp, Phoenix
Atlanta Braves - Judy Stewart, Acworth, Ga.
Chicago Cubs - Regina Kinasz, Mt. Prospect, Ill.
Cincinnati Reds - Rachel Blanks, Dayton, Ohio
Colorado Rockies - Cheryl Beckwith, Denver
Los Angeles Dodgers - Isagani Celzo, Huntington Park, Calif.
Miami Marlins - David Voytek, Lake Worth, Fla.
Milwaukee Brewers - Eric Vander Loop, Appleton, Wis.
New York Mets - Renan Ebeid, Brooklyn, N.Y.
Philadelphia Phillies - Gina Rexrode, Bear, Del.
Pittsburgh Pirates - Nicole Dow-Macosky, Horsham, Penn.
St. Louis Cardinals - Hank Kauffman, Ladue, Mo.
San Diego Padres - Tim Gilliland, Yuma, Ariz.
San Francisco Giants - Tracy Ruiz, Vacaville, Calif.
Washington Nationals - Chad Wright, Nokesville, Va.
About Major League Baseball
Major League Baseball (MLB) is the longest running professional sports league in the United States and consists of 30 member Clubs in the U.S. and Canada, representing the highest level of professional baseball. Under the guidance of its ninth Commissioner, Allan H. (Bud) Selig, MLB has experienced dramatic changes including Interleague Play, the introduction of the Wild Cards, the new expanded Postseason format, the most comprehensive drug testing program in U.S. professional sports, an unprecedented era of labor peace, significant revenue sharing among the Clubs and growth in revenue from $1.2 billion in 1992 to more than $8 billion in 2013. The last ten years have produced the ten best-attended individual seasons in MLB history, including more than 74 million fans in 2013. With the continued success of MLB Network, MLB Advanced Media and the MLB Fan Cave, the National Pastime is consumed more often and in more ways than ever before. For more information on Major League Baseball, visit mlb.mlb.com.
Minneapolis-based Target Corporation (NYSE: TGT) serves guests at 1,916 stores - 1,789 in the United States and 127 in Canada - and at Target.com. Since 1946, Target has given 5 percent of its profit through community grants and programs; today, that giving equals more than $4 million a week. For more information about Target's commitment to corporate responsibility, visit target.com/corporateresponsibility.
PEOPLE revolutionized personality journalism when it launched in 1974, and is now celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2014. Each week PEOPLE brings more than 53 million consumers the latest news, exclusive interviews, and in-depth reporting on the most compelling people of our time. In addition to unparalleled access to the entertainment community, the stories of real-life "Heroes Among Us" remain an essential component of PEOPLE's editorial approach. PEOPLE.com is the premier web destination for celebrity news, photos, style, and entertainment coverage. With reporters across the globe, PEOPLE is headquartered in New York City and is published by Time Inc. For more information visit www.PEOPLE.com.