February 10, 2011

The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation today announced the creation of a partnership with the Taylor Hooton Foundation for Fighting Steroid Abuse on a comprehensive education program in the Arlington Independent School District.

Details of the partnership and program were announced at a press conference today at Hutcheson Junior High School in Arlington.

The Rangers-Hooton Foundation program will educate and inform Arlington ISD Junior and Senior High School students on the dangers of anabolic and Appearance and Performance Enhancing Drugs (APEDs). The Hooton Foundation and Texas Rangers representatives, including Rangers Foundation President and club Hall of Fame catcher Jim Sundberg will make presentations at numerous Junior and Senior High Schools in the Arlington ISD throughout the school year. The first event was held at Shackelford Junior High in January.

“The Texas Rangers are proud to join with the Taylor Hooton Foundation on this very important project,” commented Rangers Managing Partner and CEO Chuck Greenberg. “The abuse of anabolic steroids and performance enhancing drugs is a serious issue with our youth. The Hooton Foundation is one of the nation’s leading advocates of the dangers of these drugs, and we look forward to helping them continue the cause.”

“We are extremely proud to be working with the Rangers in educating our children about this threat. On and off the field we couldn’t have a better partner,” Don Hooton, President of the Hooton Foundation said. “Anabolic steroid use continues to be a growing problem among our nation’s youth. The most powerful weapon that we have to fight this battle is education, and we are so very pleased that the Texas Rangers are joining forces with us to help insure that students in the Arlington ISD are exposed to the truth about these dangerous, illegal drugs,” he added.

“This is an important program to bring to our students,” said AISD Superintendent Jerry McCullough. “We are looking forward to our partnership with the Texas Rangers Baseball and Taylor Hooton foundations to make our junior high and high school students aware of how dangerous the use of steroids and performance enhancing drugs can be.”

The Taylor Hooton Foundation for Fighting Steroid Abuse, a non-profit corporation headquartered in McKinney, Texas, was formed in memory of Taylor E. Hooton, a 17-year old high school athlete from Plano, Texas. Taylor took his own life on July 15, 2003 as a result of the use of anabolic steroids. This Foundation was founded in 2004 by the parents, family and friends of Taylor after his death when the founders became aware of the magnitude of a growing problem among high school and college students across the US and Canada–the illegal use and abuse of anabolic steroids as an appearance and performance enhancement drug in addition to the abuse of other APEDs by our kids. They discovered that this is a serious problem among young athletes and non-athletes, and learned that young people and their parents are generally ignorant of either the prevalence of or the real dangers of these powerful drugs.

Along with his family, Don Hooton formed the Taylor Hooton Foundation. He currently serves as the organization’s President and sits on the Board of Directors along with a group of distinguished volunteers. Don has spoken directly to hundreds of thousands of kids, parents, coaches, doctors, elite athletes, and others around the country. He has testified as an expert witness before Congress on three occasions, met with governors and legislators from a number of states, and other leaders that are interested in tackling this issue.

The Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of children in need within our community, and provides funding for youth in crisis, youth health initiatives, youth baseball programs, and youth education. Since 1991, the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation has contributed more than $11 million within the community to make life better for those in need. Each year, the Foundation provides funding so that 2,300 children in Dallas, Arlington, and Fort Worth can play baseball; gives 150 children lifelong memories through the Summer Academy; provides fitness and health instruction to 5,000 fifth graders; facilitates 200 hours of mentoring of high school students; and gives more than 1,000 students unique access to children’s authors to instill a lifelong passion for reading; and provides financial and in-kind contributions to many other programs and non-profit organizations that share the Foundation’s mission.