FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact:Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Rob Housman
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TAYLOR HOOTON FOUNDATION HONORS COMMISSIONER SELIG
Awarded First "Taylor's Award"
The Taylor Hooton Foundation announced today that Baseball Commissioner Allan H. (Bud) Selig has been named the inaugural recipient of "Taylor's Award," presented to an individual who has made a major impact on efforts to educate American youth and protect them from the dangers of appearance and performance-enhancing drugs.Â The award was presented at the MLB Owners meeting in New York, New York. Taylor's Award is presented in memory of Taylor Hooton, a 17-year-old honors student and promising high school baseball player who was a victim of performance-enhancing substances. "I'm extremely proud to present the first Taylor's Award to Commissioner Bud Selig, who has been the single largest supporter of the Foundation's efforts to educate young people about the dangers of appearance and performance-enhancing drugs," said Don Hooton, Taylor's father, who serves as President of the Taylor Hooton Foundation. "Without the support of the Commissioner and the Clubs throughout Major League Baseball, we would not be able to carry on with our vital work." "Under Commissioner Selig's leadership, Major League Baseball has singularly dedicated more resources to supporting anti-steroid educational programs than any other entity in the United States, including those in the federal government. Â In conjunction with Baseball and its Clubs, we now provide educational programs to hundreds of thousands of kids in high school gyms and auditoriums all over the country and in all 30 Major League ballparks. Â The Commissioner's efforts have significantly strengthened baseball's anti-drug programs to ensure that our young people get the right message from the ballplayers they look up to."
"We at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration join the Hooton Foundation in commending Commissioner Selig for his leadership in mobilizing Major League Baseball to help educate our nation's young people about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela S. Hyde, J.D.Â "Strong private sector partners, such as the Hooton Foundation and professional baseball, are critical to achieving our number one priority at SAMHSA - promoting emotional health and preventing mental illness and substance abuse." The Taylor Hooton Foundation is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to educating America's young people about the dangers of anabolic steroids and other appearance and performance-enhancing drugs. Â The Foundation was formed in 2004 by the friends and family of Taylor Hooton's after his untimely death. Major League Baseball became a founding sponsor of the Taylor Hooton Foundation in August 2005, initially providing a $1 million contribution. Â In June 2008, Major League Baseball announced a $1.5 million grant to the Taylor Hooton Foundation and other forms of promotional support as part of an aggressive grassroots anti-steroid educational program. Additional information on the Taylor Hooton Foundation can be obtained atÂ www.taylorhooton.org.