Voting is underway for the inaugural Cleveland Indians Mentor of the Year award after the team announced its three finalists on Tuesday.
Created in conjunction with Terry Francona's honor as American League Manager of the Year two months ago, the Mentor of the Year aims to recognize the leadership efforts in other fields across northeast Ohio. The Indians asked fans to nominate community members who are making a difference in people's lives.
"We were truly impressed with the scores of nominees and candidates for our first Mentor of the Year Award, an honor we're pleased to recognize during National Mentorship Month. We're proud to celebrate these exceptional mentors and the lasting impact they have every day, and on the future of our community," team president Mark Shapiro said.
Out of more than 100 nominations, the team selected finalists based on the Indians' mission of impacting youth education and recreation, alignment with the team's organizational values, and the ability to make a broad and positive impact on northeast Ohio. The finalists were Boys and Girls Clubs of Cleveland club director Jeff Haynes; former Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Margaret Bernstein; and Facing History New Tech High School principal Marc Engoglia.
The winner of the fan vote will join his or her nominee to meet Francona at TribeFest on Jan. 25-26. Voting runs through next Tuesday at indians.com/mentors.
Seven other nominees earned honorable mention:
• Brent Shelly, Dean of Students, Minds Matter Cleveland
• Marsha Pavlenda, teacher, Midview Local Schools
• Michael Dies, president, West Akron Baseball League
• Hilary Parsons, counselor, Cleveland Clinic Children's Hospital
• Ryan Wolfe, coach, Northeast Ohio Challenger Baseball
• Edie Deyarmin, advocate, disabled/disadvantaged veterans
• Tim Able, coach, UpWard Basketball
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. Read Beck's Blog and follow him on Twitter @beckjason.