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The Official Site of the Baltimore Orioles
2018 Birdland Community Heroes

The Orioles Birdland Community Heroes program honors and recognizes community heroes who inspire us through their spirited commitment to extend a hand in charity, service, hope, and harmony. This recognition honors the heroism of members of our extended Orioles community from all walks of life, occupations, and diverse backgrounds living in our region, our country, and abroad, who have distinguished themselves by selflessly working or volunteering in fields that care for, serve, teach, protect, and improve the lives of others, around the corner or around the globe, who are most in need.

The program honors designated Birdland Community Heroes for every weekend home game throughout the season. Selected honorees each receive four game tickets, VIP parking, an award medal, and the opportunity be featured during an in-game ceremony on the video board at the conclusion of the fifth inning. During each Birdland Americana Weekend, the Orioles continue the tradition of celebrating American principles and ideals with the playing of classic, American songs during the seventh-inning stretch including "This Land Is Your Land" on Fridays, "America, The Beautiful" on Saturdays, and "God Bless America" on Sundays.

Below, meet our 2018 Birdland Heroes and seventh-inning stretch performers. 

Birdland Americana Weekend - July 13-15

Friday, July 13

Laurie Moser is being recognized as Friday's Birdland Community Hero for her efforts to strengthen work zone safety. Moser became a work zone safety avocate following the loss of her husband to a work zone crash in June 2007. Moser works tirelessly with the legislature in Annapolis to toughen laws, and to spread the word about work zone safety to help keep workers and drivers safe. The Orioles will make a $2,500 donation to the American Traffic Safety Services Foundation's National Work Zone Memorial Fund.

Saturday, July 14

Founder and Executive Director of the Casey Cares Foundation, Casey Baynes, will be honored as Saturday's Birdland Community Hero. In 2000, Baynes founded Casey Cares, a nonprrofit dedicated to creating little moments and lasting memories to families with critically-ill children. In 2018 alone, Casey Cares will provide more than 17,000 program activities to local families. The Orioles will make a $2,500 donation to Casey Cares.

Sunday, July 15

The Orioles are recognizing Bonnie Carroll, President and Founder of Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors (TAPS), as Sunday's Birdland Community Hero. Carroll is a 2015 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, a military veteran, and a former White House staffer. She founded TAPS following the death of her husband, Brigadier General Tom Carroll, in an Army C-12 plane crash in November of 1992. TAPS, the leading national Military Service Organization, provides compassionate care, casework assistance, and 24/7/365 emotional support for anyone impacted by the death of a military loved one. The Orioles will make a $2,500 donation to TAPS.

Birdland Americana Weekend - June 29-July 1

Friday, June 29

President of the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland, Sharon  Maneki is recognized as a Birdland Community Hero. For over three decades, Maneki has tirelessly served blind and low-vision Marylanders, advocating for the blind and their families, working to provide them with necessary resources and opportunities. The Orioles will make a $2,500 donation to the National Federation of the Blind of Maryland.


Seventh-Inning Stretch Performance:
Saturday, June 30

Fallen Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio served as a Baltimore County police officer for the last four years before being killed in the line of duty while responding to an incident in Perry Hall, Md., on May 21, 2018. Her husband, Tim Caprio, will accept the award on her behalf and the Orioles will make a $2,500 donation to the Harford County Humane Society in her honor.

Sunday, July 1

The Orioles recognized Joe Paska of the USO Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore, as Sunday's Birdland Community Hero. Paska, a retired Army Major, has been volunteering with the USO since 2015, welcoming service members home at the USO BWI Lounge, helping them to adjust to life back home. The Orioles will make a $2,500 donation to the USO Metropolitan Washington-Baltimore BWI Lounge.

Tuesday, June 26

Birdland Community Hero - June 26

Paulette Moore: Moveable Feast Medical Transportation Driver, who is retiring from Moveable Feast after 18 years with the organization, has worked with thousands of clients, delivering meals, providing transportation to medical appointments, and offering his service, support, and friendship.


Seventh-Inning Stretch Performance:

Birdland Americana Weekend - June 15-17

Friday, June 15

John Frisch; Member of the Board of Directors of Visit Baltimore and the Visit Baltimore Education & Training Foundation, was a founding board chairman and was instrumental in the creation of the organization.


Seventh-Inning Stretch Performance:
Saturday, June 16

Meredith "Smitty" Smith is recognized for his commitment to the Holistic Life Foundation (HLF). Smith has supported HLF's mission since its inception, helping to make it the impactful community-based organization that it is today.


Seventh-Inning Stretch Performance:
Sunday, June 17

Dr. Arthur "Bud" Burnett professor of urology at The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute at Johns Hopkins Medicine, is recognized as Sunday's Birdland Community Hero. In addition to his work at Johns Hopkins, Dr. Burnett has been a mentor and benefactor of the Baltimore nonprofit, Mentoring Male Teens in the Hood, which works to help young people in Baltimore's toughest neighborhoods.


Seventh-Inning Stretch Performance:

Birdland Americana Weekend - June 1-2

Friday, June 1

Saniya Vashist, Founder of codeHER, and CEO of empower. A River Hill High School (Md.) sophomore, Vasjist provides programming through codeHER in 13 Maryland middle schools, helping to expose young women to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) career options, to empower girls around the world through computer science education, to help to inspire the next generation of technologists, and to build confidence in young girls everywhere. The Orioles will make a $2,500 donation to Junior Achievement of Central Maryland in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.


Seventh-Inning Stretch Performance:
Saturday, June 2

Andrew Knox, Director of Outreach and Re-Entry at the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore. Andrew is recognized for his understanding, knowledge, and commitment to the needs of the young men at the Baltimore City Juvenile Justice Center (BCJJC). Knox has assisted hundreds of youth with getting back in school, attaining their GED, securing employment, finding housing, and helping with their spiritual growth. The Orioles will make a $2,500 donation to the Boys & Girls Club of Metropolitan Baltimore in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.


Seventh-Inning Stretch Performance:

Birdland Americana Weekend - May 11-13

Friday, May 11

Avalon Bristow, Conservation Specialist, and Holly Shields, Mid-Atlantic Education Manager, for their work in Baltimore with the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) - Mid Atlantic. Through their roles with the NWF, Bristow and Shields work in partnership with Baltimore residents to improve the overall quality of the city. Both Bristow and Shields also helped develop the Oriole Garden at Camden Yards. The Orioles will make a $2,500 donation to NWF in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.


Seventh-Inning Stretch Performance:
Saturday, May 12

Robert (Bob) Babb, Head Baseball Coach at Johns Hopkins University. As coach of the Blue Jays for the past 39 seasons, he spearheads the team in supporting many community service on a local and national level. The Orioles will also make a $2,500 donation to Family & Children's Services of Central Maryland in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.


Seventh-Inning Stretch Performance:
Sunday, May 13

Dr. John Fetting, a breast cancer medical oncologist and Associate Professor of Oncology at the Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Fetting is an advocate for breast cancer prevention and is fundraising to support breast cancer prevention research at Johns Hopkins. The Orioles will also make a $2,500 donation to The John Fetting Fund for Breast Cancer Prevention Research.


Seventh-Inning Stretch Performance:

Birdland Americana Weekend - April 27-29

Friday, April 27

Michelle Miles; Program Manager from YouthWorks was honored for her work with Baltimore City's summer jobs program (YouthWorks) for residents age 14-21. The Orioles will also make a $2,500 donation to the Baltimore Office of Employment Development in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Saturday, April 28

Andy WeltlingerFounder of Baltimore Urban Baseball Association (BUBA), was recognized for his dedication to rejuvenating baseball in Baltimore City, working with former college and professional baseball players to teach, educate, and mentor young players in year-round programming throughout the city. The Orioles will also make a $2,500 donation to BUBA in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Sunday, April 29

Bob Wall; Baltimore City Recreation & Parks, Chief of Recreation, was recognized for his help in the community for the past 47 years, developing the Baltimore City Recreation & Parks Play Baseball program and supporting the Orioles RBI Program. The Orioles will also make a $2,500 donation to the Baltimore City Foundation's Youth Recreation Programs, in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.


Seventh-Inning Stretch Performance:

Birdland Americana Weekend - April 20-22

Friday, April 20

Wyatt Oroke; A humanities teacher at City Springs Elementary/Middle School in Baltimore. Oroke was recently recognized as an inspiring educator on The Ellen Show. The Orioles will also make a $2,500 donation to GLSEN Maryland in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program. GLSEN is the leading national organization championing LGBTQ issues in K-12 education.

Saturday, April 21

Barry Williams; Area President of Boy Scouts of America, Williams is being recognized as Saturday's Birdland Community Hero for his 50-plus year commitment to the Boy Scouts. The Orioles will also make a $2,500 donation to the Baltimore Area Council, Boy Scouts of America in support of the Birdland Community Heroes Program.

Sunday, April 22

Carmera Thomas; Baltimore Program Manager with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation; for her dedication to bettering the environment in the Maryland area. Thomas is currently working to restore the oyster population in the Patapsco River, collaborating with community groups and youth to connect to the natural resources around Baltimore City.

Birdland Americana Weekend - March 31-April 1, 2018

Saturday, March 31

Lieutenant Colonel Jason Pasley; for his work with "Stop the Bleed" Program, an initiative to inform civilians how to recognize life-threatening bleeding and teach steps they can take to help save a life while waiting for trained medics to arrive.

Sunday, April 1

Liza Goldberg; for her dedication to protecting natural resources and developing new technology through her work at NASA Goddard's Biospheric Sciences Lab.