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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 2019 Birdland Heroes.

Birdland Americana Weekend - June 14-16

Friday, June 14

The Orioles will recognize ERIC OBERLECHNER as Friday's Birdland Community Hero. As Farm Manager of the Green Street Academy, a public charter school for grades 6-12, Oberlechner has worked with students, faculty, and the community to teach environmental stewardship in fun and engaging ways. He helped create a trio of storm water management projects including a bioretention bench, rain garden, and pollinator meadow which he and his students continue to maintain and manage. He also started, and continues to manage, the aquaponics, hydroponics, and fish labs as part of the agriculture program. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a $2,500 donation to the Green Street Academy in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Saturday, June 15

DR. HOWARD BRENT will be honored as Saturday's Birdland Community Hero. Dr. Brent earned his Ph.D in Education while being a foster parent and working full-time with Prince George's County Public School as a consulting teacher and trainer. He first started as a therapeutic foster parent with KidsPeace in May of 2018, and after completing a rigorous foster parent training course, he began fostering 12-year-old Jerimiah in August of 2018. Brent helped improve Jerimiah's grades and build his confidence. On June 7, Brent officially adopted Jerimiah. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a $2,500 donation to KidsPeace in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Sunday, June 16

DR. PHIL PIERORAZIO will be recognized as Sunday's Birdland Community Hero as a member of The James Buchanan Brady Urological Insitute at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Pierorazio actively volunteers with the Testicular Cancer Awareness Foundation and serves as a Board Member and Medical Advisor for the foundation. Dr. Pierorazio organizes social gatherings named the "Beers, Bros & Balls" for testicular cancer survivors and their families. These events promote the wellbeing of survivors, encourage a community of survivorship, and spread awareness about the disease. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a $2,500 donation to The James Buchanan Brady Urological Institute in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Birdland Americana Weekend - May 31-June 2

Friday, May 31

The Orioles will recognize BRIAN R. MORRISON as Friday's Birdland Community Hero. Morrison is the founder and co-founder of two Baltimore-based national children's charities: The Believe In Tomorrow Children's Foundation and The Children's House at Johns Hopkins. Believe In Tomorrow, a leading provider of pediatric support services to U.S. Military famlies with critically-ill children, has nine pediatric respite and hospital housing facilities located throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, serving children from across the United States. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a $2,500 donation to the Believe In Tomorrow Children's Foundation in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Saturday, June 1

GUY BERRY, President of Frederick Challenger Little League, and Assistant District Administrator of Maryland Little League District 2, will be honored as Saturday's Birdland Community Hero. Guy, an adoptive father of four special needs children, has worked tirelessly to raise awareness for special needs citizens in the able-bodied baseball community. He has lobbied to the International Little League Congress for rule changes to the nationwide Challenger program that have led to the creation of a Senior Division of Challenger, as well as the concept of district-wide territorial charters for Challenger Divisions. Berry was also the recipient of the 2019 John Salony Award, which is presented each year to someone with exceptional service to Challenger Baseball. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a $2,500 donation to the Oriole Advocates Charitable Foundation in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Sunday, June 2

KEN KING will be recognized as Sunday's Birdland Community Hero. King, the Maryland State Association of Baseball Coaches (MSABC) President, and MSABC Geier Financial Brooks Robinson Senior All-Star Game Chairperson, has spent 15 years as part of the MSABC administrative staff as a secretary, chairperson, regional chairperson, and now president. King has served tens of thousands of student athletes and baseball players through his 25 years of coaching and teaching throughout Maryland. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a $2,500 donation to MSABC in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Birdland Americana Weekend - May 10-12

Friday, May 10

In honor of Nurses Appreciation Week, SUE RAMZY, a trauma resuscitation and Shock Trauma nurse at the University of Maryland Medical Center, will be recognized as Friday's Birdland Community Hero. Ramzy, a nurse for over 40 years, has helped thousands of individuals injured in traumatic situations. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a $2,500 donation to the R Adams Cowley Shock Trauma Center Director's Nursing Fund in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Saturday, May 11

In honor of Military Appreciation Month, the Orioles will recognize U.S. Army Sergeant MATTHEW HUNT as Saturday's Birdland Community Hero for his dedication to serving our country. A Purple Heart recipient and Soldier of the Year (1st Battalion, 76th Field Artillery 3rd), he spent 10 years as a field artilleryman in the U.S. Army, completing two tours in Iraq. Sgt. Hunt was injured by a suicide car bomber during his second tour of duty. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a $2,500 donation to the USO in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Sunday, May 12

As part of the Orioles Mother's Day Weekend festivities, ANN LAUGHTON will be recognized as Sunday's Birdland Community Hero. Laughton, a breast cancer survivor herself, has devoted her work to helping other breast cancer patients as the Program Coordinator at Survivors Offering Support (SOS), a volunteer organization for breast cancer patients to share their experiences and talk about issues they are facing with trained volunteers who have been through similar types of surgeries and treatments. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will make a $2,500 donation to SOS at MedStar Franklin Square Medical Center in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Birdland Americana Weekend - May 3-5

Friday, May 3

As part of MLB's annual Play Ball Weekend, President of the South Baltimore Little League, QUINN HREN, will be recognized as Friday's Birdland Community Hero for her continued efforts to ensure recreational baseball is accessible to children ages 4-12 in South Baltimore. A volunteer with the South Baltimore Little League for over 27 years, Hren has also served on the Board of Directors and as President for 13 years. Her efforts have an impact on more than 300 children and 200 families each year, and throughout her years of service, over 5,000 children. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will also make a $2,500 donation to South Baltimore Little League in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Saturday, May 4

On Saturday, Battalion Fire Chief DONALD V. FLETCHER, JR. from Prince George's County Fire Department will be recognized as the Birdland Community Hero for his acts of heroism and dedication to helping the community. A firefighter for 14 years, Fletcher was awarded a bronze medal of valor for rescuing a trapped firefighter and a unit citation for rescuing a trapped father and son from a house fire. In February of this year while off duty, Fletcher put his life on the line to rescue a man from a burning car. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will also make a $2,500 donation to Prince George's County Fire Department in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program. Fletcher was nominated for the recognition by Orioles infielder CHRIS DAVIS.

Sunday, May 5

As part of the Orioles continued celebration of MLB's annual Play Ball Weekend, ANDRE BROWN, Gardenville Baseball League Commissioner and Orioles 16-18 RBI Coach, will be recognized as Sunday's Birdland Community Hero. Brown has been involved with the Gardenville Baseball League for the last 16 years, and has had a prominent impact on over 500 players, parents, and colleagues throughout his coaching career. Brown and his coaching staff led the 2017 Senior Orioles RBI Baseball Division team to the World Series in Cincinnati, after winning the RBI Mid-Atlantic Regional tournament in Philadelphia. In 2015, Brown was recognized by the City of Baltimore for his outstanding community service efforts. The Orioles Charitable Foundation will also make a $2,500 donation to Fusion Partnership, an organization that works to be a catalyst for social justice and peace, in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Birdland Americana Weekend - April 20-21

Saturday, April 20

KATE HOGAN, MPH, RD/LDN, a Pediatric Dietician at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital will be honored as Saturday's Birdland Community Hero. Hogan has been helping children and families adopt healthier eating habits at Mt. Washington for over 13 years. Most recently, Hogan combined her love of gardening with her work in nutrition to spearhead the creation of a community garden at the hospital. The Orioles will also make a $2,500 donation to the Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Sunday, April 21

Fisheries Scientist with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation, ALLISON COLDEN, will be recognized as Sunday's Birdland Community Hero. As the Maryland Fisheries Scientist, Colden is responsible for developing and advocating for policies that support the recovery of Chesapeake Bay's iconic fisheries, like oysters and crabs. Colden organizes groups and citizens across the watershed to support good management of Maryland's natural resources, and provides technical support to CBF's oyster restoration projects. The Orioles will also make a $2,500 donation to the Chesapeake Bay Foundation in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.

Birdland Americana Weekend - April 6-7

Saturday, April 6

Executive Director of Baltimore Community ToolBank, NOAH SMOCK, is being honored. Smock, who has served as Executive Director since 2014, has helped serve hundreds of community organizations with tools, equipment and expertise to empower their dynamic work, and has deepened service offerings by providing opportunities for community networking and on-site environmental education at the ToolBank facility in Southwest Baltimore City. The Orioles will also make a $2,500 donation to the Baltimore Community ToolBank in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program. Since joining the organization in 2014, the ToolBank has served over 212,000 individuals with tools and equipment for their community projects.

Sunday, April 7

TYLER STALLINGS is a seven-year-old from Halethorpe, Md. Recently featured on NBC's Little Big Shots, Stallings, the CEO of Kid Time Enterprises, assists veterans by creating "hero packs," which provide hygiene products and other necessary items to homeless veterans. The Orioles will also make a $2,500 donation to the Maryland Center for Veteran Education & Training in support of the Birdland Community Heroes program.