Tuesday, September 01, 2009
(Hat Tip: Beckett & Wax Heaven)
Orlando ’s main focus in the community is the C.A.T.C.H. (Curing Autism Through Hope and Change) Foundation, a non-profit he founded to provide resources and a support system for youth coping with autism. As part of his efforts with C.A.T.C.H., Orlando has hosted special needs children at Dodger Stadium throughout the season. He also made visits with children to former Dodger Jim Gott’s Danny’s Farm, a petting zoo and arts and crafts facility designed for children with special needs, and to the Loma Alta Elementary School , where he read, answered questions, took photos, and signed autographs. Later this month, Orlando will host Skate for Autism, a red carpet charity event in Northridge , CA , to roll, bounce, and skate out autism. The C.A.T.C.H. Foundation has also served children with its annual Autism Walk: Strike Out! Bowling Fundraiser, Homerun Holiday Christmas gifting ceremony, and financial contributions to local organizations and schools with youth coping with autism.
Through his Around the Mound Tour, which he created earlier this year, Orlando visited Major League Baseball’s Urban Youth Academy and Van Ness Recreation Center in Los Angeles , as well as stops in several other Major League cities. He enlisted the help of several of his fellow Major Leaguers throughout the season, as they took part in a program he created to reach out to African-American youth and keep them interested in playing baseball.
Orlando’s work in the community earned him the inaugural Albert Einstein Leadership Award, given by the Pasadena Unified School District Community Advisory Committee. The award recognizes an individual who, through personal success or extraordinary effort, has positively impacted the special education cause or the public’s perception of special education students.
Oh well. A minor sacrifice for a big playoff push. We still have our finest prospects staying within the organization.