Mehnert honored as All-Star Among Us
Adventurer's Katrina charity efforts to be honored at Classic
After thousands of nominees from across the United States and Canada were narrowed to 90 finalists, Major League Baseball and PEOPLE have announced the 30 winners of the "All-Stars Among Us" campaign, which spotlights people who have gone above and beyond to serve their communities.
The Brewers' "All-Star" is Loyal Mehnert of Milwaukee, chosen by fans across the nation for an adventurous approach to assisting people in need that has taken him to Dakar and across the Appalachian Trail.
Dubbed his "Everyday Journeyman Project," Mehnert has driven the 4,200-mile Plymouth-Dakar rally, and now is hiking the 2,175-mile Appalachian Trail from Georgia to Maine by himself -- with all money raised earmarked for Habitat for Humanity's Hurricane Katrina rebuilding efforts.
Mehnert and the rest of the winners will be honored during the pregame ceremony at the 2009 MLB All-Star Game in St. Louis on July 14 on FOX, at which President Barack Obama will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. One club representative also will be featured in People Magazine.
Nearly three quarters of a million votes were cast by fans across the nation in the All-Stars Among Us campaign to select the 30 "All-Stars Among Us" winners -- one per Major League team -- out of the pool of 90 finalists who are serving as leaders within their communities.
The other finalists for the Brewers were:
David Bahr of Livermore, Calif., founded of a youth group food drive in 2003 to help families in need. His program coordinates multiple organizations in a single outreach program, allowing students to assume leadership roles. The program now includes 1,200 youth volunteers. Last year, they distributed three tons of food to nine food pantries.
Mary Nachreiner of Sauk City, Wis., was inspired by her daughter Kelly's decision to become an organ donor and to create a life-saving legacy. Nachreiner began promoting organ donor awareness after Kelly was killed in an auto accident, and she helped make Wisconsin a leader in organ donation.
Meanwhile, vote for your favorite players with the 2009 All-Star Game Sprint Online Ballot at MLB.com and all 30 sites until Thursday at 10:59 p.m. CT.
The 80th Major League Baseball All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX Sports, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and Sportsnet HD and televised around the world by Major League Baseball International, with pregame ceremonies beginning at 8 p.m. ET. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage, while MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.