The Nationals have announced three finalists for People's 2010 "All-Stars Among Us" campaign. The contest is designed to honor individuals who are serving their community in extraordinary ways.
Mark Bergel of Bethesda, Kat Lanigan of Herndon and Joe Mornini of Rockville will represent the Nationals in the voting this year. You can vote for them at PeopleAllStars.com now through June 20th. One winner from each of MLB's 30 clubs will attend and be honored during the 2010 All-Star Week in Anaheim.
Bergel founded A Wider Circle in 2001 to help impoverished residents secure a wide array of basic necessities, including food and furniture. A Wider Circle has since helped 50,000 individuals by providing furniture and other home items, hosting educational and health and wellness workshops, and offering classes and basic necessities for expectant teenage mothers.
As a freshman in high school, Lanigan's father - a U.S. Army Reservist - was sent on extended deployment. In an effort to offer their thanks and support to those in similar circumstances, Kat and her sister created a letter-writing campaign to other children of deployed parents in the same way that various organizations send letters to soldiers overseas. Since they began this project in 2006, they've reached more than 30,000 children nationwide.
In 2004, Joe Mornini co-founded the non-profit organization Team River Runner (TRR) to train and mentor active military personnel and wounded veterans in white-water rafting, kayaking and other paddling sports. Over the past six years, TRR has developed 25 national programs and worked with more than 1,500 veterans and their families.
While you're voting, make sure to cast a few more All Star votes for Ryan Zimmerman, Pudge Rodriguez and your favorite Nationals.