Michael Alban to Receive First Little League Urban Initiative Volunteer of the Year Award
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (Aug. 3, 2005) – Michael Alban introduced the Little League Urban Initiative to Newark, N.J., and Little League International will recognize his determination and clear vision on behalf of the Urban Initiative with the presentation
of the first Howard and Gail Paster Little League Urban Initiative Volunteer of the Year Award this August at the 59th Little
League Baseball World Series in Williamsport, Pa.
“Mike ‘adopted’ the 2,000, or so, children in Newark, who participate in the Little League program,” Dr. Vincent DeVincentis, Newark Inner City Little League Committee president, said. “He reached beyond the confines of his local league and decided that as one ‘united’ community, the volunteers who run the various Little League programs (in Newark) could better meet the needs of each child. It is his vision, his leadership, and his tenacity that has made the Newark Inner City Little League Committee such a success.”
Mr. Alban is Chairman of the Newark Inner City Little League (NICLL) Committee, and has served in that capacity since its creation in 2003. The NICLL committee oversees the operation of seven Urban Initiative Little Leagues in the city of Newark.
“The Little League Urban Initiative has created an opportunity for children to reap the benefits of playing Little League where there was once little chance,” Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “Volunteers like Mr. Alban understand that Little League can be a tie that binds a community together, and with work and commitment, a local Little League program can become a sense of pride for the children and adults who live there.”
Little League International created the Little League Urban Initiative Volunteer of the Year Award in recognition of the vital volunteer service being performed by thousands of dedicated people in urban settings around the country. This award annually acknowledges an adult volunteer involved with a Little League program participating in the Urban Initiative. The recipient would have provided a positive Little League experience for the children and adults within a local league’s metropolitan neighborhood or community.
Mr. Paster is the president of the Little League Foundation Board of Trustees, is executive vice president, public relations/public affairs, at WPP Group, and was chairman of "A World of Opportunity - Little League Baseball Capital Campaign for the Future.” Mrs. Paster is director of the Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, D.C.
The Little League Urban Initiative has enjoyed success in nearly 75 cities since it began in 2000. More than 150 local Little Leagues in the U.S. are part of the Urban Initiative. Through 2004, the program stimulated the addition of 144 teams and more than 2,100 players.
Little League Baseball and Softball is the world’s largest organized youth sports program, with nearly 2.7 million players and 1 million adult volunteers in every U.S. state and scores of other countries.