NHL’s Chris Drury Elected to Little League Foundation Board of Trustees
SOUTH WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (May 10, 2010) – Chris Drury, Captain of the National Hockey League’s New York Rangers, has become the first Little League Baseball World Series alumnus to be elected to the Little League Foundation Board of Trustees, it was announced today by foundation President Howard Paster.
Celebrating 55 years since its inception, the Little League Foundation is a non-profit, tax-exempt agency established to stabilize and insure the future of Little League – the world’s largest organized youth sports program – and to protect its ideals, and extend its benefits.
“For more than a half-century, the projects supported by the Little League Foundation have been vital to the success of the organization,” Mr. Paster said. “The foundation has always strived to include trustees who not only share the ideals of Little League, but who also represent a wide variety of backgrounds. We are continuing that tradition with the addition of Chris Drury to our outstanding roster of trustees.”
The pursuit of excellence has defined Chris Drury since his childhood, starting with his success on the baseball field as a pitcher and catcher during his years in Trumbull (Conn.) National Little League, and later as one of the elite ice hockey players in the world.
On Aug. 26, 1989, the world first saw a glimpse of what Chris Drury would become. That day, he went to the mound at Howard J. Lamade Stadium to pitch the Championship Game of the 43rd Little League Baseball World Series versus Far East Region Champion Kang-Tu Little League from Chinese Taipei. Mr. Drury and his Trumbull National Little League teammates were tasked with stopping a five-year losing streak for the United States, which included three straight defeats to teams from Chinese Taipei.
He was up to the challenge, pitching Trumbull National Little League to a 5-2 victory before a crowd of more than 40,000 and a national television audience of millions. Twenty years later, he was back in Williamsport during the 2009 Little League Baseball World Series to accept enshrinement into the Peter J. McGovern Little League Museum Hall of Excellence.
Drafted out of high school by the NHL’s Quebec Nordiques, Mr. Drury elected to attend Boston University (BU), where in 1995, as a freshman, he helped the Terriers win the NCAA Division I Ice Hockey National Championship. By the end of his collegiate career, he was the first BU player to eclipse 100 goals and assists (113 and 100, respectively). As BU’s captain in 1998, Mr. Drury was recognized as the Hobey Baker Award winner as the top college hockey player in the country.
One of 12 forwards selected to the USA Men’s Hockey Team that won the silver medal in the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia, Mr. Drury is entering his 12th year in the NHL. Since 1996, Mr. Drury has played in a several international ice hockey tournaments as a member of Team USA, including the ’02 and ’06 Winter Olympic Games.
In 2001, he helped the Colorado Avalanche to the Stanley Cup Championship. He also won the NHL’s Rookie of the Year honors for the 1998-99 season.
Some of the projects of Little League supported by the Little League Foundation have included: construction of the Headquarters Building and Howard J. Lamade Stadium (where the Little League World Series is played) in Williamsport. Pa., the Little League Urban Initiative (an initiative to bring baseball to urban youths), an anti-spit tobacco program, a drug and alcohol awareness program, a traffic safety program, the Challenger Division for mentally and physically impaired children, expansion of Little League training programs in other states and countries, and research.
The Little League Foundation employs no outside fund-raising agencies and limits its drive to an annual appeal during the second week of June, in which Flag Day occurs. This week was designated National Little League Baseball Week by President Dwight D. Eisenhower and President John F. Kennedy.
Mr. Paster has been Executive Vice President, Public Relations and Public Affairs, of WPP Group since 2002. He served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Hill & Knowlton, Inc., a WPP company, and joined the WPP parent company in August 2002. Prior to joining the WPP Group, he served as Assistant to President Clinton and Director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.
Other foundation officers are Dr. Creighton J. Hale of Williamsport, Pa. (senior vice president), and Stephen D. Keener of Williamsport (vice president/secretary).
Current trustees of the Little League Foundation also include:
Neil Austrian, Old Greenwich, Conn.
Jane Forbes Clark, New York
Leonard S. Coleman, Jr., New York
Joe P. Crookham, Oskaloosa, Iowa
Peter G. Diamandis, Greenwich, Conn.
Ann Meyers Drysdale, Huntington Beach, Calif.
John Grisham, Charlottesville, Va.
Eric M. Hilton, Beverly Hills, Calif.
Dennis Lewin, Wellington, Fla.
Arte Moreno, Phoenix, Ariz.
Peter O’Malley, Los Angeles
Iris Raiford, New York
Jin Roy Ryu, Seoul, Korea
Tom Seaver, Calistoga, Calif.
Dr. Louis Sullivan, Atlanta
George F. Will, Washington, D.C.
Fred Wilpon, Great Neck, N.Y.
Some past trustees of the Little League Foundation include Bob Hope, Bowie Kuhn, Walt Disney, Walter O’Malley, William A. “Bill” Shea, J. Edgar Hoover, Jack Kent Cooke, and Lawrence Welk.
Little League Baseball and Softball is the world largest youth sports organization, with approximately 2.5 million players in all 50 states and scores of other countries. About 40 million people have played or volunteered for Little League in its 71-year history.