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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY ANNOUNCES MAJOR EXPANSION OF MINOR LEAGUE BASEBALL PARTNERSHIP

04-22-2004

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge today announced that 52 Minor League Baseball teams in communities all across America -- more than double the number that participated last year -- have committed to featuring Ready public service announcements in their ballparks this spring and summer.  The partnership is just one of many strategic relationships secured by DHS and the Ad Council to disseminate messages and materials that will help Americans to prepare for potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies.

"It's up to each of us as Americans to make sure we're doing all we can to prepare for another attack," Secretary Ridge said. "And part of my job is to make sure we're reaching out to Americans to give them the tools they need to prepare their families, homes and businesses. Our Minor League Baseball partnership is just one of many ways we are speaking directly with Americans to remind them of the simple steps they can take to be prepared:  Make a plan, make a kit, and get informed."

Secretary Ridge also announced that the Boy Scouts of America will continue its partnership with Homeland Security through its Emergency Preparedness BSA initiative and distributing Ready brochures at the baseball games.  

The Ready Campaign is a national public-service advertising campaign designed to educate and empower American citizens to prepare for and respond to potential terrorist attacks and other emergencies. Citizens interested in receiving a "Get Ready Now" brochure may call 1-800-BE-READY or visit www.ready.gov for more information.  Launched just over a year ago, Sec. Ridge says the campaign already is making a difference.

"I'm tremendously gratified that Americans are visiting the ready.gov website and calling our toll-free number," Secretary Ridge said. "More importantly, people are using the information on the website and in the brochure, and taking the necessary steps to be prepared."

Since its launch in February 2003, there have been more than 18.7 million unique visitors and more than 1.7 billion hits on the www.ready.gov website.  Of the hundreds of millions of websites in the world, ready.gov has been ranked in the top 1,000 several times, making it one of the most visited sites on the worldwide web (See schedule below).

The 52 Minor League Baseball teams will feature the public service announcements on different dates throughout the summer.  Local Boy Scouts will assist each team in distributing the Ready brochure at those games.

"Nearly 40 million fans come to our ballparks each season, and our teams are proud to be able to help educate Americans on how they can better protect their families," said Mike Moore, President & CEO of Minor League Baseball. "We're happy to see so many of our teams participating in this program."

"Whenever our national leaders have called upon the Scouts in times of need, the Boy Scouts of America has responded," said Roy L. Williams, Chief Scout Executive of the Boy Scouts of America. "The BSA looks forward to continuing our partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and Minor League Baseball to make sure our communities are better prepared for the future."

For more information about the partnership, call Jill Rusinko at Minor League Baseball at (727) 822-6937; Keith Stephens at the Boy Scouts of America at (214) 224-8411; or Lara Shane at the Department of Homeland Security at (202) 282-8010.

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Minor League Baseball / Boy Scouts READY Schedule

Wichita Wranglers --- April 17

New Orleans Zephyrs --- April 23

Lake County Captains --- May 1

Rancho Cucamonga Quakes --- May 1

Harrisburg Senators --- May 1

Carolina Mudcats --- May 7

Winston-Salem Warthogs --- May 8

Wisconsin Timber Rattlers --- May 16

Kannapolis Intimidators --- May 21

Indianapolis Indians --- May 21

Hickory Crawdads --- May 21

Round Rock Express --- May 25

Kinston Indians --- May 28

Mobile Bay Bears --- June 4

Syracuse Sky Chiefs --- June 4

Fort Wayne Wizards --- June 5

Ashville Tourists --- June 5

Erie Sea Wolves --- June 5

Savannah Gnats --- June 11

San Jose Giants --- June 11

Huntsville Stars --- June 11

Sarasota Red Sox --- June 15

Bristol White Sox --- June 22

Akron Aeros --- June 25

Lancaster Jet Hawks --- June 26

Salem-Keizer Volcanos --- June 26

Clinton Lumber Kings --- July 9

Lexington Legends --- July 9

Tri-City Dust Devils --- July 9

Vermont Expos --- July 10

Greenville Astros --- July 14

Altoona Curve --- July 16

Princeton Devil Rays --- July 16

Spokane Indians --- July 17

Albuquerque Isotopes --- July 23

Vero Beach Dodgers --- July 24

Mahoning Valley Snappers --- August 6

Bluefield Orioles --- August 10

Beloit Snappers --- August 13

Wilmington Blue Rocks --- August 13

Rochester Red Wings --- August 19

Columbus Clippers --- August 23

Idaho Falls Chukars --- TBA

Salt Lake Stingers --- TBA

Chattanooga Lookouts --- TBA

Visalia Oaks --- TBA

Oklahoma Red Hawks --- TBA

Tacoma Rainiers --- TBA

Kansas City T-Bones --- TBA

Norwich Navigators --- TBA

Las Vegas 51's --- TBA

Trenton Thunder --- TBA