FOR RELEASE MARCH 24, 2020
RACINE, Wis. — UMPS CARE Charities, the official charity of Major League Baseball (MLB) umpires, will receive the 2020 Gold Whistle Award, presented by the National Association of Sports Officials (NASO). The award, the highest honor in officiating, will be presented in Montgomery, Ala., on Tuesday, July 28, during the Celebrate Officiating Gala, sponsored by Fox 40 International, which caps the 2020 Sports Officiating Summit.
“The Gold Whistle Award is presented to someone or some organization that has shined a positive light on sports officiating,” NASO President Barry Mano said. “We include in our selection process consideration for how long that positive light has been lit. In the case of UMPS CARE, it has fulfilled both the impact and the longevity components in superb style.”
UMPS CARE provides financial, in-kind and emotional support for America’s youth and families in need. The UMPS CARE vision is embodied in its creed, “Helping Others is an Easy Call.” Through its youth-based programs, UMPS CARE enriches the lives of at-risk youth and children coping with serious illness by providing memorable baseball experiences and supporting pediatric medical care. Its scholarship programs offer financial support to children adopted later in life in order to provide a college education to students who otherwise might not be able to afford one.
“We were really just thrilled, honored and humbled,” Jenn Skolochenko-Platt, executive director of UMPS CARE, said upon hearing of the 2020 award announcement. “We just were really excited and proud. As the executive director, I am proud of what these guys are doing and what we are doing as an organization. It’s very humbling.”
UMPS CARE provides Build-A-Bear Workshop experiences for children with cancer or other serious illnesses and provides MLB experiences through its Blue Crew Tickets Program for children awaiting adoption, at-risk youth, kids battling illness and military families. Another major component of the UMPS CARE Charities is the All-Star Scholarship Program, which awards approximately $40,000 annually in college scholarships and has distributed more than $240,000 to date.
“The charitable service being provided in so many communities by UMPS CARE is simply breathtaking,” Mano said. “Year in and year out this group of baseball umpires, through the organization they created, not only helps those with a need, they also help those of us in sports officiating to think better of ourselves. That is the exact reason NASO created its Gold Whistle Award. UMPS CARE is so very much deserving of this recognition.”
The Gold Whistle Award is presented annually by NASO. Those considered are individuals or groups that have made significant contributions to the betterment of officiating, exhibit a high degree of integrity and ethics and other qualities that are held in high regard by the industry. Candidates must have a consistent record of presenting officiating in a positive light as well as exhibiting a “service above self” attitude. Public service to officiating, having a motivating effect on others and/or strong community involvement are considered.
Fox 40 International is the premier producer of officiating whistles. The complete line of Fox 40 products includes whistles for all uses, whistle attachments, Fox 40 gear, pro coaching boards, mouthguards and marine & outdoor products. Fox 40 continues to invest in new technology, designs and machinery, resulting in many new products being launched each year. Fox 40 has sponsored the Celebrate Officiating gala and the Gold Whistle Award for more than two decades.
Contact: Brad Tittrington
Referee Magazine/National Association of Sports Officials
The National Association of Sports Officials is the world’s largest organization for sports officials at every level and all sports. More than 26,000 sports officials from around the world belong to NASO, enjoying member benefits and supporting an organization that advocates for sports officials and that helps them maintain the highest level of officiating skills.