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Padres announce nine-year-old as recipient of Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award

SAN DIEGO -- The San Diego Padres today announced the recipient of the second of four Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Awards for 2013. Aldo Sanchez, who just completed fourth grade at Ocean Beach Elementary School, has been selected as the first-ever child recipient of the award by members of the Padres' Hispanic Community Leadership Council (HCLC), for his dedication to improving the lives of families and youth, specifically in the area of children's education. He will be honored before Friday's 7:10 p.m. game vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Nine-year-old Sanchez began his volunteerism last October by centering his birthday on a community service project. He organized a food drive for the Ronald McDonald House at San Diego Rady Children's Hospital, and with the help of classmates from Ocean Beach Elementary and teammates from Tecolote Little League, delivered a truckload of more than 800 food items to the Ronald McDonald House.

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Sanchez's love of service and organizing others for a common cause led him to create a group called "Help ME Help Others." Since last fall, he has organized a holiday food drive for the homeless communities in Ocean Beach and Downtown San Diego, as well as a shoe drive for students at the Monarch School of San Diego. As he approaches fifth grade, Sanchez continues to lead and inspire, currently organizing a summer food drive for the Bannister Family House, which cares for families with loved ones staying at the University of California at San Diego Hospital. "Help ME Help Others" has additional service events planned for the fall.

"Aldo is an inspiration for young people and adults alike," said Padres President and CEO Tom Garfinkel. "He is a remarkable boy who doesn't let his age hold him back. He identifies community challenges and tackles them head on, when others might look away. We can all learn something from Aldo."

The Padres' Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award series was established in 2012 to recognize and pay tribute to individuals or organizations whose work makes a positive impact on those who live and work in San Diego's Hispanic community. In support of the Padres Foundation's community vision, four awards will be given throughout the 2013 season, one each in the areas of children's health (LIVE), children's education (LEARN), youth baseball/softball or youth fitness (PLAY) and supporting our law enforcement and military communities (SERVE).

The Padres are now accepting nominations of individuals or organizations who display leadership in the areas of youth baseball/softball or fitness and law enforcement/first responders. Nominations may be submitted online at www.padres.com/community and www.padresbeisbol.com/comunidad.

All four Hispanic Heritage Comunidad Award winners will be honored on the field before the Padres game on Friday, Sept. 20, 2013, as part of Hispanic Heritage Night presented by Verizon.

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