Golden Globe- and Oscar-winning actress Geena Davis has been an activist in elevating women ever since she portrayed the main character, Dottie Hinson, in “A League of Their Own,” a true-story movie about women who played professional baseball as replacements for men absent during Word War II.
Ms. Davis’ off-screen work mirrors her screen performance. It encompasses support for the Women's Sports Foundation, an advocate for Title IX, which is an Act of Congress focusing on equality in sports opportunities, now expanded to prohibit gender discrimination in United States' educational institutions.
Ms. Davis also sponsored the largest research project ever undertaken on gender in children's entertainment at the University of Southern California.
In that vein, Ms. Davis also launched the Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media, a program that works collaboratively with the entertainment industry to dramatically reduce stereotyping of females and to increase executive-level, decision-making positions in that industry.
Ms. Davis also recently premiered an annual film festival to highlight diversity in film, accepting films that prominently feature minorities and women in the cast and crew.
And now, the Rotary Club of Pittsburgh is asking your support in bringing Ms. Davis to Pittsburgh to speak at an annual charity event called the Chuck Tanner Awards Banquet in November, 2018. Your contribution will cover Ms. Davis' honorarium and travel expenses.
It is at this annual charitable event when we instituted the Sally O’Leary Distinguished Women in Baseball Award, named after Sally O’Leary, a beloved front office team member of the Pittsburgh Pirates organization for more than three decades. Past awardees have included:
- Katy Feeney, Major League Baseball senior vice president of scheduling
- Judy Carpenter Barada, St. Louis Cardinals executive in charge of contracts and logistics
- Kim Ng, the highest-ranking Asian American female baseball executive at MLB
- Claire Smith, editor for ESPN; a meritorious award in her honor is on exhibit at the National Baseball Hall of Fame.
The theme for the Chuck Tanner Awards Banquet in 2018 is Distinguished Women in Baseball, which is intended to shine a more intense spotlight on women’s achievements and opportunities at the highest levels, not only in baseball, but in all endeavors, all industries, all walks of life.
To that end, your contribution will assist us in meeting the expense of contracting Ms. Davis as a keynote speaker.
Rotary lnternational is an organization dedicated to humanitarian service, high ethical standards in all vocations, and goodwill and peace in the world. In more than 160 countries worldwide, approximately 1.2 million Rotarians belong to more than 30,000 Rotary clubs. The Rotary Club of Pittsburgh is the presenter of the Chuck Tanner Awards is comprised of community, business and organizational leaders committed to improving the quality of life in the community, the nation and the world.
International charities and humanitarian causes that have benefited from the annual Chuck Tanner Awards in the past have included:
- Hekima Place, founded by a Pittsburgh native, which is a home in Kenya for children orphaned by AIDS.
- Polio vaccinations in third-world countries
- Shoes for Nicaraguan children
Domestic and local programs have included:
- An annual Ethics Symposium for high school students and advisors
- College scholarships
- Caring Habits, a monthly program to help elementary school children develop positive values
- New Citizens monthly receptions
- The Center for Entrepreneurship for youth at Urban Pathways Charter High School
Another important motivation for this event is to honor Chuck Tanner, a man who personified what is good about baseball and reminds us of past baseball glories in Pittsburgh. This annual event also provides a major sports banquet for Pittsburgh where fans can celebrate baseball and honor those whose distinguished leadership is so important to the success of their teams. The highly coveted Chuck Tanner awards recognize those who, like Chuck Tanner, represent dedication to sport, but also dedication to excellence and integrity.
While Chuck Tanner is no longer with us, we can feel his presence of good humor, humility and dedication as we present these awards each year. Thank you for joining with us as we seek to honor the man who made the world a better place and those who follow in his footsteps.
For more information on the Chuck Tanner Awards Banquet, visit: www.chucktannerbanquet.com