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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
June 27, 2007
President Bush Attends Seventh-Annual White House Tee Ball Game
3:16 P.M. EDT
THE PRESIDENT: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to opening day right here on the South Lawn of the White House. Jonas Brothers, thank you guys. Good to see you. Proud you're here. As usual, you did a fantastic job with the National Anthem. Just give them a hand. (Applause.) I'm proud to be here with the Commissioner of Tee Ball, two-time Olympic Gold Medalist, Michele Smith. Thanks for coming, Michele. (Applause.) Proud to be with you.
First, we want to welcome to tee ball here on the South Lawn, the Bobcats from Allegany County Little League, Cumberland, Maryland. (Applause.) And we want to welcome their mighty opponent, from Luray, Virginia, the Red Wings. (Applause.) The Commissioner and I wish the girls all the very best. We want to thank the coaches, and of course we want to thank the parents for coming. We welcome you here. Opening day of tee ball on the South Lawn.
I do want to thank the Arizona Wildcat National Champs for joining us today. (Applause.) Taryne Mowatt, the coach at first base. Taryne, thanks for coming. Congratulations. Caitlin Lowe, the third base coach. We've got bench coaches, we've got the team. We want to wish you all the very best next year. That would be a three-peat, right? Good luck to you all. Thanks for setting such a fine example.
One reason that we invited the Wildcats to come to honor these girls softball teams is because it's in the nation's interest to promote women athletics. We're a big believer in Title IX programs. We think it's good for America that our women are playing sports. The best way to convince women to play sports is to start early. So these champs are here to encourage these young girls to play hard, play often, and play good, and one day you may be national champs, as well. So thanks for coming. We're glad you're here.
I do want to thank Mayor Ralph Dean of Luray. I forgot to welcome you, Mr. Mayor. We're proud you're here. Thanks for coming. (Applause.) We want to thank Girl Scouts of USA for joining us today. Girls, thanks for bearing the colors. We thank you for coming. We're proud you're here. Thanks for being Scouts. (Applause.)
And by the way, we're about to get the first pitch in. And Meredith Cripe is going to give me the ball in a minute. Meredith, we're really glad you're here. Thanks for coming. It's a big day to be here to put out the first pitch on opening day, and we're glad we selected you.
I do want to thank Hannah Storm, the announcer today. Hannah, thanks for lending your talent. Mother of three soon to be all-start softball players. We're glad you're here. We want to thank the Little League International staff. Thanks for putting on this event. Thanks for supporting Little League baseball. Thanks for helping our kids understand the blessings of exercise and team sports.
I do want to thank representatives from the YWCA, the Boys & Girls Club of America, and Girls on the Run. (Applause.)
And finally, after this event, the Commissioner and I are going to present each of you all a token of our appreciation for you coming, and we're also going to say thanks to Erica Minor, who is the youth volunteer. We like to honor people who serve their neighbors, love a neighbor like they'd like to be loved themselves. And Erica is such a person.
And now before we begin the game, and before you give me the ball, Meredith, we're going to have the Little League Pledge. Are you ready?
(The pledge is recited.)
THE PRESIDENT: Play ball. (Applause.)
END 3:20 P.M. EDT