MANHATTAN BEACH, Calif. (February 1, 2012) – The City of Manhattan Beach, local youth baseball organizations, Cal State Fullerton Titans and the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim will unite on Saturday, February 11 for a 12:30 p.m. dedication ceremony of the recently installed “Pearson-Wilhite-Stewart-Adenhart Commemorative Wall” adjacent to “Big Marine” baseball field located at 1625 Marine Avenue in Manhattan Beach.
Representatives of the Angels, Cal State Fullerton Titans and Spirit Squad, Manhattan Beach Mayor Nick Tell and members of City Council, as well as others involved, will join the Pearson, Wilhite and Stewart families in brief ceremonies, followed by a 1 p.m. Mira Costa High School Mustangs baseball game.
Prior to the game, Mira Costa head baseball coach Cassidy Olson will present a large, commemorative circle that will soon adorn the outfield wall at Mira Costa’s Varsity Field that bears Henry Pearson’s number 12. Pearson played for Mira Costa from 1999-2002 and served as captain during the 2002 season. Pearson and Wilhite rose through the local youth baseball community together, and both played on either Manhattan Beach Little League or Pony League All-Star teams, before also attending Mira Costa and playing there. Mira Costa’s current teams sport their initials on their caps and other gear as a reminder of both teammates, and more importantly, Pearson and Wilhite’s inspirational approach to adversity.
“There are many people, and many families, beyond our own who were affected by the passing of Henry, Courtney and Nick and the terrible injuries Jon was forced to endure,” said Pearson’s father Nigel Pearson. “While we all remember those we have lost, our families believe it is critical to remind everyone, and especially our teens and young adults, about how a single moment of drunk driving can devastate innocent people’s lives.
“We each hope this commemorative wall – as well as the field itself – can act as an inspiration so that people will think twice about having a drink and then climbing behind the wheel of a car. We have unfortunately sacrificed teammates and close friends, people whom we have loved deeply, and yet we hope that these efforts can help to save future lives so they may not have passed entirely in vain,” Pearson said.
Local organizations including Mothers Against Drunk Driving, Manhattan Beach Police and Mira Costa High School’s PACE (People Attaining Complete Equality) student outreach and awareness program will join the Feb. 11 ceremonies with information about their local programs and activities.