By Lindsey Burns |  11/9/11 2:28 PM


Annapolis, MD– For the second consecutive year,Chesapeake Bayhawks All-Star midfielder Ben Hunt attended the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s (MDA) Heartsongs Gala on November 5, 2011 at the Ritz Carlton in Washington, DC. The event paired professional athletes with a Goodwill Ambassador - a child suffering from a neuromuscular disease. Hunt spent the cocktail reception and dinner with his Goodwill Ambassador, Mercy Blouin-Escoto, and her family once again.

“Saturday night I attended my second MDA Heartsongs Gala at the Ritz Carlton in DC,” Hunt proclaimed.  “It is a great event that provides hope for families affected by muscular dystrophy. The auction provides funding for muscular dystrophy research, sending the kids to MDA summer camp for a week, and much more. I had a lot of fun spending the evening with my Goodwill Ambassador Mercy Escoto and her family. We had dinner together in the ballroom and were entertained by a live band performance. The MDA Heartsongs Gala was a very humbling and special experience and I am looking forward to participating again next year.”  

Because of his overwhelmingly positive experience the previous year, Hunt was ecstatic to get the opportunity to join in the cause again. The MDA was equally as excited to have the Bayhawks midfielder there again to reunite with Mercy and her family.

“Ben was once again everything we could ask for in a member of our Muscle Team,” Fundraising Coordinator Kevin Eaton said. “He was outgoing and friendly, and the connection he has with his MDA buddy Mercy is clearly real- it touched a lot of people’s hearts in the room.  It is a true testament to his character.”

The poster child of this event, Mattie J.T. Stepanek, lost his battle with the disease in 2004, but not before he was able to instill his beliefs of peace, happiness, and “listening to your heartsong” in others. Known to others as a peacemaker and a poet, Stepanek’s vision of the Heartsongs Gala was founded in 2003 to raise money for the Muscular Dystrophy Association. This year, the Heartsongs Gala raised over $200,000 for the cause.

For more information on the Muscular Dystrophy Association or the Heartsongs Gala, visit

Bayhawks 2012 season tickets can be purchased online at www.thebayhawks.comor over the phone by calling the box office 866-99-HAWKS (42957). Reserve your seat today to catch all the action at  Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium this summer.

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