Two Grand Prize Winners, Teachers to Throw Ceremonial First Pitches;
Part of Schwartze Grant Awarded to Vitae Tenth Year in a Row

VITAE 2_webFor the tenth year in a row the Vitae Foundation has been awarded a generous grant from the

Alphonse J. Schwartze Community Foundation, which will provide an opportunity to spread its message of life to the “Cardinal Nation.”  Vitae will be able to advertise during all 162 games on the St. Louis Cardinals Radio Network, which includes its flagship station KMOX and local affiliate KATI, and 154 other affiliates in nine states.  This year Vitae is expanding the contest with Osage County students to include both essays and video entries.

The grant allows Vitae to show an ad on the Cardinals in-stadium video board prior to every home game.  This includes a 45-foot by 90-foot full color slide to be rotated with other sponsors, including Fortune 500 companies.

The contest is open to Osage County students (8th – 12th grade) who want to take a stand on life issues like abortion, bullying, elderly and child abuse, etc.  The contest is jointly sponsored by the Vitae Foundation and the Alphonse J. Schwartze Community Foundation.  Each student who submits either an essay or a 30 to 60-second video infomercial will receive four tickets to Osage County Night at the Ballpark on Thursday, July 27, when the Cardinals take on the Arizona Diamondbacks.  The contest’s two Grand Prize winners will each throw out a ceremonial first pitch before the 6:15 p.m. game.

Three exciting, new prizes offered by the Cardinals in 2017 include rewarding the teacher(s) with the highest student participation in the contest an opportunity to throw out a first pitch along with the student winners, an opportunity to watch batting practice from the field and a personal picture taken in the Cardinals dugout, as well as a VIP tour of Busch Stadium and passes to the Cardinals Hall of Fame Museum.  Also new is every student who enters will be eligible to win a $250 voucher, awarded by Vitae, to be used for an electronic item (iPad or laptop) to assist with their education.  Each teacher who has at least one student submit a qualifying submission will be eligible to win a $100 gift card provided by Vitae.

“We are excited to co-sponsor Vitae’s Essay Contest on Life Issues for a seventh straight year.  We understand not every student likes to write, so this year we are adding a video category to the contest.  We want every single Osage County student in grades 8 through 12 to share their creativity and join in our vision of a future where each life is respected and protected!”  Vitae Senior Market Director Stacey Kromer stated.  The principal and teacher of the 1st Place Grand Prize and 2nd Place Grand Prize winners will receive tickets to a luxury suite.  Plus, the teacher whose class submits the most essays by percentage will receive suite tickets as well.

In addition to those mentioned above, eligible students also include any 8th – 12th grader attending Osage County R-I (Chamois), Osage County R-II (Linn), Osage County R-III Fatima (Westphalia) and 8th graders attending the following schools in Osage County: St. Joseph Catholic School, Westphalia; Sacred Heart School, Rich Fountain; Immaculate Conception School, Loose Creek; Holy Family School, Freeburg; St. George School, Linn; and St. Mary School, Frankenstein.  It also includes Osage County 8th-12th graders who are homeschooled or attend school outside the county (example: live in Osage County and attend Helias Catholic High School).

Contestants must compose an original handwritten or typed essay of 500-1,500 words or submit a 30- to 60-second video infomercial on any life issues topic. One submission per contestant is allowed, and all contestants must be residents of Osage County.  Entries may be submitted by email to or mailed to Vitae and postmarked by 5 p.m. on June 16, 2017.  All winners will be awarded four box seats tickets to the July 27 Cardinal game.

“We are grateful the Alphonse J. Schwartze Community Foundation sees the value of helping us champion life through Cardinals Radio Network ads and the educational life issues contest.  Having the involvement of the St. Louis Cardinals is a wonderful way to engage the youth of Osage County and get them excited about respecting life values,” Kromer noted.

See more details about awards for teachers, download contest rules, and flyers.